Arsenal’s Manual Mode gives you complete control over the settings for your shot. If you are new to manual photography, we recommend starting with Smart Mode. 

Note: Shooting in Manual Mode works best with a tripod or other stable surface. For handheld shooting, read Getting Started with Handheld Mode.

Get ready to shoot with Arsenal

Before shooting, always make sure that:

  • Camera is powered on
  • Arsenal is powered on
  • Camera is connected via USB cable to Arsenal’s left port

Switch to the Manual screen

Open the Arsenal app and swipe the mode slider at the very bottom of the screen to Manual. You can also swipe on the Live View image to change modes.

Set your camera dial to "Manual"

On some camera models, you may need to physically switch the camera into Manual shooting mode using a dial or button.

Prepare your shot

Connect to Arsenal, enable Live View, compose your shot, and select a focus point. For details, see Getting Started with Smart Mode.

Use a creative mode (optional)

In addition to full manual control, Arsenal supports your camera’s creative shooting modes. To change modes, tap the current mode (usually “M” by default) on the right side of the screen and select another option. 

Adjust your exposure settings

Once your mode is selected, adjust your settings for exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. 

To change a setting, tap the default value (e.g. S 1/50 for shutter speed) to view the manual setting dial. Slide the dial left or right to choose your preferred setting.

Arsenal will adjust your camera as you change settings. On most cameras, you’ll see an accurate preview in Live View and on the live histogram. (Unfortunately, a few camera models auto-balance the live preview! In this case, take a test shot to see the true exposure.)

Configure advanced settings

To access advanced settings, tap the gear icon in the upper left. Here you can access a wide variety of tools.

Note: Grid, focus peaking, and zebra stripes are currently available for iOS only. Android support will be added in a future software update.

  • Device: see the state of charge of your camera battery and Arsenal 
  • Exposure stacking: Take multiple shots at different exposures and merge them to capture High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • Focus stacking: Take multiple shots at different focus positions and merge them to increase sharpness and depth of field
  • Long exposure blending: Take multiple shots and average the pixels to create a longer exposure
  • Grid: Show a grid for the Rule of Thirds or Golden Ratio to assist composition
  • Focus peaking: Highlight areas of the scene that will be in-focus
  • Zebra stripes: Highlight areas of the scene that are overexposed
  • Refocus before shot: Refocuses the lens on your selected focus point(s) each time a photo is taken
  • Mirror lockup: Lock up the mirror on DSLR cameras before the shot to reduce camera vibration
  • Enable LEDs: Disable the animated, blue LEDs on your Arsenal device

To adjust the focus mode, return to the Manual screen and tap the square Focus Screen icon in the upper right. 

Trigger the shutter

Press the shutter release button at the bottom of the screen to take a photo. For more triggering options, touch the words “Tap Shot” (the default trigger setting) to the left of the shutter button.

Learn more

Check out our other Getting Started articles:

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