Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mirror Lockup

 Yesterday, I took my camera down to a ravine near my house. Though I only really got one good shot from the trip, I was pretty happy with it. There are some features on my camera that I didn't think I would ever use, but have proven invaluable. This is the first color photo I've ever shot in RAW.

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 55 mm

I think the difference is much more noticeable in monochrome, although, granted, this photo has a pretty limited color palette. This photo is one that is better viewed in full-res, but 1024 pixels wide will certainly be an improvement over 400.

The real cool parts about this photo are Mirror Lockup and Live View. Live View was something I was trying to get away from by upgrading to a DSLR. I thought manual focus could never be as good on a screen with a limited amount of pixels as it is through a real optical viewfinder. Well it turns out in Live View mode, I'm able to zoom into the photo all the way to 100% view, at any area in the frame I want. Because of this, I learned that auto focus does a great job, and manual focus does a better job when the subject isn't moving.

Also, Mirror Lockup has really impressed me. I never thought it would make that much of a difference with camera shake to get the mirror out of the way first. But when you're in really close, or going for maximum sharpness, it makes a world of difference. I was very surprised. Whenever I'm on a tripod and my subject isn't moving (at all... like an inanimate object, not just a person who is holding still), I use both Mirror Lockup and Live View MF now. Together, they work wonders.


  1. I don't think I've ever used live view! :) I may have to give it a try one of these days. I've also never used the high def video on my t1i either... I guess I'm just a purist - straight down through the lens! But this shot looks awesome - you got great focus and sharpness on the fungus with a nice DoF. I take you are using a stock 18-55 lens? How do you like your xsi so far?

  2. Yes, right now I use the kit lens. I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality of the build, and the optics. But I still have a few lenses on my to-buy list, starting with a 50mm macro.

    But having a DSLR is an absolute dream. The XSi is a thing of beauty.

  3. I've used the mirror lock up on macro shots, but not distance shots. Have you tried it on distance shots to see if it has an effect? I'm just curious.


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