Arsenal intelligent camera assistant honest review
Arsenal, the Smart Camera Assistant, was launched a while ago on Kickstarter. Arsenal sets all the settings for you (shutter, aperture, ISO, focus points) based on Artificial Intelligence. This means that it compares your specific composition and scenario with a database of thousands of other photos that have been created in similar situations.
Arsenal different modes
There are four modes that you can choose from:
- Smart: Arsenal sets all the values for you.
- Manual: For example, you can determine ISO or all settings..
- Time-lapse: through interval and a number of shots you can conveniently determine the duration.
- Video: To make Movies.
Arsenal intelligent camera assistant in real life shooting
I’ve had time to fully with the Arsenal intelligent camera assistant in the last few weeks. I unfortunately have to say that I am not enthusiastic. Best way to see the Arsenal intelligent camera assistant is as a glorified ‘Auto’ Mode, but with flawed software.
There are some major flaws:
- Handheld shooting is impossible! handheld shooting is very difficult because shutter speed is kept structurally slow, and the aperture is always high (it will go to at least f/5.6 for example, even when you use a fast prime lens).
- Limited RAW Options: it’s possible to use the multi-stacking technique where you have multiple focus points from front to background. Unfortunately, Arsenal doesn’t store this stacked image on your card in the camera, it stores these in the smartphone app as JPG…. This is also the case when making the time-lapse.
- Difficult to make your composition: According to Arsenal, this tool should help you to focus solely on the composition, and not have to worry about all the camera settings. My experience so far is that this has actually become more difficult. Yes, you can turn Live View on in the Arsenal app similar to Live View in your camera, but this is very buggy and jittery because they transfer the signal to your phone via a WiFi. To make it worse, Live View on the camera can not be activated, you can’t even look through the viewfinder.
- No camera control: Arsenal literally takes the camera out of your hands because you can’t control any settings anymore. You can’t access the menu system either, or browse images, etc.You need to physically disconnect Arsenalto to make this work again.
- Firmness: The Arsenal is not seated properly in the Hotshoe. There is no lock like what you have with a flash. Just a tiny bit of shaking and the Arsenal box will slide off.
We’ve been waiting a long time for the company behind the Arsenal intelligent camera assistant to actually deliver on their Kickstarter promise. Although the physical device is now being shipped, the promise and allure of artificial intelligence camera assistant definitely has not. Perhaps things will change with newer versions of the Arsenal Intelligent camera assistant, or maybe some of these things can be fixed with a firmware update, but for now I would seriously recommend spending your money elsewhere. For long exposures, for instance, I get significantly better results when I use a filter than if I let Arsenal do its job.