The number of settings on a high-end DSLR or mirrorless camera can be truly overwhelming, even for experienced photographers. That's why Montana-based software developer Ryan Stout created the Arsenal. It's an electronic module that gets plugged into your camera, where it uses artificial intelligence to create the "perfect" shot.
Once it's mounted on the hot shoe, plugged in, and wirelessly fired up via an iOS/Android app, the Arsenal assesses the camera's current shot. It does this by comparing it to a database of thousands of other photos in which the camera settings are known, looking for shots that are most similar to the present one.
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From there, it determines the best settings for the current shot, allowing for the type of camera and lens being used. Those settings are subsequently fine-tuned based on 18 different environmental factors – if a prominent object in the shot is moving, for instance, the Arsenal will shorten the shutter speed, or if more depth of field is needed, it will increase the aperture.
Of course, serious photographers often like to manually control their settings, and the app lets them do so remotely. Using a smartphone or tablet, they can change settings such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, plus they can see a live preview and actually take the shot – all from a distance of up to 100 feet (30.5 m). In this way, the Arsenal is not unlike the existing Miops Mobile system.
Users can additionally opt to do in-camera shot-stacking, in which multiple shots of the same scene – but taken with different settings – are combined into one photo. This makes it possible to get High Dynamic Range images, or ones in which both the foreground and background are in focus.
The Arsenal has a claimed battery life of approximately six hours per charge, and works with Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji cameras. It's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$150 is required to get one – the estimated retail price is $250. If all goes according to plans, delivery is expected for next January.
The device is demo'd in the following video.