Mirror lock

Hi there. My name is len. I am new to this group and I was wondering if anyone can help me. I have a nikon d3300 and I want to clean the mirror. But I can't seem to enable mirrow lock for cleaning it hope someone may be able to explain how to do it. Thanks.


  • edited September 2017
    I am guessing you mean to clean the sensor, not the mirror, since the mirror is down normally, and should almost never be cleaned because it is a front surface mirror and easily scratched even by sensitive sensor cleaners. Even if there is some dirt on the mirror, it will not affect the image, since the mirror flips out of the way for a picture.

    If indeed you mean to clean the sensor, there is a menu item for this, which is "clean image sensor" in the setup menu. With a freshly charged battery, this option will raise the mirror and expose the sensor for cleaning, until you power the camera off again.

    Even if there are other mirror-up options available (live view will flip it up, and so will mirror lock on some higher models) this is the option you should always use, so as to avoid any possibility that the shutter will close by accident. Never rely on a time exposure to hold the shutter open.

    If you have not already done so, I suggest you also enable the menu item for automatic sensor cleaning. You can enable it when either shutting down or starting up or both, and also operate it manually. This shakes the sensor a little to remove dust, and can help in day to day use. Before doing much cleaning of the sensor, I would also suggest you use a blower and try blowing dust off without contact first, and then try a properly soft sensor-cleaning brush, before going to liquid or gel stick cleaning.

    It probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: don't clean your sensor with anything but things that are made for the job. Although modern sensors are pretty robust and scratch resistant, the wrong thing can cause damage more bothersome and certainly more expensive than a speck of dust.

    To check for dirt on the sensor, take a picture of a blank subject, or the sky, at a small aperture - say around F16 - and do not worry about a little overexposure.

    e.t.a. by the way, there is a common device called a "Rocket blower" you can buy to blow dust off the innards of the camera, including the sensor, but if you want to go the cheap route, go to a drug store's baby department and get a blower of the sort used to clear baby's noses. It's perfect for the job and cheaper. If you have already had a baby or two, it's probably free!
  • Thank very much Bruto. I have taken on board everything you have told me. I am learning all the time so your information has definitely helped me to understand my camara a little better now. Thanks again LENNY.
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