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When you're shooting an exposure of a second or two long, you want to be very careful to ensure that the camera doesn't shake, so typically, you put the camera on a tripod, and maybe you use a remote control to ensure that your hands don't touch the camera, but even with all of that, the camera can still pick up some vibration from its mirror flapping up and down. Depending on the length of your exposure, that little bit of vibration can cause a softening in your image. Your camera includes a feature that can help you prevent this problem.
The mirror lockup feature is located here in the first shooting menu, down at the bottom of the page. If I just scroll down here, you see that the default is Off. So I'm going to hit the Set button to go in here, and hit Enable, and now I've got my mirror lockup icon; that's supposed to be a little mirror hanging down, and there is an arrow indicating it's swinging upward. So you can just imagine what's happening in the camera when this goes on. Here's my mirror lockup icon on the status display. So I'm half-pressing the shutter button to meter and focus. Now when I press at the rest of the way to take the shot, that was the mirror swinging up, and now my mirror lockup icon is flashing to let me know that I'm in locked up mirror mode.
Now I can take as long as I need. When I am ready to take my shot, there is no more metering or autofocus; that's all locked in. Now I press the shutter button all the way down, and it takes my shot. It takes my shot, and the mirror comes back down, which means the next time I take a shot, because I'm still in mirror lockup mode, when I press the button, it's going to go up again, and wait for me to go the rest of the way. Notice that if I switch the power Off, and turn it back On, I'm still in mirror lockup mode, so that's going to stay there until I explicitly go in, and turn it off.
It's important to remember after you've been using mirror lockup mode to turn it back off. There's nothing more frustrating to go out, say, the next day, and take a shot that's passing by very quickly, only to find that all you've done is lock up the mirror. This is another reason that it's great that the menu system remembers where you were. It remembers the last item you did. If the last thing you did was to lock up the mirror, when you come back into the menuing system, you're right there, ready to go. So that's mirror lockup, which is going to let you reduce vibration in your camera when you're doing longer shutter speeds.
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