Photography Tips From The Pros: Mirror lock-up
If you want super-sharp images when your SLR is on a tripod, use a remote release and engage the mirror lock-up function.
This lifts the mirror with the first press of the remote shutter release, then when any vibration caused by the mirror movement has died down you press the shutter release for a second press to take the shot.
Mirror lock-up is especially important if you want to get the full benefit of high-pixel count cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III as even very slight movements are recorded.
If you’ve got a compact system camera like the Canon M, however, there’s no need to worry as it doesn’t have a mirror.
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