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12-22-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
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Does using video on DSLR has an impact on its lifespan?

We all know that recent Pentax DSLR's shutter life is tested for 100,000 clicks. Once the shutter dies it's probably better to buy a new body rather than have it fixed.

That being said, if one uses a lot of the video function, does it have any negative effect on the shutter or the sensor life? Is there any official documentation on that matter?

12-22-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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I think the shutter stays open the whole time when using Live View or recording video, doesn't it? If so, it's not going to affect shutter lifespan in any way I can think of.
12-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I think the shutter stays open the whole time when using Live View or recording video, doesn't it? If so, it's not going to affect shutter lifespan in any way I can think of.
Well when you think of it, the shutter is normally built to open and close, now it stays open more than it normally would.

Also, since the video mode leaves the shutter open all the time during the recording, the sensor is working more as well, would that have an impact on the sensor?
12-22-2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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Subscribing to this thread as I plan to do a lot of video work as well. I would like to think that it doesn't have much effect on the shutter, although the sensor is an entirely different thing altogether.

12-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #5
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If it does, you better not buy my camera after intensive use.
12-22-2011, 03:26 PM   #6
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I can't imagine it's good for it. You have heat buildup a lot more compared to taking stills. *shutter comment removed*

Last edited by sjwaldron; 12-23-2011 at 12:00 AM.
12-22-2011, 03:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
plus the shutter must be working as normal continiously, otherwise there wouldn't be "rolling shutter" with DSLRs if the shutter was always open.
No, the rolling shutter effect is caused by the sensor data being read line by line, not because the shutter is opening and closing faster than its X-sync speed. The shutter in video mode is indeed open all the time, but the data is still being read from the sensor line by line.

It wouldn't be possible to use the physical shutter for video in most DSLRs due to the recovery time between actuations.
12-22-2011, 04:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
It wouldn't be possible to use the physical shutter for video in most DSLRs due to the recovery time between actuations.
no kidding, it wouldn't be physically impossible to produce a shutter for an SLR camera that was light weight and reliable enough to fire 30 times every second and even if you could, you would use up those 100,000 actuations in several minutes. A global shutter would be better than the rolling shutter we have to work with at the moment, however that technology is yet to be seen in any camera equipped with an APS-C sized sensor.

12-22-2011, 05:15 PM   #9
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Right, the shutter doesn't get any extra wear in either video shooting or live view. But image sensor does naturally decay faster and the image quality is getting lower and lower - though very slowly.
12-22-2011, 07:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
But image sensor does naturally decay faster and the image quality is getting lower and lower - though very slowly
I presume you have empirical evidence of this?
12-22-2011, 10:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
Right, the shutter doesn't get any extra wear in either video shooting or live view. But image sensor does naturally decay faster and the image quality is getting lower and lower - though very slowly.
There is a wear on the pixels so there might be some dead pixels developing over time
CCD and CMOS sensor can be compared with memory like the ones in USB sticks or SD cards.
But the life span is very long for the sensor if you also take photos with it your shutter will hit the limit sooner.
12-22-2011, 10:23 PM   #12
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In a DSLR without live view or video the shutter would only open to take a photo, but with today's DSLR's, the shutter opens and closes every time we use live view or video, so yes it does get used more, but perhaps they are designed also better to withstand the increased use.
12-22-2011, 11:17 PM   #13
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The main thing that causes electronics to wear out (the non-moving but electronic parts, chips, etc) is heat, so I would say yes it probably definitely has an effect. Whether it matters is another thing. (If using video a lot causes your camera to only last 50 years instead of 100, then it really doesn't matter.)
12-23-2011, 04:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I presume you have empirical evidence of this?
No hard evidence, but I have some knowledge of the semiconductor technology (I do work in the industry) and I have the impression that the photos I take with my old compact camera are noisier than they used to be. But maybe I'm just spoiled by the K-5...
However I try to limit the LV and video usage of DSLR. Anyway it is meant and designed to be used mainly with the OVF.
12-23-2011, 07:21 AM   #15
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Thanks all for you valuable insights and thoughts. I think we have a consensus here that we don't know for sure what are the impacts, if any.

However, majority seems to inclinde towards the idea that video could potentially wear out the sensor quicker. I guess only Pentax and the sensor manufacturer can confirm this theory.
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