Arsenal’s handheld mode helps you select optimal settings while shooting handheld. It gives you many of the benefits of Arsenal’s Smart Mode without requiring a tripod or use of the app. For a step-by-step guide to shooting handheld with Arsenal, check out Getting Started with Handheld Mode.

How It Works

Arsenal’s handheld mode is accessed by powering on Arsenal and then pressing and holding the power button for three seconds.

When handheld mode is activated, you can shoot normally while Arsenal provides exposure settings to your camera automatically.

To accomplish this, Arsenal does several things differently from the stationary shooting modes. First, Arsenal uses your camera’s built-in autofocus system rather than selecting a focus point in the app. This lets you to keep both hands on your camera and takes advantage of your camera’s faster focusing capabilities. Similarly, you’ll use the camera’s shutter button to take a photo rather than the shutter release button in the app.

Second, Arsenal disables certain features that would adversely impact handheld shooting, such as exposure stacking and focus stacking.

Third, on DSLR cameras, Arsenal cannot lock up the mirror, since it must be down for you to see through the viewfinder. Arsenal addresses this by updating exposure settings after each shot. When the subject or light changes, DSLR users will need to take a test shot so Arsenal can recalculate. (This isn’t an issue for mirrorless cameras, since Arsenal can receive a live preview without blocking the viewfinder.)

To calculate exposure, Arsenal’s artificial intelligence evaluates the scene and identifies similar situations to determine baseline settings, just as in Smart Mode. It then applies all relevant factors to fine-tune the settings. These settings are applied constantly in mirrorless cameras, and after each shot on DSLRs.

Features

Hands-free Operation

Take advantage of Arsenal’s artificial intelligence to find optimal settings for your scene while keeping both hands on your camera.

Real-time Scene Evaluation

Arsenal analyzes the scene and dynamically adjusts your camera settings in real-time (mirrorless cameras only).

Vibration Detection

Using the data from Arsenal’s accelerometer and the focal length, Arsenal can determine the minimum shutter speed needed to prevent a blurry photo. Arsenal factors in ambient vibration, camera vibration, and lens vibration to set shutter speed constraints and avoid blurry images.

Dynamic Range Detection

Arsenal can read data from the sensor to determine how much dynamic range is in a scene. The higher the ISO, the lower the camera's dynamic range. Arsenal can compute the max ISO before you start losing detail in the highlights or shadows.

Color Range Detection

Similar to dynamic range, color accuracy also drops as the ISO increases. Arsenal uses a similar process to calculate the maximum ISO before you start losing color detail.

Depth of Field Detection

Arsenal analyzes the scene’s depth of field to choose an appropriate aperture. 

Sensor Noise Profiles

Different sensors produce noise at different levels. Arsenal has a sensor database that contains information on the performance and characteristics of the sensor for each supported camera. This includes data on how each specific sensor’s noise is affected by changes in ISO and incoming light. Arsenal uses this data to optimize the tradeoff between noise and other constraints.

Lens Sharpness Profiles

Arsenal contains a database of lens sharpness profiles. Different lenses are sharper at different apertures. Arsenal uses this data to try optimize the aperture at which photos are taken. The lens sharpness profiles take into account optical factors like diffraction, aberrations, and coma.

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