Taking photos is easy. Taking great photos, on the other hand, is a whole other thing entirely. Suffice to say, some people just have an eye for setting the perfect frame and pressing the shutter at exactly the right time. That usually comes down to talent, experience, or both. Since you can’t buy talent or experience, how do you instantly improve the quality of the photos that you take? The Arsenal 2 thinks you can do it by employing the help of modern AI.
Billed as “the intelligent camera assistant,” the device plugs into your DSLR or mirrorless camera via USB, then manipulates its plethora of settings to produce a picture-perfect image of any scene you want to capture. That’s right, it’s a robot brain for your camera that will help you take great photos, regardless of your natural talent, acquired skill, or experience level, allowing puny photography plebs to take more professional-looking photos each time out.
The Arsenal 2 is the second-generation of the outfit’s camera assistant, which uses AI and computational photography to identify a scene, determine the optimal settings, and implement them to ensure the best shot. For every scene, it uses image recognition to identify its characteristics, runs that through its treasure trove of professional photos using neural network computing, and optimizes the settings based on 22 different environmental factors (up from 17 in the previous generation). It even takes into account the kind of lens and camera you’re using for each shot, so it tweaks the settings based on how the hardware is known to perform in different situations.
New for this iteration of the device is Deep Color, a neural network that uses AI to make custom adjustments during the development of each photo. According to the outfit, it creates balanced yet powerful images that bring out what’s flattering about a scene without going over the top. Based on the sample images, they really do seem to make each scene look more vibrant.
The Arsenal 2 is also a camera remote that allows you to control the camera from a companion app, so you can just set it up on a tripod somewhere, kick back, and control everything while lounging on a bench nearby. Want to use advanced photography techniques that you haven’t quite wrapped your head around yet? This thing can do timelapses, panorama, extreme long exposures, and HDR techniques (exposure and bracketing) all on its own with just a tap on your phone. It can even do focus stacking (take shots at different focus positions and merge them), remove moving objects from a shot, and night photography (as in, take sharp and detailed photos in the darkness of the night).
It comes in two variants, standard and pro, with the latter getting weather resistance, added durability, and USB-C slots. Both, by the way, come with microSD card slots, so you can save your photos at a different memory card than the ones on your camera.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Arsenal 2. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $149 for the standard and $219 for the pro.