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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. To engage Mirror-Up mode on D800, I turn my release dial over here to MUP or MUP.
To use it I work with my camera as normal, set my exposure, frame my shot, half-press the shutter button to meter, and then press it the rest of the way, and I don't get a shot; instead what you just heard is the mirror going up. And notice my hand is completely off the camera now, so the mirror is locked up. If I press the button now, the shutter opens and closes and my shot is taken. Note that when the mirror is up, if I don't take a shot within 30 seconds, the camera will just do it for me automatically, so you can't really just hang out there for a long time.
Obviously, in practical use, you'd be locked down a tripod for this to happen, so after you get the mirror up, you want to just wait a moment for the camera vibration to die down. If you were shooting outside and there was a sudden gust of wind or something, you would obviously want to wait for that to die down. When you're ready to go, you would then press it the rest of the way. Now the problem is I'm getting my hand back on the camera here, so I want to squeeze very gently, so as to not introduce any more vibration. If I'm really worried about that then I would go to a remote control, which you'll see later in this course.
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