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What Is TAV Mode And Why Is It Useful?

Here, we take a look at Pentax TAV mode, a mode exclusive to Pentax cameras.

| Digital Camera Operation
What Is TAV Mode And Why Is It Useful?: Juggler
Image by Peter Bargh

If you take a look at the mode dial on your Pentax DSLR, among the standard, manual, program, scene and auto modes, you'll see a mode named TAV. But what is this mode and how is it useful? We'll explain in this article. 

What is TAV mode?
TAV is a handy in-between mode if you want to set your own aperture and shutter speed, but don't want to have to change the ISO, too. You set the aperture and shutter speed of your choice, using the front and back adjustment wheels, and the camera will choose an ISO to suit the situation you're shooting in. 

When is it useful?
Because TAV lets you control of both the aperture and shutter speed without you having to adjust the ISO, it can be ideal where there are changing light conditions, but you need to maintain a certain shutter speed, for example at a sports match. If you want to get the depth of field, and shutter speed to be able to freeze the players in the midst of the action and separate them from the background with blur, TAV can be used so that if necessary, the camera can up the ISO so you still get the shot you want without changing the other two aspects of the exposure triangle. 

Why should I use this mode instead of manual or aperture/shutter priority mode?
Basically, this mode eliminates the need for you to adjust the ISO manually when shooting with a desired aperture and shutter speed. It will be ideal for fast paced shooting where the light conditions might change as the subject moves, for example in dappled sunlight or indoors where there are darker and lighter parts of a room. 

For information on Pentax's range of DSLRs featuring TAV mode, take a look at the Ricoh website

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