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So when I turn the preview mode to ON and try to take a picture, it's taking it very slowly, about 4-5 seconds before the actual picture is taken.

And the worst of it, is that it "sounds" like it takes the picture twice, and people tend to release their pose when they hear the first one (and picture is taken only on the second one).

Someone told me all DLSRs do that, but a friend of mine has another model (a Canon) and it takes the picture pretty fast...

Is this normal? Is there a setting I should check to change this?

  • I just tested with my D5300: In live view, the picture is taken directly after the first mirror flip sound, and I measured this to be within half a second after (fully) pressing the trigger. Then it takes 1-2 seconds until the mirror flips again and the live view is active again. I admit that this feels annoyingly slow, but your very slow timing values are surprising to me. – Dubu Apr 24 '17 at 12:47
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This is to be expected. The mode you are using when the rear screen shows the shot is called "live view", and in this mode, the camera uses contrast-detect autofocus, which is very accurate but inherently slow. If you use manual focus or prefocus, the lag should be somewhat reduced.

In "normal" SLR mode, the mirror directs part of the light to your viewfinder, and some of it to autofocus sensors located at the bottom of the camera body. The sensor is totally obscured. With live view, the mirror is lifted out of the way and the main sensor used.

The double sound you hear is the mirror flipping down and back again. I haven't used the D5300, but I found others complaining about it. A post there explains that in Nikon's consumer-level cameras, the mirror flip is inherently linked to the mechanism which closes down the aperture — in both modes, the focusing is done with the lens at its widest aperture setting to let in more light.

So, you can't manually focus to avoid this, and metering isn't the problem either. (This same complaint occurs in many cameras in burst mode with manual focus and manual exposure — there seems to be no reason to cycle the mirror, but it's common to do so anyway.)

Some cameras are much faster in live view. Sony's "SLT" design leaves the mirror in place all the time, using the partial split to feed the autofocus sensors and the main sensor, not a viewfinder. Other cameras have tiny phase-detect sensors mixed in with the pixels on the main sensor. And maybe some avoid the mirror-flip — although at this point in time, it's very common for it to happen anyway.

The best advice, I think, in your situation is to use the viewfinder. You'll still get the mirror flip, but just the once — and that's the sound most people think of as the shutter.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but even though I use Manual focus, it does the same thing. Or perhaps I've misunderstood you. – Pacane Apr 26 '15 at 13:07
  • Yeah I usually use the view finder, however, when I want to take a picture, say on ground level, I like using the liveview. Thing is, I can't take a "quick" picture on ground level with liveview. – Pacane Apr 26 '15 at 13:38
  • @Pacane Everything is tradeoffs. If this is the most important thing to you, you might consider changing cameras, but they'll probably have their situations where they don't perform as well as your current camera. – mattdm Apr 26 '15 at 13:44
  • Damn that sucks. That means this live preview thing is useful only for movie shots. Thanks anyway! – Pacane Apr 26 '15 at 16:35
  • All of my Canons (50D, 7D, 5DII, 5DIII) leave the mirror up during Live View shooting when using CDAF. If I have selected "Quick Focus" (PDAF) in the settings for LV, then the mirror drops just long enough to focus before each shot. – Michael C Apr 26 '15 at 21:28
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Actually that is very bad. For D5300 there is no focus calibration per lens (that exists on D7x00), which is convenient for using viewfinder to focus, as the optical path can vary between using the liveview and the viewfinder. So either it will be very slow, or it may be not calibrated.

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