June 17, 2017

Meet Arsenal, the 'Intelligent Camera Assistant' That Helps You Take the Perfect Shot

This wireless camera controller never wants you to miss out on the perfect shot again.

There are tons of wireless camera controllers out there that allow you to change your camera's settings from the comfort of your own smartphone, but engineer Ryan Stout aims to take these kinds of devices to the next level. 

Meet Arsenal, the "world's first intelligent assistant for DSLR and mirrorless cameras." This interesting little device not only allows you to control your camera wirelessly through an app on your phone, but its advanced machine learning algorithms actually help you capture better images. It does this through its "settings asssistant AI," which can optimize your camera settings based on your shooting conditions (18 different factors), as well as the millions of high-quality photos it has been trained to compare your shot with using the same algorithm used in self driving cars.

Clearly there's something about this device that has gotten the photo/film community in a serious tizzy. With four days left in it's Kickstarter campaign, Arsenal has raised over $1.7 million.

Arsenal also uses photo stacking to make your images look better. By combining multiple shots and merging them together, Arsenal will produce a final image that addresses any issues, whether it's poor focus or bad lighting. Essentially, Arsenal's photo stacking will give you more dynamic range and sharper, deeper focus, artificial though it may be.

If you don't like the way Arsenal has optimized your shot, you can always manually adjust your settings via the app. Furthermore, you can use your smartphone or tablet as a monitor through its Live View feature, and can actually see what your shot will look like before you capture it.

Hardware Specs

  • Powerful ARM processor
  • Weighs 2 ounces (57 grams)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi-enabled
  • Up to 100-foot wireless range 
  • 6-hour battery life
  • Charge while in use (with any USB-compatible battery pack, not included)
  • Works with Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji
  • Price: $150

Though using Arsenal may not be very sensible for those making short and feature length films, I could see this device being useful for timelapse photographers, travel filmmakers, and anyone who consistently has to deal with challenging shooting environments.

Arsenal's Kickstarter campaign ends in just a few days and will begin shipping at the end of 2017. Head on over to the Arsenal website to learn more.      

Your Comment

12 Comments

Thanks for making the talent of a photographer obsolete....

June 18, 2017 at 3:25AM

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Luke Coutts
Director, Photographer, Cinematographer, Actor,
166

If the talent of the photographer is in remembering and setting camera settings, then they have no talent in the first place.

June 18, 2017 at 7:20AM, Edited June 18, 7:20AM

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As a professional still shooter and AC I fully disagree with you. A huge part of photography at times can be choosing to "buck" or remove yourself from how you would traditionally shoot a subject to get a new and interesting look using your settings. As cool as this is it takes away from creative control.

June 19, 2017 at 3:50AM

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jacob
128

I want voice control via Smartwatch and red lights moving plus a KITT-lens. :-p

June 18, 2017 at 6:18AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9073

Very cool. I'm sure there will be an AI assistant for video as well soon. The DP would not have to worry about exposure. The AI would just map out the scene and show a few different examples.

June 18, 2017 at 4:52PM

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Julian
Director
167

I wrote to ask what the Arsenal had to offer DSLR filmmakers, and this is how Ryan replied:

We will ship with starting/stopping video on most cameras and playing it back on your phone after it's recorded. Making a similar video experience to what Arsenal does for photos (where we can stream the video as it's being recorded and use the AI to choose settings for video) will require another product (with an HDMI connection in addition to USB), which is probably a few years away.

June 18, 2017 at 5:11PM

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Andrew Hart
Video Producer
1

Me too received the same text from Ryan when asked for live view on paired phone to use the phones as monitor... :) Lets wait and watch...

June 20, 2017 at 11:39PM

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Dibyendu Joardar
Director of Photography
737

So excited to try this out. I'm working on making everything in my life smarter and this is another one to add to the list! These guys do a great starter guide for anyone interested in getting started with smart tech: http://forthesmarthome.com/home-automation-guide/

June 20, 2017 at 4:48AM, Edited June 20, 4:48AM

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If i wanted to write an essay on all the different reasons that i find this wrong from a philosophical standpoint, then i would probably miss the obvious fact that the life cycle of this product is probably too small for me to care that much. But if it turns out that this is not the case and this is something that people find actually useful, then i would be personally offended and repulsed. So much so that i would refuse to care about humanity and its current state. Which i already do so i would much rather have an intelligent assistant to help me deal with my existential angst. Just some random thoughts for you. But do go on.

June 20, 2017 at 9:36PM, Edited June 20, 9:36PM

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This is another piece of equipment to assist us in our creativity. AI has a very long road to go to match creativity in humans. When auto focus, exposer etc. came in, many people at that time did feel inferior. But today we review cameras on 'how good it is on focus', 'how accurate the exposer meter works'.... 'AI' will always be there but rather than 'Artificial Intelligence' it will more be 'Assisting Intelligence' :) So do not worry and reap the benefits to enhance your creativity...

June 20, 2017 at 11:50PM

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Dibyendu Joardar
Director of Photography
737

Not everyone who wants to take good pictures is a professional photographer. These cameras are often bought and used by schools and people with little or no photography experience. I work with students who have no photography background but who would greatly appreciate being able to produce quality images for various projects. Clearly you're passionate about this, but I would encourage you to consider that this is just another tool people will use. The cameras this is compatible with already have "creative" settings designed to help people without much camera knowledge get the results they want. I don't think we should look down on devices that lower the barrier to entry for people learning a new skill. There will always be a place for professionals, that doesn't mean that we should be "offended and repulsed" by anything that helps those who aren't at your level of expertise.

June 21, 2017 at 11:40AM

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Buy a 3000 dollar DSLR, ignore the science and art of photography and shoot it on a fancy auto mode with Arsenal. Might as well whip out your cellphone, select auto exposure and put a crappy filter on it.

June 21, 2017 at 11:47AM, Edited June 21, 11:47AM

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a c n
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