How Long Do Cameras Last With Normal Wear?

The average cost of a digital camera in 2022 is $719. However, higher-end products with all the bells and whistles can cost as much as $6,000. When you’re spending this type of money, you’ll probably want to know how long cameras last.
Let’s find out and discuss key factors that contribute to their lifespan, as well as warranty information to protect your investment.

How Long Do Cameras Last? The Short Answer

While the lifespan will vary, most photography experts say it’s 5 to 10 years.
For low-end products made with cheaper materials, the lifespan is usually a bit lower at 3 to 5 years. But, on average, 5 to 10 is what you can expect from most products.

Factors That Contribute to Camera Lifespan

There are several variables that determine how long a camera will last, but here are the top five factors.

Shutter Count

By far, the biggest factor is the shutter count, which is the number of times a camera is used to take a photo (known as an actuation). With most entry-level cameras, you can expect 100,000 shutter actuations, while it can be as many as 400,000 with some high-end cameras.
“You can use this number to estimate how many years the camera may last,” explains Christen da Costa of Gadget Review. “For example, if the shutter count is 200,000 photos and you take 100 photos per day, divide 200,000 by 100 and you get 2,000. This means your camera will wear out in 2,000 days or 5.47 years.”

Exposure to the Elements

A nature photographer who is constantly outdoors where their camera is exposed to harsh temperatures, rain, snow, sand, and so on, will place their camera under far more stress than someone who primarily shoots indoors in a clean, temperature-controlled environment.
As a result, the former shouldn’t expect to get as long a lifespan as the latter because the likelihood of camera damage is significantly higher.


Just like any other type of device with electrical components, exposure to moisture will reduce a camera’s lifespan. Dropping the camera in water can quickly lead to corrosion and ruin critical internal components. Even consistent exposure to humidity like heavy fog can shave time off its life.

Camera Impact

If an impact is serious enough (such as a drop from a building), it can potentially destroy a camera altogether. However, a series of smaller impacts like drops to the ground or bumping a camera up against hard objects can take their toll where it won’t get as high of a shutter count as it would normally.

Wear and Tear

Finally, daily use has a cumulative effect. A camera that receives a lot of use where a photographer uses it several times per week, for example, probably wouldn’t last as long as a camera that’s only used once per month.
Part of this has to do with shutter count, as we mentioned earlier. But another part is simply the wear and tear that comes along with a lot of handling.

How Long Should a Camera Warranty Be?

With the average camera costing over $700, it’s extremely important to protect your investment long-term. However, most manufacturers’ warranties only last one to two years. After that, you’re no longer covered, which leaves the camera vulnerable to damage. To stay protected beyond that period, many photographers choose to get an Upsie extended camera warranty.
Upsie offers clear, transparent plans and costs up to 70% less than in-store offers. In addition, Upsie customers can make unlimited claims up to the camera’s purchase price and contact claims services 24/7. If the repair technicians can’t repair the camera, Upsie offers a camera replacement on the first claim. Upsie also includes Accidental Damage from Handling (ADH) coverage for drops, spills, screen cracks, and more. As a result, Upsie can help extend the life of your camera.

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