How to check the SLR camera when buying
From time to time they ask me questions “how to check the DSLR?”, “And what to check?”, “How to find out the mileage”, and now while writing an answer to a similar question, I got this message:
I think this memo will be useful.
I am one of those people who do not like to spend more money, if you can save. Only two times I bought new SLR cameras in the store (and it was because the price had already jumped, and in our city the price tag had not yet been updated). Anyway, I prefer to take a working chamber from an adequate person cheaper by 20-40% of the cost of a new one. The question always arises: “how to check the camera?” There was a case that I bought the camera myself, and the matrix was damaged in it (it was burnt when shooting the video, thanks to the lasers for this), by the way, it shot just as well, I just put a patch in LR and synchronized frame by frame.
WHAT TO START WITH
For many, the presence of all receipts and documents is important (I am not one of them, but it is always a pleasant bonus), if this is important for you, then check that all numbers on pieces of paper match the numbers on the camera. Nikon (just write / call tech support) and Canon (here is the link) have online camera checks for their “grayness”.
First of all, it is worth inspecting the camera. If there are scuffs, chips, dents - you need to clarify how they are received, do not be afraid of silly questions.
On my camera with a mileage of 350,000 frames, the rubber bands came off (hi, Nikon! For them, this is a standard sore), there were small scratches on the bottom (when you put the camera on the table, small scratches remain willy-nilly), abrasions from the belt and unloading, and there were also a couple of stripes on the flash. Those. nothing special, it doesn’t affect how she removes it, only aesthetics. Be sure to check all the switches, displays, everything should work flawlessly.
Modern SLR cameras do not have power problems, even 800-1000 frames can be taken on a simple modern digital SLR camera. Even if the battery runs out quickly, now there are a lot of good analogues that cost an order of magnitude cheaper than the original, so this is not the most important point. But the state of the contacts inside the battery compartment should be inspected for rust (if you fill the camera with water, do not expect anything good).
CAMERA DRIVE / SHUTTER TEST
And now you need to know the mileage of the cameras (the number of shutter releases). The shutter itself is a very reliable thing, for example, on the Nikon d700 camera, it took about 350-380 thousand operations, then I sold the camera, and it is still alive, another example is the Nikon D3s keeps and is not going to, but on it account already 800 thousand operations. In general, the statistics are worth a look here http://amarkov.ru/www.olegkikin.com/shutterlife/ - statistics of the shutter release of SLR cameras.
How to find out Nikon shutter mileage
Nikon does not hide data on how many shutter operations were made, in exif you can see this data using the ShowExif_06-16beta program (download from my site)
We see that the mileage is only 209 539 frames, for the Nikon D4 - this is nothing.
For users of MAC OS, there is a standard program “view.app” - open the image in it and press the command + I combination, go to the “Nikon” tab and look at the “number of descents” item.
How to know Canon shutter mileage
C Canon is not so simple. Only when connecting the camera to a working computer.
MAC OS: ShutterCount From DIRE Studio - download and watch
Windows OS: install the program and look. At the beginning of 2016, only the native program and the method described below are relevant for new cameras, other methods, as far as I know, show anything, but not a real mileage. This is often used by Indians / Pakistanis who sell used items. cameras "like new" at VDNH and in cheap online stores.
To check / find out the mileage of the camera (or rather the shutter), you need:
- Download and install the program - EOSMSG V4.5 (download my site - when there were no viruses, antivirus can swear on the 7Z archive) (here is the link http://amarkov.ru/www.eosmsg.com, but here is a direct link to the download http://amarkov.ru/www.eosmsg.com/eosmsg.exe).
- During installation, all the time click "next"
- Run the program (watch the video below)
- We connect the camera via USB to the computer
- We look at the value of "ShotCount"
Here you can see how it looks (video)
In general, replacing the shutter in the camera does not cost space money (regarding the cost of the camera itself and its life).
For example, replacing the shutter in the Nikon d700 costs
13 000 rubles, and replacing the shutter in Nikon D3s will cost 14832 rubles, with this guarantee will be 150,000 operations (in reality ... I don’t even know, see the statistics above).
CHECK THE SHUTTER FOR OPERATION
We put the shutter speed 1/4000, then 1/8000 make a series of frames. If there are no vertical stripes, then the shutter is still alive, when it breaks no one knows.
It is desirable that there is no dust on the matrix. Dust is bad; dust needs to be cleaned carefully.
The matrix needs to be checked for hot, cold, broken pixels. First a little theory:
What does a dead / cold pixel mean?
A dead / cold pixel is a photosensitive matrix element that does not work at all. It is determined by the color and brightness of the pixel. If the picture was taken without access of light to the camera, then the working pixel will be close in color and brightness to black. If the pixel is instead white and has a higher brightness, then it does not work.
What does a bad / hot pixel mean?
A bad / hot pixel is determined by checking its brightness. If the brightness of the pixel is higher than the set threshold (threshold), it is considered malfunctioning and is added to the report. Depending on the shutter speed and ISO value, a bad pixel may work completely fine and will not be added to the list of problem pixels. Such bad pixels are no different from ordinary electronic noise and are easily removed by noise reduction.
To check the matrix of the SLR camera for broken and hot pixels, it is necessary:
- Disable Noise Reduction - Noise Reduction OFF
- Shooting best in RAW without compression (or at least in tiff)
- Set the sensitivity of the matrix close to the minimum, for example, ISO 100 (or 200, if this is the hardware minimum of the tested camera)
- Set manual exposure mode - M
- Disable autofocus -AF / MF at MF position
- To check the operability of the camera’s matrix, take three frames without removing the lens cap with different shutter speeds: 1 / 3sec, 1/60 sec, 3 sec.
After the test, carefully review the captured frames at high magnification. It is better to copy files to a computer and view on a monitor screen.
- If in a picture taken with a shutter speed of 1/3 sec. If there are no dots of gray, blue or red color (hot and cold pixels), then the matrix passed the first stage of verification.
- If you can see several points of gray, red or blue, you should look at the frame shot with a shutter speed of 1 / 60sec.
- If color dots are not visible on this frame or they become much smaller (hot pixels appear at slow shutter speeds), we believe that the camera passed the first stage of verification.
- Now, look at the frame taken at a slow shutter speed of 3 seconds. At fully functional matrix, up to 5-6 color points may appear (those very hot pixels) at a slow shutter speed. This is not considered a marriage due to the features of the manufacturing technology of the matrix. In addition, a small number of colored dots on a slow shutter speed does not affect the quality of the photographs, as at slow shutter speeds, noise reduction is usually automatically turned on and no colored dots will be visible.
Extremely slow shutter speeds are extremely rare in ordinary shooting. It is also possible that colored dots may appear at high sensitivity values - these are also hot pixels, but at high ISO values it is also often necessary to turn on a noise canceler.
But if colored dots are visible at medium shutter speeds in combination with low ISO values, then the matrix has bad pixels - most likely dead (broken) ones. In theory, if there are less than 5 such pixels, then this is not a defectIs the cost of technology. If there are more than 5 broken pixels, then I recommend to refuse the purchase.
There is an application Dead Pixel Test (download from my site), it simplifies the task of checking the matrix.
Dead Pixel Test - INSTRUCTIONS
The DPT utility is designed to search for dead pixels on the matrix of your camera. DPT also allows you to detect hot pixels that may appear at slow shutter speeds and high ISOs, but can be removed by the squelch.
This program can be used free of charge for non-commercial purposes. Commercial use and distribution of this program is prohibited without the prior written permission of StarZen Technologies, Inc.
DPT is delivered “as is” without warranty of any kind, including compatibility, availability and data reliability, etc. Responsibility for using the program and possible damage caused is assumed by the user. Any claims for damaged equipment or software products related to the use of this program will not be considered and claims will not be accepted, either by the author of the program Michael Salzlechner, or any supplier or distributor.
HOW TO WORK WITH THE PROGRAM
Prevent light from entering your camera. To do this, close the lens of your camera with a lightproof cover or any lightproof material. When testing with a single-lens reflex camera, also close the viewfinder eyepiece with a special blind / shutter or any opaque material. For greater accuracy of the test, it is recommended to disable intra-chamber noise reduction at slow shutter speeds and high ISO.
Release the shutter several times with various shutter speeds from 1 / 30sec to 2sec or more.
The best test results can be obtained when testing the matrix in RAW or TIFF mode, since in-camera processing of the image when saved in JPEG can lead to compression artifacts and false hot / cold pixels, which actually are not.
Save the test shots to your computer. If you run the test in RAW format, convert the test images to TIFF without processing and run the DeadPixelTest.EXE file
Press the ‘Browse’ button and select one of the test shots. Now press the ‘Test’ button.
The snapshot will be uploaded and file analysis will begin, while you can observe the progress of the analysis in the lower left field of the program interface. After analyzing the file, the program will output the number of inactive / cold (dead) and hot (hot) pixels and show a histogram of the test image. To the right of the histogram, a report list appears with the coordinates (X, Y) of the problem pixels by their brightness (Luminance)
When you click on the type of pixel in the report (Type), you can see it in high magnification in the Preview window.
The maximum number of problem pixels indicated in the report is limited to 100 for reasons of data processing speed and the low probability of the presence of such a number of bad pixels.
Test showed too many problematic pixels
Verify that the test performed correctly.
- Use TIFF, not JPG format.
- Verify that the lens cap is clear and is worn correctly.
- Make sure that no light enters through the optical viewfinder.
- Manually check for problem pixels in any photo editor - the coordinates are given in the report. If you did not find so many problem pixels, check the ‘Treshold for hot pixels’ and ‘Treshold for dead pixels’ fields - the optimal values are 60 and 250, respectively.
That's probably all you need to know. Short summary:
- External condition (chips, scratches, screens, buttons)
- Mileage / Shutter
HOW TO CHECK AUTO FOCUS
So. The easiest option is to take a few frames (I always recommend 10) - if everything suits you and you think that the camera focused on the very object that you indicated, then everything is ok. If you want more detail, then read below.
Adequate an opinion on the presence or absence of back and front tricks can be given by an authorized equipment manufacturer service center. But preliminary testing can be done by yourself, it’s easy. it highly a simplified technique, it is worthwhile to understand that the actions of the photographer themselves can lead to back focus, for example, if you shoot a person in height and focuses in the eyes at a central point, and then lowers / shifts the camera to frame the image, we get back focus. Camera capture, style, focus point selection and pressing the shutter button affects focus. Spend adjustment your lenses and the cameras at the service center at least once a year. For the purity of the test, you need to use a proven (aligned) lens.
It is time to check the correct operation of autofocus, for this there are special targets, if there is no target, then you can use the usual line, templates can be downloaded here and here):
A bit of theory.
Digital SLR cameras are mainly used autofocus phase type. A sensor is installed in the camera, it is with the help of it that phase focusing occurs. This is a fairly complex system that must work in concert, but sometimes deviations occur. As a result of these deviations, there will be repeated autofocus errors, which are called back- and front-focuses.
Back focus - The camera regularly focuses not on the subject, but behind it. Front focus, the camera focuses regularly in front of the subject.
It is worth noting that the presence of back and front focus is a systematic mistake with focusing, if one frame turned out to be sharp and the other does not, then the problem should be sought elsewhere.
The problem of back and front focus is clearly visible when working with high-aperture optics (especially portrait, for example, 50mm, 85mm, etc.) - the depth of field will be very small, in which case a violation of the autofocus will be clearly noticeable. Errors in focusing can be compensated by a large depth of field (you can find out what depth of field is here), for example, if you set f / 3.5, f / 5.6, f / 8 and so on.
By enabling Live View in the SLR, you can use contrast type autofocus, with this type of focusing, there can be no back and front focus, since it does not require separate sensors, the focus passes directly along the matrix of the digital camera.
FOCUS ACCURACY CHECK
Adequate an opinion on the presence or absence of back and front tricks can be given by an authorized equipment manufacturer service center. But preliminary testing can be done by yourself, it’s easy here is an easy way to check:
- Take ready the camera and proven lens, quality convenient for you is set, adjustment by light (ISO 100-200 (minimize noise), shutter speed so that there is no blur, there should be enough light (window, lighting, flashes), I recommend testing for verified (adjusted) fast lenses from 50mm (50mm f / 1.4 (1.8) or 85mm f / 1.4 (1.8)) or fast zoom (also start at 50mm)
- Set the maximum aperture - open the maximum aperture at the maximum (minimum number of aperture, for example, f / 1.4)
- Turn on autofocus (if it is turned off) and select the focus mode on one point
- We take the target for verification, like this
- Ideally, the camera should be mounted on a tripod
- The target should lie on a flat surface, the camera should be at an angle of 45 degrees
- The distance to the target is minimum
- Select a point in the center.
- Focus on the center of the red rectangle labeled “focus here”
- The black line with the inscription "focus here" should be in the center of the frame and at right angles to the optical axis
- I recommend not to use burst shooting (use single-frame) and take at least 10 frames, before you make the next frame, you need to focus again
- Now we copy the received frames to the computer and consider
As mentioned above, if you see a repeated focusing error on all frames, then most likely you have back-focus or front-focus - this is easily fixed in the service center, and some advanced cameras have fine-tuning autofocus (if there is no laziness someday I will tell you about it, but I’ll immediately reveal a secret - the whole procedure is described in the instructions).
If there are problems with autofocus other than those described above, I recommend that you study the problem in more detail and think about buying a camera. The best way is to send the camera to a service center.
PS. There are targets for verification, for example, spyderlenscal (4500-6000 rubles).
If in doubt, ask competent people for help. Good luck
Canon and Nikon are the undisputed leaders in the DSLR market. The quality of the equipment from these companies has been tested by time and many satisfied customers. Naturally, you have to pay extra for the brand. For this reason, many novice photographers who are just mastering SLR cameras take lenses from lesser-known manufacturers: Tamron, Sigma, etc. Moreover, the combination of price and quality often leaves customers satisfied. It is difficult to advise a specific company, one must also pay attention to the parameters of the lens itself.
The focal length determines how far it will bring objects closer. According to the focal length, lenses can be divided into three groups:
1. Ordinary. They have a viewing angle of 50 degrees and a focal length of 50 mm. The picture is familiar, with the help of such lenses you can shoot most of the plots.
2. Long telephoto. The viewing angle is less than 30 degrees, the focal length varies between 85 and 500 mm (approximately). Some lenses have a focal length of up to 1300 mm - it's almost a telescope! Although the same Canon is limited to 400 mm.
3. Wide-angle. Viewing angle of more than 50 degrees, focal length from 12 to 35 mm. Capable of capturing impressive volumes of space, ideal for those cases when you need, for example, shooting a landscape or the interior of an apartment.
Do not forget that there are fixes (have a constant focal length) and zooms (a variable focal length). Zooms are more expensive than fixes, but they are more universal, so it makes sense to purchase one zoom and several fixes.
Another important parameter of the lens is its aperture ratio. Expensive quality lenses let in more light than their budget counterparts. The more light that passes through your lens, the better, because it greatly facilitates photography in dark rooms and allows for greater clarity. If you mainly shoot beaches and landscapes, where there is more than enough light, the issue of aperture ratio may not bother you.
Optical image stabilization helps to take good pictures in low light. The optical stabilizer is located in the lens itself. For Canon lenses, this parameter is marked with the letters IS, for Nikons - VR, for Sigma - OS.
You should also pay attention to the bayonet mount - the system for attaching the lens to the camera. Mounts are of different types, depending on the matrix - it is cropped or full-format. Lenses that were developed taking into account the crop factor cannot be used on full-format cameras, as a rule. When buying a lens of an analog company, you should pay attention to the camera of which manufacturer the lens was created. So, Sigma produces lenses whose mounts are designed for Nikon and Canon.
Choosing a lens, especially if you buy it with your hands, conduct a series of independent tests. You never know what they can palm off on you. To check the area of sharpness, photograph a sheet of paper with divisions or a regular ruler, placing it perpendicular to the camera. Focus on the marked division, and then on the computer monitor, check whether the zone of sharpness is where you aimed, or not.
You can check the uniform distribution of sharpness and the absence of distortion by photographing a regular newspaper, if you place it clearly opposite the camera and parallel to the last lens. Look for distortion, sharpness disappears to the edges of the frame.
And the last test: photograph tree branches against the sky and look at the image in magnification to check for artifacts in the form of colored stripes around your lens - this is the effect of chromatic aberration. The less pronounced it is, the better.
Shutter count viewer
This application reads EXIF files and provides information about the shutter. I will tell you right away that, unlike Nikon, not all Sanon cameras record information in a photograph. Only the EOS-1D, EOS-1D Mark II, EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS-1D Mark III, EOS-1Ds, EOS-1Ds Mark II, EOS-1Ds Mark III models record information in a photograph, that is, only professional Full-frame cameras record information in a photograph.
Shutter Count Viewer can be downloaded absolutely free from the official website of the developer.
More than one model of this manufacturer, that is, Canon, does not. Even, of the above models, not everyone writes the correct information.
And if you do not believe me, and start looking for other programs that read EXIF files or sites that claim that it is with the help of their shamanistic programs that you can see the mileage, then of course ahead, and put the flag in your hands. But in your place, I would not waste time searching, since it is useless.
What can really help you is the EOSInfo program.
This application does not watch the shutter release from the photo file, it looks information from the camera itself. Download and install the EOSInfo program on your computer. Connect your canon camera to your computer via usb cable. Run the program. We look at the result. She works with cameras on DIGIC III, DIGIC IV processors. There is a possibility that the application may not work with new camera models.
According to the developer, the application works with the following models of Canon 1D * / 5D / 10D / 20D / 30D / 40D / 50D / 300D / 350D / 400D / 450D / 500D / 1000D /
It works the same as the previous ones, connecting via the USB port. Download the EOSMSG application for free from the official website.
After downloading, install the program. We connect the camera to the computer and start it. If your camera is supported by the application, we admire the result.
Important! My advice is, if your camera does not show mileage with any of the above applications, and the need to find out the shutter is very important for you, contact the service center.
These are the main programs with which it is possible to see the shutter release of the camera. There are similar applications on the Internet, but be careful, my antivirus, and I use Kaspersky, swears at them. Therefore, computer security should be in the first place for you.
If you are really interested in what a SLR camera is and what it is eaten with. If you want to take not just photos, but those that are obtained from professionals, then the video course “Digital SLR for a beginner 2.0” is your salvation into the world of high-quality photos. Take a look at this course, and you will not regret it, and your knowledge of photography and photographic equipment, the statute is colossal. I highly recommend it to you.
On this beautiful note, I will end my article. I really hope that the information provided in the article was useful to you and found what you were looking for. I would be very grateful if you share the article in the social. networks. Subscribe to the blog update, ahead of you waiting for even cooler photo information. See you soon. Bye Bye.
What is mileage and why is it important?
New cameras now cost such money that many have no choice but to buy used ones. By the way, I also have Nikon, which I, like you, had to take "with hands." And I’ll say from my own experience that there’s nothing wrong with that - you can get a good working device if you carefully check it before buying.
Yes, you should pay attention to visual defects. If the device has a lot of scuffs and chips, and a lens with scratches, it means that it was not taken care of and “inside” could be damaged. In this case, it is advisable to let the specialist see the device before purchasing. But a more important parameter to consider is mileage.
What is it?
The cameras have a shutter that closes and opens every time you press the shutter button. It is needed so that the light does not fall on the matrix. The shutter has a limited number of operations. It is called mileage. This parameter shows how many photos were taken.
To let you know which mileage is considered large, I’ll give you general standards for shutters on different cameras:
- The simplest digital cameras have a resource of 20,000 frames,
- The same compact devices, but with a class higher (pseudo-mirror) - 30,000 operations,
- At entry-level DSLRs, the resource is 50,000 times,
- Mid-range mirrored devices can snap from 50 to 70 thousand photos,
- If you are dealing with a semi-professional carcass, you have 80-100 thousand operations at your disposal,
- Professional cameras have a resource in the range of 100-150 thousand times,
- Those pro-machines that are designed for heavy use have a limit of photographing, on average, 400,000 frames.
In particular, for popular Nikon models, the numbers are:
- D40 - 10-20 thousand,
- D70, D80, D90, D200, D3100, D5000 - 100 thousand,
- D300, D7000 - 150 thousand,
- D3, D3x - up to 300 thousand
If the device you have selected is not in the list, see the characteristics in the product descriptions in online stores.
Ways to calculate mileage
To check the mileage, you need to see the properties of the photo - EXIF. I will give some examples of how to do this.
For any of the methods, you will need a fresh picture taken with the camera of your choice. It must be original, that is, not edited in Photoshop or elsewhere.
You can see the mileage online. It's simple: go to the website http://www.nikonshuttercount.com/, upload a photo and get the result. But there is not always access to the Internet. In this case, it is worth using another method.
There are a lot of special utilities to help photographers. One of them is Picasa 3 from Google. It has rich functionality, but in the framework of this article we are only interested in the number of shutter releases.
After installing the program, open the photo through it. Go to the "Properties" window by holding Alt + Enter. In the column on the right you will see different parameters, among which there will be “Image Number”.
As an alternative, PhotoME is suitable for our purpose. In this case, you should also upload a photo, after which the utility will display all the information about it. Scroll the slider below to the "Manufacturer's Notes" section. The “Shutter Count” line will have the number you are looking for.
The Shutter Count Viewer, ShowExif, etc. applications operate on a similar principle.
Bright and positive shooting for you.
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