Recently, I started analyzing my images a bit. You know, nearly all cameras are writing some metadata in the image files in addition to the image you’re capturing. I dug all this information out of my developed images but left the undeveloped raw data alone. In this analysis, I’ve included only landscape, macro, Astro, and wildlife images, but no people photography like portraits, models, weddings, or similar things.
I installed the open-source software DigiKam on my computer and configured an image directory. All of my developed images are stored in that directory, but in different folders for each trip. You can find out a bit more about my storage principles in one of my past articles.
DigiKam now read in all the metadata from the jpg files and stored them in an SQLite database. After terminating DigiKam, I was able to open the SQLite database with an SQLBrowser and select all the information I want. I first duplicated the database and started then normalizing the information. Over time, I used different software products for developing my images and not all of them used the exact same writing style for naming the different cameras and lenses.
I was very interested in getting to know my most favorite focal length over time. So, this was the first step: selecting the different camera bodies. Here they are listed with their sensor size and resolution in Mega-Pixel.
|sensor size||MP||used from .. to||shutter count|
|1||entry-level APS-C||10||2008 – 2009||3,700|
|2||adv. level APS-C||12||2009 – 2017||63,800|
|3||pro-level APS-C||24||2017 –||54,500|
|4||Full-Frame||24||2012 – 2014||35,000|
|5||Full-Frame||24||2015 – 2020||61,000|
Hint: body 2 was used a lot for wildlife in addition to the common jobs like landscape, portrait, model, event, and weddings until it was replaced by body 4. From that point in time, I used it only for wildlife until it was replaced by body 3, which is nearly solely used for wildlife. That’s the reason for the very high shutter count of body 3. Body 1 and 2 are already sold and body 4 was replaced because of a product recall. I still own body 5 but only using it for portraits or weddings because of the remote flash capabilities. The shutter has a proposed lifetime of 150,000 exposures (5 + 6) respectively 200,000 (3). So, no need to worry.
In the next table, we have the overall usage of a certain lens in combination with one of the camera bodies. The totals are as interesting as the number of images per camera body.
|10.5mm f2.8 fisheye||APS-C||106||28||134|
|16mm f2.8 fisheye||full frame||39||82||121|
|12-24mm f4.5-5.6||full frame||1||1|
|14-24mm f2.8||full frame||188||319||507|
|24-120mm f4||full frame||2||13||3647||6863||361||10886|
|70-200mm f2.8||full frame||4||1||5|
|70-300mm f4.5-5.6||full frame||4||860||438||142||1444|
|80-400mm f4.5-5.6||full frame||102||4073||239||1111||6||5531|
|150-500 f5-6.3||full frame||227||46||273|
|150-600mm f5-6.3||full frame||2564||38||2602|
|200-500mm f5.6||full frame||34||34|
|800mm f5.6||full frame||154||154|
|90mm f2.8 macro||full frame||15||15|
|100mm f2.8 macro||full frame||102||102|
|105mm f2.8 macro||full frame||53||117||60||556||73||859|
|20mm f1.8||full frame||165||17||182|
|12mm full manual lens||full frame||7||7|
Hint: I don’t own all of the used lenses. I owned some of them at a certain time and sold them already, while I got borrowed others. But, the cameras I got borrowed for testing purposes are not included in these statistics.
Hint 2: the totals per camera in table 2 don’t correspond to the number of shutter releases from table 1. In table 1 I have the total number of shutter releases from the counter inside the camera. The total per camera in table 2 is the number of developed images. Sometimes, I’m taking security shots and develop only one or doing HDR images, where 3 or more different exposed raw files are merged into one final image to benefit from the expanded dynamic range. Astro images are quite similar to HDRs, but here are tens up to hundreds of raw files merged. In wildlife, portrait, and wedding photography, you also take more images as you need for different purposes.
Hint 3: I left out all portrait, wedding, event, model, and engagement photos because I know the most favorite lens for this purpose: the 85mm prime, the 50mm prime as runner up, followed by the 35mm prime. These lenses are quite old. They were made for film cameras (pre-digital). They are perfectly sharp and don’t have distortions, as all modern lenses have (you usually don’t notice this fact, because of the firmware of the lens and the camera, where the distortion is automatically corrected more or less well. But the corrections have an influence on the sharpness. Therefore I’m preferring the prime lenses.
Next, I will see my most favorite focal lengths (shown as 35mm equivalent), aperture, and ISO values.
The last step will be a script, correcting the wrongly labeled images.