As promised, I wanted to give an update on FoCal Mac – the OSX version of Reikan FoCal Automatic Lens Calibration software. We’ve been working really hard on this to get the latest functionality of FoCal available natively on the Mac, and it’s nearly ready.
This post will be a bit of a preview of what’s to come, and I’ll explain a bit about what’s different to the PC version, as well as what needs to happen before we can release our first beta test version. Please note, all the screenshots in this post are preliminary. Things are very likely to change for the first release.
If you’re interested in FoCal Mac, don’t forget to read the very bottom of this page.
FoCal Mac Tests Window
For those of you familiar with the Windows version, you’ll notice that the Mac version looks quite different! First off, it uses native Mac controls, and it also makes use of the OSX menu bar to give access to things like Preferences. The first window you’re greeted with is the Tests window, which shows you the connected camera and the available tests. The image above shows this in the “closed” state (which is what you’ll see when you first start the application), but when you click the Connect button the window changes, showing information about the camera and enabling the tests you’re licensed to use:
You might be wondering where the Target Setup utility is… after all, before you run a test you want to use the utility to quickly make sure everything’s set up correctly! Don’t worry, it’s still there – you can access it from the menu bar, with Cmd+T (yes, we make good use of keyboard shortcuts in the application on the Mac), or from any of the test windows:
And functionally, the Target Setup utility is as identical as possible to the PC version of FoCal:
Fully Automatic Calibration
The most important test in FoCal is the Fully Automatic AF Microadjustment test, which can calibrate the autofocus system of your camera and lens with the click of a single button. And here it is, running on the Mac:
The Analysis Information window is available, showing the measured values of the points and allowing you to click on a point to see the shot taken at this AF Microadjustment value:
The chart control on the Mac is quite immature as we had to write it from scratch. It should look better by the final release, but for now it’s working and gives us information for validation of the important, underlying functionality of the tests.
We make sure of sheets on the Mac user interface too, so there aren’t lots of pop-up windows that can get hidden behind other Windows which has been a problem for the Windows version (incidentally, the solution to the problem on the Mac has also meant we can solve it on the PC version as well, so FoCal 1.7 should have similar (better) behaviour on both PC and Mac in this respect):
Semi Automatic Calibration
Ummm, at the moment, this is one of the tests to finish implementing. We have the user interface all designed, but we haven’t yet “plumbed in” the operational code. So there’s nothing to show for this one today.
Other (FoCal Pro) Tests
For those of you with FoCal Pro, you’ll be pleased to know that all the extra tests are also implemented, and each test looks pretty similar to the PC version.
The Aperture Sharpness test has all the same functionality (ignore the plotted data – it’s simulated and not representative of real aperture sharpness data):
The Focus Consistency test offers both Single AFMA and Prediction mode:
And the most complex test of all – the MultiPoint Focus Test – is there too (it’s not quite complete yet. It’s all running, but there are certain areas you can’t click on yet):
There are some other important bits of functionality, without which FoCal wouldn’t be complete. The Preferences window is implemented, with all of the functionality of the Windows Settings window, only implemented in a more Mac “standard” way:
The licensing functionality is present too. It’s the same as the PC version deliberately, as we decided early on that a license for FoCal will support both the Windows and the Mac version at no extra cost:
And in the same was as the Windows version, you can also save and restore the camera settings yourself:
So, what’s left to do?
All of the screenshots above show almost fully working tests and utilities – all of the analysis and prediction maths works, and the camera control functionality works with our Simulated Camera, which is an internal software simulation of a real camera. However, we have all of the Canon libraries integrated with our development environment, and early testing with the Canon EOS 7D show that things are working nicely. There’s a lot more testing to do in this area against cameras, but we’re pretty confident – based on what we’ve seen so far – that it won’t be much effort (if any) to have all Canon cameras up and running.
Yes… you’ve probably noticed I said Canon cameras… Unfortunately, there’s a chunk of work to do to get Nikon cameras working , so our first beta will not include support for Nikon cameras. This isn’t a long term problem, it’s possibly going to take a couple of weeks to get the Nikon support working, and we don’t want to delay the release. All the time FoCal Mac is available as a beta, it will be tested and we’ll be improving it, so the more time we can have for this process, the better.
What you see above is nearly finished from a functionality point of view, but it needs quite a bit of testing. There shoudn’t be too many problems as the Mac code is – in a lot of places – exactly the same code as the PC version. This is deliberate as it means when we fix any issued with FoCal, or add new functionality, it will be a very small amount of work to make sure it’s implemented for both PC and Mac.
The final deliverable package will be a DMG (disk image) file (probably zipped to keep the size down), but we need to make sure that everything is included – all the camera control libraries, everything make FoCal run. We already have this working, but we need to test it across a few different machines before releasing.
All our development has been on OSX 10.7 (Lion), and we will be testing on Mountain Lion (10.8) before a final release. We don’t expect there to be any issues, so are planning to support both these versions. Previous versions of OSX may be supported if there isn’t much work to do for FoCal to run on them.
We originally planned the Mac version of FoCal for a release by the end of June. But this was back in February and with the release of the Nikon D800, D800E, D4 and the Canon 5Dmk3 and 1D-X we got quite delayed adding support for these cameras. Then with the addition of the MultiPoint Focus Test – driven out of the rumoured issue with the Nikon D800 focus system – we lost more time. I’m not in a position to give a date yet as there is still some work to do, but as you can see from the information above, it’s pretty complete. Hopefully this post has given you some confidence that the Mac version is not too far away.
If you’re interested in FoCal Mac – either just to register interest or for a request to be part of the beta testing (which will initially be available to FoCal Pro license holders) – you can send a quick message from the Contact form – please make sure you select the “FoCal Mac” option from the list otherwise the request might get misplaced in our system.