Since the previous release, the team has been hard at work improving a lot of the experience side of Arsenal. This means a lot of bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features mostly geared towards making Arsenal more useful in some situations. The biggest work has been on our holy grail timelapse, which is currently in beta and should be released in the next firmware update. You'll see the bug fix list is really long on this build. Some of these can take a while to track down, so thanks to our customers for helping us dive in and for identifying the use cases where these problems were arising.
Arsenal has come a long way since our first firmware release. In addition to the changelog below, we've also been working on a new build process and test suite. These improvements will speed up the pace of development and help us catch a lot more regressions between releases in the future.
Portrait Orientation live view
When Arsenal is mounted in the hot shoe, it will use the accelerometer to make live view turn 90 degrees (left or right) when the camera is in a portrait orientation. Thanks to Ben for the hard work on this one, it's a bigger change under the hood than you would think. Also, stacks taken in portrait show correctly in the review.
Handheld Photo Review Gesture [Nikon, Canon, and some Sonys currently]
Many of the cameras Arsenal supports have a strange behavior where they stop showing review photos as soon as a setting update occurred over USB. To get around this limitation, we've added a "handheld photo review gesture". Simply tilt the camera 90 degrees down towards the ground and Arsenal will pause updates to the camera's settings to allow photo review. Tip it back up to resume handheld shooting. We think this is a fairly natural gesture when reviewing photos. We've also added an LED indicator so you can check if you are in photo review mode (the single moving LED will be replaced by two LEDs at the left and right of the LED bar).
Added "Mounted on hot shoe" option
By disabling this option, Arsenal will assume accelerometer data isn't usable since it doesn't correlate with movements to the camera. If for some reason you want to use Arsenal without it being mounted in the hot shoe, disable this option.
Finished Fuji X-T1 handheld mode
Getting handheld mode working on the X-T1 took a bit of work. To enable handheld mode on the X-T1, move the ISO dial to "A" and the shutter dial to "T", then hold the power button down for 3 seconds.
New timelapse preview generator
We totally rewrote the timelapse preview generator. The previous version had a few situations where it would stop generating previews. This is fixed in the new approach, and it also produces higher quality previews with much better compression. This means previews will load faster if you're further from Arsenal and the bandwidth is limited. The next release we will finally have sharing of timelapses from the app (and seeing them in the photo review section) available.
Smart Mode Improvements
- Tweaks to noise floor calculations, should fix some issues people were seeing with Arsenal choosing very high ISOs in handheld mode. (This may still happen in very low light situations with lots of camera shake or subject motion. In those situations, there isn't enough light to prevent blur, so raising the ISO is the only remaining option.)
- Improved accelerometer read outs to avoid accelerometer read timeouts.
Sony Multi-Point Focus
Sony Wifi cameras now have multipoint focus support. Focus stacking for these cameras is coming in the next release. We also improved the connection speed between Arsenal and these Sony Wifi cameras.
There's also a very large list of minor bug fixes that we've included in this release. If you're interested, the details are below.
iOS App Improvements
- Fixed an iOS crash that can happen sometimes when the device socket disconnects while the app is in the background.
- Fixed an issue with the grid overlay showing before live view is rendered.
- On iOS, when a user taps the disconnect button in the settings menu, the Wifi connection to Arsenal is dropped.
- Fixed a iOS crash in demo mode.
- Fixed some rendering issues on iPhone XS.
- Lengthened the timer on iOS that prompts users to connect to the internet or use cellular data for firmware updates.
- Fixed an issue with focus peaking/zebra on iOS.
- Fixed an issue with the "Connect to new Sony camera" screen getting stuck when the app was running in the background.
- Added subpixel accuracy for focus loupe on iOS (should make it easier to select an exact target).
Android App Improvements
- Added message on Android about multipoint or whole scene being enabled when tapping to set a focus point on the main live view screen.
- Fixed an issue with the timelapse preview video player on Android. (We're going to replace the current video player component once we get some time with something better designed for really short videos.)
- Updated stacking icons on Android.
- Added loading animation when stacks are processing on Android.
- Fixed a few rendering issue on tall Android phones.
Sony Wifi Cameras
- Fixed an issue where live view would stop updating on Sony Wifi cameras.
- Fixed an issue where reconnecting to Sony Wifi cameras could hang.
- Improved camera battery use on Sony Wifi cameras (more improvements in the works).
- Fixed an issue where timelapses would stop running when connected to Sony Wifi cameras.
- Fixed a bug with focusing on Sony Wifi cameras.
- Changed strategies for handling Wifi timeouts with Sony Wifi cameras (should make connections more resilient).
- Improved how multipoint focusing handles Canon prime lenses.
- Fixed delay with settings updating in timelapse after returning to app from background.
- Fixed a bug with shutter values not parsing correctly when cameras returned a shutter value with a quote in it.
- Improved handling mode dial state detection on cameras with physical mode dials. On some cameras, when the mirror is up, changes to the mode dial are not recognized by the camera (in live view or when using the tethering API). These cameras will now do a mirror toggle when they need to confirm the mode state.
- Fixed a mirror toggle issue on the Nikon D3300.
- The mirror on DSLRs is now toggled down when the phone app disconnects.
- Finally managed to track down an issue with Arsenal's caching garbage collection that could cause Arsenals to use up all disk space and go into recovery mode. Working around this issue required a bit of a full rewrite to the disk asset management.
- We had quite a few firmware changes under the hood in this version. This results in smaller firmware file sizes. We had to push back the software only updates one more release unfortunately, but it's almost ready.
- Fixed a race condition bug during the initial connection to Arsenal that could cause the connection to hang.
- Fixed a focus issue on the Nikon D4 and D4s.
- Some early Arsenal units had different settings in the boot loader. The new firmware updates these settings to bring charge speed on par with later units.
- Arsenal firmware updates from 0.9.50 onward will prevent Arsenal's shutdown timer from triggering once a firmware update has started.
- Added error pages if Arsenal can't reach the firmware update server, or firmware file is not available.
- If the Wifi hardware or drivers prevent Arsenal from starting the access point for any reason (extremely rare), it will now reboot into recovery so the issue can be handled.
- Handheld mode animations now show even when "Enable LEDs" is turned off.
- Previously, when reconnecting to an Arsenal with a lot of cached photos, the iOS and Android apps would block for a long time while it updated the file list. We made this happen in a background thread to fix the issue.
- Significant speed improvements when importing new photos or when Arsenal is scanning to see if previously cached photos are still on the card.
- Reworked phone disconnect logic to better handle state changes and prevent some edge issues when reconnecting.
- We believe we fixed the elusive issue where Canons would sometimes not save photos to the card in handheld mode. This one has been pretty tough for us to duplicate in the office or in the field though, so we'll wait for everyone's feedback before we officially mark it as fixed.
- Focus points now show up faster than every frame when tapping to set a focus point.
- Better handling of cameras returning an invalid live view frame (which they do sometimes).
- More multipoint, whole scene, and focus stacking speed improvements
- LEDs still animate on shutdown, even if "Enable LEDs" is disabled. (This should address some confusion.)
- Arsenal now does a better job of handling changes to focus points during multipoint focusing (these changes should speed up the process when you change a focus point).
- Performance improvements when Arsenal toggles settings before/after a photo.
- Improved multipoint results on Canon cameras.
- Improvements to contrast in generated exposure brackets.
- Improved aperture selection for multipoint focusing.
- Handled an issue where some Sony lenses don't correctly report their lens name.
- Lots more small bug fixes.