All Nikon's modern DSLRs keep track of how many times the shutter has been released - in other words, a running count of the number of shots your camera has taken during it's life. However, Nikon don't make this information particularly easy to find, and have hidden it away in the proprietary MakerNote field of the EXIF information in your out-of-camera JPEG files.
If you want to find out how many shots your camera has taken (on it's current shutter at least; the count is reset if the shutter is replaced), you'll need some software that can interpret and display this field. Firstly, you'll need a fresh JPEG out of your camera. Don't use a JPEG that you've edited (or created from a RAW file) - many image editors will destroy the required information.
Windows users can download an application called iExif from Opanda. Simply load your JPEG into the application (you can do this by right-clicking on your image in Windows Explorer then selecting the 'View ... with iExif' option), click on the EXIF tab, and the Shutter Count can be read from there. Look for the field named "Total Number of Shutter Actuations".
Alternatively, Windows users who shoot in RAW can download the Preview Extractor application. A useful utility in itself, this is designed for extracting the low-resolution JPEG previews that are embedded in the RAW files, but also has a menu option to display the shutter count data stored in the EXIF.
MacIf you're happy getting down the the command line on the Mac, the utility ExifTool (also available for Windows) can deal with the MakerNote metadata. Download and install the package, then fire up Terminal and type:
exiftool DSC_3999.NEFwhere DSC_3999.NEF is the name of your own file. Note that this one also works directly on NEF RAW files.
If you don't want to use the command line, then we've written a little AppleScript for you - simply download the Extract Shutter Count AppleScript, and drop your image(s) on to it. You'll still have to install ExifTool first, as the script uses it to get the EXIF data required.
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