The campaingn’s founder, Ryan Stout, claims that Arsenal is an intelligent camera assistant. The DSLR add-on helps you capture the perfect shot every time with the help of image analysis and machine learning. With the accompanying app for your smartphone you end up with an actual smart DSLR. Let’s have a look!
There is a new gadget in town. Well, almost – but if you happen to be brave enough for another Kickstarter campaign, the Arsenal might be worth a closer look. The so-far very successful campaign is about to hit the home stretch and the product itself looks very promising: a tiny device which is connected 1) to your DSLR via USB and 2) to your smartphone wirelessly.
The unit is programmed with thousands of images which are then compared to the current framing of your DSLR. It adjusts several settings accordingly in order to get the perfect shot, so all you have to do is frame your picture and the Arsenal will take care of the (technical) rest – just like an actual camera assistant. Too good to be true, right?
The Arsenal is capable of several shooting modes: HDR stacking, long exposures, focus stacking, you name it. The good thing is, you don’t have to think about it. All you have to do is let your creativity flow while Arsenal takes care of the technical execution. Here is a list of things the Arsenal algorithms process while striving for that perfect shot:
- Compares current scene with thousands of past images using a convolutional deep neural network (the same algorithm used in self driving cars)
- Optimizes settings based on 18 different factors
- Avoids settings that produce weak images on your specific camera and lens
- Uses image recognition to identify subject-specific needs (e.g. fast shutter for birds)
- Shows safe ranges for each setting based on situational constraints (e.g. vibration)
- Gives you the ability to change the settings you care about most
Controlling the Arsenal is easy: just download the android or iOS app and you’re good to go. All the settings can be accessed and changed via the app, and you’ll get a live preview from your DSLR and a convenient viewer for the pictures you’ve already taken. And since we’re living in a social-media world, you can upload your hero shots straight from the app, of course.
The most interesting feature for me personally is the ability to create fully-automated timelapses. Even the so-called holy grail (transition from day to night or vice versa) is supported. I’m very curious how well the Arsenal handles that tricky type of timelapse!
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The Arsenal supports a whole range of DSLRs. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, they are all aboard. Check out this webpage and search for your DSLR make and model.
The campaign is live until Thursday, June 22th 2017 4PM CEST. While writing this, the “Get Arsenal – Kickstarter Exclusive” tier is still available. That one will set you back $150. The estimated delivery date is January 2018.
Just a word of warning: This is still a Kickstarter campaign, not a retail offer, so naturally there are risks. I had a few disappointing Kickstarter experiences myself, so be advised! If you love the thrill, go get one. If you want to play it safe, wait until the actual product is ready and check if it still pleases your needs. If so, go and get one for a slightly higher price.
What do you think? Does this look like the gadget you were waiting for? Share your thoughts in the comments below!