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02-13-2014, 03:38 AM   #1
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Locking the mirror during Live view shooting

Hi folks,

I have a question about photographing in live view mode.
As I understand when I switch to live view mode, the mirror locked up so sensor can see the world and provide live view to us.
But then, after you press the shutter, the mirror get back to its place and go up again for photo.

So, My question is about the last part of this process, Can't they just keep the mirror up during live view shooting? So there will be less camera shake, and probably faster shooting.

PS: I tried some of Nikon's recent DSLRs and they are same as my K30 as I found.

02-13-2014, 04:54 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtux Quote
But then, after you press the shutter, the mirror get back to its place and go up again for photo.
Well, this is not my understanding of the workings. I am pretty sure that the mirror stays up for as long as you are in Live View. But you don't have live view while an image is being captured and the curtains of the shutter are traversing the sensor.
02-13-2014, 06:16 AM   #3
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But sound of shutter/mirror is different between live view shooting and viewfinder shooting, and there's more vibration/sound in live view shooting.
And If I look through viewfinder(tested right now) during live view shooting, for a moment I can see what is in front of me inside mirror/viewfinder! So It's as I said you, at least in K30!
02-13-2014, 06:52 AM   #4
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Well, I just took the lens off my K5, turned it on, put it in liveview and hit the shutter. What happened was...
  • When liveview was enabled the mirror went up and the shutter opened, for the initial liveview view.
  • When the shutter was hit, the shutter closed, removing the liveview from the rear monitor.
  • Then the shutter opened for the allocated amount of time.
  • Then the shutter opened again, returning the liveview view back to the rear monitor.
Essentially, the body appears to work like a Point and Shoot with liveview, however - in taking the picture, it captures it with the standard shutter movements.



02-13-2014, 07:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Well, I just took the lens off my K5, turned it on, put it in liveview and hit the shutter. What happened was...
I have done the same thing (also on a K-5) and I think we agree: The shutter (the curtains) is visible when the release is hit and during exposure.
02-13-2014, 07:37 AM   #6
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It is your autofocus mode. Not the AF/MF option, but the option that sets what type of AF method to use during live view.

On the K-5, in Camera menu #4 -> Live View, there are three choices for AF: Face detection, contrast detection, or phase detection.
- If you select phase detection, then upon hitting the shutter release, the mirror will flip down so that the phase detection sensors can set your AF.
- If you select either face detection or contrast detection, it will stay in live view for the AF, and do the mechanical shutter release only, without the mirror flip. Smooooth.

Not sure what menu item it is in the K-30, but I'm sure you have the same options.
02-13-2014, 08:18 AM   #7
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I checked and there's no Phase detect AF in live view menu of K30! so it's all Contrast detection!
Thanks for your tests!
I did the same on my K30, and it works as I mentioned above.

Here is the video I've recorded:
As mentioned there:
First shutter actuation is in normal(viewfinder) mode, and then I switched to live view, and you can see that in second time, the mirror come down! and you can see it for quite some time.
exposure time was set @ 1.5sec so we can see things slower.

---------- Post added 02-13-14 at 11:20 PM ----------

And Thank goodness that Pentax is doing better in K5 and probably K3 series. I can feel better now about Pentax. haha!
02-13-2014, 10:44 AM   #8
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I don't use this very often but when I do I find it to be pretty annoying. I wish they would show the K-30 some firmware love and change it.

02-13-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
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Looking over the K-30 detailed review posted here on the forums, I agree with your observation. That's unfortunate. On the K-5, when the phase detect AF system is disabled, the shutter is buttery smooth, just a brief mechanical whirring sound. The K-01 is also quite smooth, since it does not have the mirror to begin with.

Yes, a firmware upgrade would be nice, although I suppose there could be some other mechanical dependencies.
02-13-2014, 02:12 PM - 1 Like   #10
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In the K-30 this issue is not solvable in firmware - it is a mechanical limitation. (same for K-50 and K-500 which are essentially the same camera)

The way the mechanism is constructed the only way the shutter can be primed is by lowering the mirror. The mechanism that primes the shutter is the same one that lowers the mirror.

If the firmware were to decide not to lower the mirror before shooting then the shutter would not be able to fire.

On the K-3 they have overcome that limitation, maybe also on the K-5 but I don't know). The K-3 has three entirely separate and independent mechanisms each with their own motor for the mirror, the shutter and the iris respectively whereas the K-30 has only one motor for all three and some clutches which allow for some but not all functions to be actuated independently.

Having said that, while the K-3 can indeed shoot in live view without moving the shutter and even shoot three shots for HDR while moving the mirror only once there are still some situations where the mirror is lowered for no good reason, such as in bracketed shooting. That, unlike with the K-30, can however easily be fixed in firmware.
02-13-2014, 07:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
In the K-30 this issue is not solvable in firmware - it is a mechanical limitation. (same for K-50 and K-500 which are essentially the same camera)

The way the mechanism is constructed the only way the shutter can be primed is by lowering the mirror. The mechanism that primes the shutter is the same one that lowers the mirror.

If the firmware were to decide not to lower the mirror before shooting then the shutter would not be able to fire.

On the K-3 they have overcome that limitation, maybe also on the K-5 but I don't know). The K-3 has three entirely separate and independent mechanisms each with their own motor for the mirror, the shutter and the iris respectively whereas the K-30 has only one motor for all three and some clutches which allow for some but not all functions to be actuated independently.

Having said that, while the K-3 can indeed shoot in live view without moving the shutter and even shoot three shots for HDR while moving the mirror only once there are still some situations where the mirror is lowered for no good reason, such as in bracketed shooting. That, unlike with the K-30, can however easily be fixed in firmware.
Thanks for the explanation.
This might be the reason that there's no mirror lockup function in K30.

---------- Post added 02-14-14 at 10:09 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
I don't use this very often
I don't shoot in LV mode too, it was just a curiosity that if they overcome about this issue in other cameras or not!
02-14-2014, 01:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtux Quote
Thanks for the explanation.
This might be the reason that there's no mirror lockup function in K30.[COLOR="Silver"]
There is a form of mirror lockup in the K-30, at least in terms of what is the main use of that function. It usually refers to flipping the mirror some time before shooting so that the vibrations caused by the mirror moving are allowed to die down and then one releases the shutter.

The K-30 achieves more or less the same when using the 2 second timer. The mirror lifts the moment you press the trigger and then after 2 seconds the shutter releases.
02-14-2014, 02:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
The K-30 achieves more or less the same when using the 2 second timer. The mirror lifts the moment you press the trigger and then after 2 seconds the shutter releases.
Yes, I know that and use it. just meant the actual mirror lock up! which you can find on K3,k5,...
02-14-2014, 12:57 PM   #14
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The K-3 still has an annoying limitation with regards to mirror lockup. The mirror will only stay in the locked up position for a maximum of 1 minute. Not a problem for most situations but can be annoying at times.
02-14-2014, 07:17 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
The K-3 still has an annoying limitation with regards to mirror lockup. The mirror will only stay in the locked up position for a maximum of 1 minute. Not a problem for most situations but can be annoying at times.
Oh! So you can keep the mirror locked up for only 1 minute? that can be annoying at events like fireworks shows.
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