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Best setting to lock mirror up to reduce vibration

edited August 2016 Posted in » Nikon D5300 Forum
One of the settings that the D7100 has that is missing from the D5300 is the ability to lock the mirror up prior to shutter release. The mirror up setting on the D5300 is for cleaning the sensor.

I'm wanting to reduce vibration as much as possible for tripod/remote release scenery shots. Does the "exposure delay mode" (d5) lock the mirror up? Also, there is a lot of flopping noises when shots are taken in Lv mode, which I like to use for composition. I can't differentiate between mirror noise and shutter noise. Is the mirror locked up during shutter release in Lv mode? I've found that you also can use EDM with Lv.

In short, which settings lock the mirror up for shooting scenery?


  • edited August 2016
    On the D5300, exposure delay mode does lock the mirror up for a second or so before firing the shutter. It should be entirely sufficient for removing mirror slap, especially if the shutter is the same as that in the D3200, which, though it has no delay mode, also has no discernible mirror vibration.

    Although some older designs did lower the mirror when exposing in Live View, but I'm pretty sure this one does not. It's easy to check. Put the camera in M exposure mode, and remove the lens. Push the LV button. The mirror will be seen to flip up. Fire it (it will still fire with no lens in M mode). If the mirror does not flip down, you're in luck. That means that in LV mode, you're essentially mirrorless, and need not use EDM.
  • edited August 2016
    Thanks, I wasn't aware that the camera will fire M/lens off.

    Doing as you suggest with a 5 sec exposure, the mirror does flip up on firing but then flips back down in 5 seconds. Not a big deal for long exposure times since any vibration will be mitigated, but for normal exposures of a fraction of a second I'm assuming that I need to use EDM? For example, 1/125 the mirror flip appears instantaneous, which I presume may cause slight vibration due to the mirror not being locked up?
  • edited August 2016
    I think if you are doing an exposure on a tripod and using a relatively slow shutter speed, you might as well use EDM if you have it, unless you're using Live View, if the mirror stays up anyway. I doubt if it will have a discernible effect on faster shutter speeds.

    As I mentioned, I did a little test on my D3200 and my wife's D7100, and discovered that the D7100 does show a little vibration when on a tripod, but only in a certain range, about 1/25 down to 1/4 second. Even there it was slight, and did not affect hand holding. Even a sturdy tripod has a certain pet frequency at which it can vibrate.

    Since I think this is one of those things that varies not only with model, but with sample, both of camera and mount, your best bet might be to test it yourself.

    I'd put the thing on a tripod, and for convenience use shutter priority and Auto ISO. If you have a choice of tripods, test with the flimsiest one. Use IR remote if possible, so you know your results are only from within the camera. Shoot at something with very sharp edge detail, such as a shelf of DVD cases, or a newspaper with distinguishable print. Try different shutter speeds, with and without EDM, and then open them in the computer and pixel peep them at 100 percent or so. You will find out in a hurry if there is any range in which mirror vibration makes a difference.

    I'm betting there will be very little, and what there is will occur only in a fairly narrow band of shutter speeds. You can use EDM or Live View for those, and relax about the rest.
  • edited August 2016
    Thanks for all the good information. I'll do some experimenting when I get the time. For now, I'll use EDM - maybe after composing the shot in Lv - for those shots where I'm trying for the sharpest image.
  • edited August 2016
    As a final note, it may differ from one model to another, but generally speaking, the auto focus in LV will be less prone to error, but if your VF focus is working well, it may give more precise results in poor light. The AF systems are completely different here. Viewfinder uses a calibrated system of mirrors and sensors, and phase detection, which is fast and good for tracking motion. LV reads focus off the image plane, using contrast detection, and thus has no calibration error. My experience, though, is that it's a little more forgiving in low light, and thus sometimes less acute. There also may be differences in exposure and white balance, though it's difficult to sort them out. The metering is slightly different as well, and because the viewfinder is not used, there is no need to cover the viewfinder for remote and tripod shots to prevent stray light from altering the meter reading.

    I'd try both, and since you're composing in LV anyway, if it gives you the focus and exposure you need, and you're not running low on battery power, then there's no need to shift back to the viewfinder for the shot. You can just stay in LV and shoot mirrorless.
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