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10-16-2013, 04:26 AM   #1
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Shutter Life for Stop-Motion Animation

My 13-year old son has produced some basic, but respectable, short stop-motion animation movies for school with a Canon compact digital camera. I would like to produce several stop-motion movies with my Pentax K-5, but am concerned about the shutter life. While the shutter is rated at 100,000 cycles, at 30 frames per second, a 5-minute movie alone would require 9,000 shots, assuming that all frames are used. Has anyone approached or surpassed 100,000 shutter activations with a K-5, K-5 II, K-5 IIs? If so, have you noticed any degradation in the camera in any way?

10-16-2013, 04:54 AM   #2
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It is very rare for any stop motion animators to shoot at 30 frames a second - things would move very slowly and stop motion animation is extremely time consuming as things are. So take a leaf from the monty python book on animation: less is more.

As far as I can tell the shutter curtains on the Pentax K10D uses similar construction and materials to those used in my K5IIs - and my K10D's shutter is well over 100,000 firings.
10-16-2013, 05:14 AM   #3
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Yes, less can be more. And, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of my favorite films.

Further reading on the stop-motion animation subject shows that even "high end" short films were shot at less than 30 frames per second (fps). A MacWorld article says that 30-minute Wallace and Gromit shorts were shot at 20 fps. So, I'll reduce the frames per second to result in less wear on the shutter and the movie maker.
10-16-2013, 05:50 AM   #4
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I own a K-7 (also rated at 100 000 actuations), and at the moment it's at 135 00 shots with no problems whatsoever, I wouldn't worry about it

10-16-2013, 06:19 AM   #5
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There was one K-5 with 400 000 actuations for sale here in Sweden. I contacted the Swedish service center about a possible shutter exchange and they told me basically not to worry as they haven't seen a worn out K-5 shutter yet.
10-16-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
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I think that a framerate off 15 fps is more then enough for such a project, if not even less.


My K-5 Silver is now on 160k.
10-16-2013, 04:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the positive reports about Pentax DSLR shutter life. I may not need to replace the K-5 until the launch of the successor to the K-3.
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