Shooting in live mode


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Dec 4, 2015
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During long exposure shots, daytime or night...I heard somebody mention to shoot in live mode?

Im an intermediate photographer. My photographs are ok, by no means world class but as far as the camera itself and its working i dont know much.

Im not a techie.

What would be the benefits of shooting in live mode?

Also disconnecting the IS and AF is standard for long exsposure when shooting on a tripod correct?
I have no idea why someone would tell you that.

When the camera is mounted on a tripod, turn off the IS. You still use the AF however.

BTW: how long are you talking about?

I think long exposures will overheat the sensor, so be wary of that. Check it out.
I think the reason being, the mirror dont move?...or something like that?
In live mode I don't think shutter speeds will go below 1/30.

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Hmm. Interesting...I might have to ask my buddy again and see what he meant.
In live mode I don't think shutter speeds will go below 1/30.

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My Canon 650D will allow the full range of shutter speeds in live mode.

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It's true the mirror is raised in a DSLR during Live View (LV), and it could be considered a workaround if the camera doesn't include a separate Mirror-Lock-Up (MLU) feature - not sure there are any current DSLRs with LV but no MLU though. However, LV requires the imaging sensor to be energised, which introduces signal noise as it heats up. This is why many of us allow the sensor to cool briefly between long exposures or after setting up with LV. When I'm taking a shot that will benefit from MLU, even if I've used LV for composing, I still drop out of LV and use MLU for the capture stage.

Yes, IS should be deactivated when the camera is tripod-mounted. IS isn't helping when the camera is rigidly mounted and can even be counter-productive due to the IS mechanism introducing motion. As for AF, you might choose to switch it off if your camera is set to engage AF on a half press of the shutter release. Many of us customise our camera controls, in particular assigning AF to a back button in order to separate it from the shutter release.
On my Nikon if I'm in Live Mode and press the shutter you can hear the mechanisms in the shutter slamming around to get into position to take the shot so you're not gaining anything. For long exposures you want to cover the eyepiece so perhaps your friend goes to live view thinking it will cut off the light from the eyepiece?
For long night time exposures or just long exposures in general

1) Turn the IS off - you don't need anti-shake because you're going to be using a tripod or other stable surface. IS in some newer lenses "can" detect a tripod attached, but its a bit iffy and long exposures tend to fool it into thinking its being handheld. So turn the IS off otherwise it will just generate its own blur.

2) Auto-focus you can keep on if you want or turn it off - depends how you approach focusing the shot and the nature of the shot itself.

3) Mirror lock up - search your cameras manual for this term. This enables a mode by which you have to press the shutter button twice; once to raise the mirror (viewfinder goes black) and ones again to take the shot. Thsi way you remove the shake from the slap of the mirror at the very start of the exposure.
Note if you don't have a remote release (as mentioned below) then use the timer mode so that there's a delay between when the button is pressed and the shot is taken.

4) Use a remote cable or radio release (avoid infra red ones simply as they are impractical). This is again removing shake; this time from your finger on the shutter.

5) Use a strong good quality tripod and tripod head or other stable support. NOTE be aware of the ground and yourself. I've shot indoors on wooden floors and got soft shots because whilst the camera and tripod were rock-steady the surface they were on wasn't - especially when I was moving around on it.
Awesome..Thanks for all the info guys.
For long exposure night photography use Live View to focus. Turn off autofocus, and there probably won't be anything the AF sensors can see. Switch to Live View, zoom it in as far as it will go, and adjust for sharpest focus. Get out of Live View then, you're done with it.

For daytime, Live View can help with critical focus by using it the same way, and again, get out of it once focus is done.

I never try to AF long exposures.

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