Nikon D7000 Technique – Mirror Lock UP and HDR

I came acroos this blog . It shows how the digital camera’s are becoming more advanced and capable of doing many thing in the world of photography.

Here for example it show how to capture a HDR photo using bracketing to get the result.

I found it very interesting


The new Nikon D7000 camera . There are a lot of little improvements in the software that really benefit photographers trying to get the most performance out of their gear. One of these is being able to shoot a bracketed HDR burst while also using Mirror Lock-up.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography involves taking a series of photos at different exposures and then blending the series together in software. Each photo is exposed at a different brightness level and therefore contains exposure data for certain parts of the scene. For example, the darkest photos in the sequence will contain data for the bright sky/clouds, while the brightest photos in the sequence will contain data for the shadows.

After you take the images, it is common to use a software program to merge the series together into one photo. Programs like Nik HDR Efex Pro take the best-exposed parts of each picture and then create one final image that has detail in the shadows, highlights and everywhere in-between.

Ok, now that you understand HDR, let’s talk about the process of taking the photos. Since the software will be merging many images to create one final image, it is important that the camera remains steady during the burst of shots. You can imagine that the photo might look weird if the camera physically moved between shots, since the software might have a difficult time properly lining up elements of the scene.

For the very best HDR photos, it is generally best to:

  1. Use a tripod
  2. Use a cable release
  3. Use mirror lock-up

The third item in the list presents a challenge to photographers. This is because it can take a long time to shoot a series of photos while also using mirror lock up. As many of you know, mirror lock up requires you to press the shutter release (or cable release) two times for each exposure. The first push lifts the mirror and the second push trips the shutter.

Normally when you are shooting an HDR sequence, you want to set the camera to take a fast burst of photos, so elements in the scene don’t move from shot to shot. For example, if you were photographing a landscape with clouds in the sky, the clouds can actually move quite a bit from the first shot to the last shot if you don’t rapidly take the photos. In this example, the software will have a difficult time with ghosting in the clouds, creating an odd look to the image.

Enter the Nikon D7000! In Nikon’s newest prosumer SLR camera, they now allow you to shoot a bracketed HDR burst while simultaneously using mirror lock-up. This means that the camera will automatically take the entire bracketed sequence while also activating mirror lock-up before each photograph. Awesome!

The result is a fast sequence for the bracketed burst, and a stable camera as a result of mirror lock-up.


If want to automate the process, or just make it faster, then do this:

1. Set camera for M-Up (found on the shooting mode dial)

2. Activate bracketing on your camera by pressing the BKT button and rotating your command dials. You’ll want to set it so it reads 3F 2.0.

3. Press Menu button. Navigate to Shooting Menu (camera icon)

4. Choose Interval Timer Shooting

The instant you press OK, the camera will start taking the bracketed sequence, so you’ll want to already have your composition and focus set. The camera will then quickly take all three frames in rapid sequence while locking the mirror up for each one.

In summary, I really like how Nikon keeps innovating new ideas. Even if the ideas are fairly small in the grand scheme of things, Nikon is always looking for ways to make our photography better. Allowing us to lock our mirrors up during the HDR burst is a perfect example of Nikon listening to feedback and implementing that feedback in the real world!

Below are some recent HDR pics I’ve taken with the D7000.



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3 responses to “Nikon D7000 Technique – Mirror Lock UP and HDR

  1. That is very handy but it is a bit of an inconvenience to have to go through the menu options every time you want to do this.

    Wouldn’t a better way to do this to be to just switch to “live view”?

    The mirror is up the entire time that Live View is on. That way you can just use an MC-DC2 trigger and snap away like normal.

    The only downside I can see to doing it this way is that it is a bit of a drain on the battery to leave the display on.

  2. Michael Currin

    Hi, I undertand what you are explaining but there is a much more efficient way to do it.

    my D90 and D7000 both have exposure delay mode (“D11” under Shooting/Display settings). With this on, the mirror flips up when you push the shutter, it does nothing for one second for vibration to settle, then it takes the photo. (no need to press shutter yourself as in M-UP mode).

    I do a lot of of bracketing for HDR (I spent an hour today around sunset doing it). I keep the camera in timer mode (I have no remote).
    I set the Self-Timer (C3 in Shooting/Display) to 5 second delay. Number of shots is at 1 (on D90 this must be set at 3, but D7000 knows to take 3 when bracketing even when this figure is 1). Time between photos scan be set 0.5s, 1s, 2s or 3s. I set to 0.5s.

    I put my camera on 3-step Bracketing. I lock focus etc. and when I push the shutter, the camera waits 5 seconds, then the mirror flips up, the camera waits 1 second, takes a photo, waits 0.5s, takes another, waits, then takes the last one.

  3. Michael Currin

    gap might actually be 1 and half seconds between photo, if delay happens then as well. I find that moving clouds can be a problem in HDRs, but the main reason I think is on 2 step bracketing, the first photo is maybe 1/100, the 2nd photo is 1″ and the 3rd is 5″ or something like that. Of course the clouds will be blurred or will be in different places in each photo.

    Moving leaves or water can be annoying. Even if you take the photos within a short time, the long exposure will be blurry on its own. An sometimes looks horrible combined with a short exposure.
    Stopping down to f/11 and using a polariser, or working in low light, would ensure that 2 or 3 of the exposures will be at least a second, so they are equally blurry.

    My HDRs on

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