Does Mirrorless Camera Has Shutter Count

By | 13/10/2022

If you take a curious listen, you’ve probably wondered how a camera takes a picture. While that’s a big topic to cover, one of the essential elements of a photographic camera’s function is how the shutter works.

The camera shutter is a device that’s existed for over a century. What’s more, as technology has advanced, so has the functionality, durability and operation of the photographic camera shutter.

Why should yous learn about it? Well, a cardinal chemical element of learning well-nigh photography is to know how a photographic camera works – inside and out. Knowing the full extent of your camera’s functionality and capabilities makes you lot a better lensman.

That’south why understanding everything there is to know near shutters is a fundamental function of your evolution, even if you don’t even know how to modify your shutter speed yet.

Ready? Jump into our ultimate guide that answers everything photographers want to know virtually camera shutters.

What is a Camera Shutter?

A photographic camera shutter is a device located inside the camera covering the image sensor. Why do cameras have shutters? The camera has a shutter as information technology acts as the gatekeeper of light – information technology decides which lite will laissez passer the gate and which will non.

When you take a photograph, the shutter moves at varying speeds to expose the photographic camera sensor for a elapsing of time. Information technology’south during that exposure that the camera sensor captures the incoming light.

When yous command the shutter speed on your camera, you tell the shutter how long to stay open and expose the sensor to the incoming low-cal.

This device exists in both DSLR and mirrorless cameras – however, they operate differently from one another.

Plus, it’s essential to understand the different types of shutters and how they movement and function.

What Are the Two Types of Camera Shutter (and How Practice They Work?)

Photographic camera shutters are not a new affair – they’ve been in use for decades and date dorsum to the days of early moving picture cameras.

Mechanical shutters
required precision mechanical engineering science to produce the parts and then get together them with accurate operation.

Electronic shutters
have progressed a long way to replicate and improve upon the process of mechanical shutters.

Regardless, mechanical shutters are still a necessity to come across the growing needs of photographers today.

Mechanical shutters come in two forms –
focal plane shutters and foliage shutters.
While they both have a mechanical function to block lite and expose the image sensor, how they do information technology is vastly different. You lot should also read our guide: how does a camera sensor work?

Understanding the difference is a vital role of learning how cameras operate.

Focal Airplane Shutter

Shutter curtains on the Fuji X-T3

The Fujifilm Ten-T3 has a focal aeroplane shutter

A focal plane shutter (FPS) is a form of mechanical shutter commonly establish in DSLR and mirrorless cameras such as the one higher up. Information technology exposes the camera sensor or focal plane to the light coming in from the lens.

Focal aeroplane shutters unremarkably take the form of two metal or plastic curtains that slide across the focal aeroplane or sensor in unison with a slight gap between the two.

The passing gap is what allows light to hit the entire epitome sensor. In some cases, there’s only a unmarried curtain.

The speed at which the focal plane shutter moves is determined by the shutter speed setting. With longer exposures, the gap passes the paradigm sensor very slowly.

In a DLSR camera, the focal plane shutter tin move as fast as 1/8000 of a 2d.

Leaf Shutter

The Fujifilm X100 series and X70 have leaf shutters.

The Fujifilm X100 series and X70 take foliage shutters.

A leaf shutter is entirely unlike in build to a focal plane shutter, in that it’s a diaphragm that works much the aforementioned way as an aperture inside a lens.

Located in front of the camera sensor, a leaf shutter has overlapping metal blades that shut so no lite passes through to the sensor. When you press the photographic camera’s shutter button, the blades open up to allow light to pass through.

Once the shutter speed duration has lapsed, they snap shut to cake any farther light spilling in. Each of the diaphragm blades of a leafage shutter opens from the heart out.

A focal aeroplane shutter is positioned upwards against and almost touching the sensor, while a leaf shutter sits frontwards from the sensor up against the lens’s rear.

This way, the foliage shutter does non have to exist a meaning device to encompass the whole image sensor. It can be equally small as the rear chemical element of the lens, such equally in the epitome above.

With a fixed lens, the rear lens element is relatively pocket-sized. The leafage shutter is the aforementioned size and sits direct behind this element – effectively blocking the calorie-free passing through the lens.

Mechanical Shutter vs Electronic Shutter

With DSLR and mirrorless camera engineering evolution, photographic camera shutters have improved over time – but their primary role remains. (It’s probably better to say
they go about exposing the sensor to light has improved over time.)

At that place are ii types of shutter that nigh current generation cameras possess – especially in the mirrorless arena.

Mechanical Shutter

DSLRs feature a mechanical shutter as they accept a physical device that moves up and downwardly to expose the camera sensor.

Simply in that location’s a lot more to it than that. When you wait through a DSLR optical viewfinder, you see a truthful to life view of what the photographic camera lens sees.

The light travels into the lens and bounces off a mirror within the camera. The reflected low-cal passes into the optical viewfinder so you can meet what’southward in the frame.

The camera sensor sits behind this mirror/shutter philharmonic – every bit a result, information technology blocks the light from the sensor.

When yous press the shutter push, the mirror flips out of the fashion, and the shutter opens up for a fraction of a 2nd – long enough to expose the camera sensor to the light.

When you do this, y’all’ll notice a moment where the view through the optical viewfinder blacks out.

Mirrorless cameras likewise have a mechanical shutter that works in much the same way.

The about significant difference between the mirrorless shutter and the DSLR i is that a mirrorless does non take a mirror (hence the proper noun mirrorless). Mirrorless cameras don’t have an optical viewfinder, and as such, they don’t demand the lite from the lens to bounciness via a mirror.

Mirrorless cameras have an electronic viewfinder (or EVF). These have a small digital LCD inside them. What the camera sensor sees is shown on the EVF LCD.

Mirrorless cameras show a ‘live view’ of what the exposure will exist like one time you press the shutter button – DSLRs don’t take the same EVF live view option.

Permit’s check out some of the pros and cons of the mechanical shutter:


  • Mechanical shutters allow y’all to apply a flash at a much faster shutter speed than with an electronic shutter.
  • The phenomenon of rolling shutter baloney reduces.
  • They’re much better in situations with flickering lights.


  • Faster shutter speeds are less achievable.
  • Mechanical parts outcome in a lower life span.
  • A mechanical shutter can cause shutter shock – the motility causes the photographic camera to vibrate.
  • They offering slower response times when compared to electronic shutters.

Electronic Shutter

Mirrorless digital cameras besides characteristic an electronic shutter that replicates the actions of a mechanical shutter.

Having the selection of switching betwixt electronic and mechanical provides greater flexibility in varying shooting atmospheric condition. Some mirrorless cameras automatically switch betwixt the two to meet the irresolute light.

When yous press the shutter push, instead of a concrete device moving abroad from the image sensor, the sensor starts and stops reading the light.

This happens in one of two ways.

The first is known every bit a global shutter or total shutter – the photographic camera sensor switches completely on and off for the duration as per the shutter speed.

The second is a rolling shutter, which sees the camera sensor switching on and off in a rolling movement down the shutter – row by row.

There are many benefits to using an electronic shutter, just they have a few setbacks, too. Let’s have a await:


  • Electronic shutters are entirely silent, making them ideal for street photography and capturing wildlife.
  • They shoot at much higher shutter speeds than a mechanical shutter.
  • The frames per 2d shooting rate are higher every bit the electronic shutter outpaces a mechanical shutter’south movement.
  • The blackout experienced in DSLR cameras is not equally evident.
  • No moving parts – no photographic camera vibration.


  • Rolling shutter causes distortion, specially when photographing fast-moving objects.
  • Flash speeds tend to be lower than with a DSLR.
  • Electronic shutters struggle with flickering lights.

Other Types of Camera Shutter

And then far, we’ve discovered what a camera shutter is and what information technology does to create images.

We’ve too learnt the critical departure between mirrorless and DSLR camera engineering and the part played by mechanical and electronic shutters.

Finally, we’ve uncovered the mechanical shutter’s two primary forms – the focal plane and the leaf shutter.

Electronic shutters are getting a lot of attention from photographic camera developers now every bit the march to mirrorless cameras picks up pace.

Nonetheless, several electronic shutter types be in various makes and models. Let’s take a look at the different types of electronic camera shutter.

  • Rolling Shutter

As discussed, a rolling shutter is an electronic shutter that doesn’t use a mechanical device to expose the camera sensor.

Instead, the sensor acts equally the shutter by switching on and off, row-by-row of the sensor array. The action works from the peak of the sensor downwards to the bottom in a sweeping motion.

As a event, a rolling shutter can achieve fast shutter speeds but result in image distortion when capturing fast-moving objects.

A rolling shutter also supports loftier FPS rates as the side by side wave begins at the top before the last moving ridge has finished at the sensor’south bottom.

You should also read our guide: how do yous avoid the rolling shutter consequence?

  • Hybrid Shutter

Hybrid shutters combine a mechanical and electronic shutter – they operate in unison. The mechanical shutter physically covers the shutter with a pall and moves out of the style to betrayal the sensor.

Once information technology has moved, the sensor uses an electronic rolling shutter to capture the incoming lite.

  • Global Shutter

Dissimilar a rolling shutter where rows of the sensor switch on and off in waves, a global shutter has the entire sensor turn on and off equally one.

Global shutters deliver outstanding image resolution and excellent racket management in depression-light shooting weather.

  • Silent Shutter

Almost all electronic shutters are silent – there are no moving parts to make noise or vibration detected in long exposure.

What’due south more than, most mirrorless cameras have a silent shooting mode where yous turn off all electronic beeps, such as those that happen when the focus is acquired or y’all press the shutter push.

Silent shutter and silent mode are ideal for wildlife photography where you don’t want to spook the animals with photographic camera noise.

Photographic camera Shutter FAQs

How long does a camera shutter last?

There’due south an excellent reason why vintage film cameras are still in use today – they last. DSLR manufacturers announce that their mechanical shutters last for a set shutter count. Yet, they usually last well across this. Depending on the camera’s quality, a shutter count tin extend to anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000.

Do mirrorless cameras have a shutter life?

Mirrorless cameras work differently every bit the process of taking a photo does not flip a mirror upward and down as it does in a DSLR. Most mirrorless cameras have a mechanical shutter that reveals the sensor and an electronic shutter that digitally replicates this movement.

So while there’s still a shutter, information technology has less demand upon it, and as a event, mirrorless cameras ofttimes last longer than DSLRs.

Do smartphone cameras have shutters?

Smartphone cameras don’t have shutters equally they’re too small to fit a mechanical one. Withal, smartphones have an electronic shutter that digitally replicates the role of a mechanical ane.

Tin you replace a camera shutter?

Yes, you can replace a camera shutter and any other function of a photographic camera for a cost. If you have a camera that you dearest, but the mechanical shutter has stopped working, you can have it repaired or replaced by a service centre. Even so, in some cases, it’south more cost-effective to replace the camera entirely.

Cheque out our guide on how to bank check your shutter count.

How exercise I know if my photographic camera shutter is broken?

If y’all look into the camera when you lot’ve removed the lens, yous’ll run into the image sensor. When you printing the shutter button, you’ll meet a flutter of move as the shutter responds. If you don’t encounter this and cannot take a picture, the shutter may be stuck or no longer functional.

Final Words

All too often, nosotros take the way things work for granted. Equally much equally I’d similar to thank tiny magical unicorns within the camera for making the pretty photos, in that location’s a lot more to information technology.

Camera shutters on DSLR and mirrorless cameras are incredibly complex devices with decades of research and technology behind them.

The fact that they make a shutter to terminal 200,000 actions is astounding past today’s standards – especially when y’all consider the expected life span of a lot of consumer electronics.

A fundamental of learning photography is to understand the math, scientific discipline and engineering behind these fantastic pieces of equipment. Information technology makes yous a better lensman to know the limitation of your gear.

What are your thoughts on the unlike types of camera shutters? Exercise you have a preference for electronic versus mechanical? Or are you lot a die-hard fan of the leaf shutter?

Join the word and share your thoughts below. Don’t be agape to inquire questions and share your experiences.


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