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The alpha shutter count tool

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al View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote al Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 00:55
Wow, this is great, thanks!
 



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analytical View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 01:03
I did an A99 jpg as well. It matched my image numbering, few though they are at this point. This included images with Electronic first curtain both on and off, so both count as one activation. This makes sense, since EFC off requires exactly the same sequence of steps as an SLR image. The only difference is the parking spot between images.       
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 02:02
Thank you Borut. Thank you Phil. You guys have provided a most wonderful gift to the Alpha community. Really incredible. Most appreciated.

And thank you Minolta for designing it! And thank you Sony for building it so well, lasting well beyond the 100,000 rated life. We're just getting started here, now that she's warmed up!



Yes, I've gone through old files from the beginning, running all the numbers. Everything seems in order.

Edited by Photosopher - 18 April 2013 at 02:05
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Post Options Post Options   Quote blinztree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 03:13
Huge THANKS! to Borut and Phil. A very badly needed tool and you Blokes have taken the trouble to provide it. Again, Big Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waleskeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 03:32
Accurate read here on A900:

Detected Camera model : DSLR-A900
Images taken / shutter actuations made up to file DSC03007.JPG: 10892
| | | | Sony_FocusInfo_0x0846 = 140
| | | | Sony_FocusInfo_0x0847 = 42
| | | | Sony_FocusInfo_0x0848 = 0
(65536 * 0) + (256 * 42) + 140 = 10892

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Post Options Post Options   Quote john925 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 05:36
Just want to say Thank You! This is a great tool.   
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote boardhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 13:12
Hi Borut,

Would it be possible for you to post a summary of your findings so that I can add this to ExifTool?

- Phil
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 13:41
Sure, it's no problem. The grit of it is written on the first page of the tool (must be expanded with clicking on the "versions" below).
So here goes my description.

There are four versions of image count/shutter count used by the alphas.
I assume that the numbers always consists of 4 bytes (the 4th one is 0 in all cases I have seen so far, which is logical, a camera should have more than 16.7M actuations). It is also possible that only 3 bytes are used - not sure about this.
(all bytes are MSB on the left)

Version 1 - for A230 A290 A330 A380 A390 A850 A900:
image counter is in field Sony_FocusInfo bytes
0x0849 0x0848 0x0847 0x0846

Version 2a - for A450 A500 A550
image counter is in field Sony_MoreInfo0201 bytes
0x014d 0x014c 0x014b 0x014a

version 2b - for A33 A35 A55 A560 A580 NEX-3 NEX-C3 NEX-5
image counter is in field Sony_MoreInfo0201 bytes
0x011e 0x011d 0x011c 0x011b
actual shutter actuation counter is in field Sony_MoreInfo0201 bytes
0x0128 0x0127 0x0126 0x0125
The difference here is that for each image made there is one extra shutter actuation if using live-view (so default on SLTS and NEXes).
This can be easily seen with the 560 and 580 when using ManualFocusLiveView (as SONY calls it). A similar counter could also exist for version 2a (since those cameras also have MFLV), but I have not yet had the time to check - will check with an A500 during the weekend.

version 3 - for all newer SONY cameras: A37 A57 A58 A65 A77 A99 NEX-3N NEX-3F NEX-5N NEX-5R NEX-6 NEX-7
image counter is in field Sony_Tag9050 bytes
0x0035 0x0034 0x0033 0x0032
Since these cameras also use live view (and you can enable/disable electronic first curtain in some of them) I suspect that they have a seperate shutter actuation counter as well (like version 2b). I will test for this during the weekend with an A77.

So this is what I know so far!

Cheers,
Borut

Edited by Guy - 18 April 2013 at 13:45
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ricardovaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 13:46
Originally posted by Photosopher Photosopher wrote:

Thank you Borut. Thank you Phil. You guys have provided a most wonderful gift to the Alpha community. Really incredible. Most appreciated.

And thank you Minolta for designing it! And thank you Sony for building it so well, lasting well beyond the 100,000 rated life. We're just getting started here, now that she's warmed up!



Yes, I've gone through old files from the beginning, running all the numbers. Everything seems in order.


Sounds like you need a new shutter :-). Joking of course, I'll be interested to see how long yours lasts. I wonder how long there will be parts for these cameras though? Any ideas?
I photograph the moments in people's lives that mean the most to them: Richard Harris Photography
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harveyzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 14:03
Is the reason that the A100, A200, A300, A350 and A700 (and, indeed, 5D and 7D) are not supported because the count is stored there, or is there another reason?
Tom Harvey

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Guy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 14:18
Originally posted by harveyzone harveyzone wrote:

Is the reason that the A100, A200, A300, A350 and A700 (and, indeed, 5D and 7D) are not supported because the count is stored there, or is there another reason?

Well, I am unable to locate the counter in those files.
I have a small helper program that quickly searches for increasing sequences in the makernotes, however I have been unsuccessful so far.
It is entirely possible that minolta did not plan for this to be included in the files and that SONY simply didn't include it until the A900 (which is the first model to sport this counter - in a field called FocusInfo )
Another possibility is that it is there, but encrypted. Since I sadly lack the time to even keep up with work I am unable to try to de-crypt this.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote boardhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 16:25
Hi Borut,

Thanks! I'm working on adding this now, and I'll report back when I'm done testing. One thing I have noticed though... it seems the counts in MoreInfo0201 are 3 bytes, not 4. I have some samples with a non-zero high-order byte. 3 bytes gives 16 million, so I expect that no real counts would be above this.

- Phil

Edit: I checked out your web page and expanded your links as you said. I see you're only using 3 bytes anyway, which agrees with my observations.

Edited by boardhead - 18 April 2013 at 18:10
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Post Options Post Options   Quote analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 17:53
Originally posted by Guy Guy wrote:

version 2b ...The difference here is that for each image made there is one extra shutter actuation if using live-view... This can be easily seen with the 560 and 580
The 580 has two live modes. The one that uses a separate small sensor that doesn't require any different shutter cycle. The main sensor live view mode requires the mirror to lift and the first curtain to open to expose the sensor. To record an image the mirror could stay up, but the first curtain has to close before the timed exposure starts. No reason for the second curtain to do anything different - it stays open all the time until it ends the timed exposure. So in this mode there is an extra first curtain cycle, but not two full shutter cycles. A better description of the two counts would be first curtain cycles versus second curtain cycles. Second curtain cycles the will be the lower number.   (Assuming I have the mechanics correct.)

Originally posted by Guy Guy wrote:

version 3...Since these cameras also use live view (and you can enable/disable electronic first curtain in some of them) I suspect that they have a separate shutter actuation counter as well (like version 2b). I will test for this during the weekend with an A77.
If that turns out to be the case, the meaning may be the same as for 580 or different depending on how you look at it.                   

With EFC=off the steps of the SLT shutter sequence are exactly the same as in SLRs like A900, A700. The only difference is the parking spot. An SLR moves the first curtain back to closed at the end of the shutter cycle, while the the SLT waits until the start of the next shutter cycle to close it. So EFC=off matches the traditional definition of one shutter count. EFC=on only cycles the second curtain, while the first curtain remains parked at open. Sort of a half cycle.

In any case if there are two counts, then the definition in mechanical terms would again be first curtain cycles versus second curtain cycles. But in this case there are fewer first curtain cycles compared to a traditional SLR rather than more. The first curtain count will be the lower number.

Separately, the A900 has an intelligent preview feature that does a full shutter cycle, then displays the image on the LCD, where you can preview adjustments with camera controls. But it does not record an image to card or increment the image file name. You can do this many times before taking a regular image. I wonder whether live preview increments the metadata shutter count. ( I don't use this feature).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2013 at 18:49
@analytical
I think you are a bit mistaken about how the shutter functions in an SLT. I don't want to be disrespectful, but just to clear it up a bit,
I'll write what I think is happening and what sounds logical to me:
Regular SLR cycle
1 -> shutter closed
2 -> shutter opens
3 -> image acquisition
4 -> shutters closes (to end the exposure)

SLT without EFC
1 -> shutter opened
2 -> shutter closes (to ensure a starting "black frame")
3 -> shutter opens
4 -> image acquisition
5 -> shutter closes (to end the exposure)
6 -> shutter opens
7 -> live view

SLT with EFC
1 -> shutter opened
2 -> image acquisition (when triggered)
3 -> shutter closes (to end the exposure)
4 -> shutter opens
5 -> live view

Also, this double shutter action is clearly heard on the manual focus live view models (I personally have the A500).
I guess this also explains how my A55 has ~25k total shutter actuations and about 17k images taken
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