We’ve been ridiculously busy with FoCal over the last couple of weeks and were hoping to get an updated release out this week just passed, but due to a couple of issues we haven’t managed yet.
However, we’re really excited about the next version. We’ve been a little held back during the beta testing due to the way the software is implemented on OS X, and we’ve spent some considerable effort working to make the Mac version use more of the native libraries which will give a better performance, reliability and look to the user interface. This is a big change which we had planned to do after FoCal for Mac came out of Beta, but it’s been the cause of some headaches so we bit the bullet and are doing the work now.
We’ve also added a new feature which we’re calling “File Camera”. This will run in two modes – tethered and precaptured:
- In tethered mode, you will be told exactly how to set up the camera with simple on-screen icons, and you take shots as instructed which are transferred to the computer by the manufacturer supplied tethering software or over WiFi using an Eye-Fi card or equivalent. The setup is checked after each shot so you know you’re doing the test right, and you can see the progress of the test as it happens.
- In precaptured mode, you take a bunch of shots appropriate for a the test you want to run, copy them to the computer and tell FoCal where to find them and it will analyse and give you the results.
The great thing about these modes is that you’re not limited to the supported cameras – we’ve been running Aperture Sharpness and AF consistency tests on a Sony NEX 7 and Fuji X-Pro 1 for example!
Obviously, we’ve also been working on improvements to the functionality that’s currently present. We’ve fixed some bugs in the Canon control of cameras, and improved the reliability and connection speed of the Nikon support. There’s also a few improvements to the analysis to get even more accurate results in a faster time. And hopefully once the big change described at the start of this post is complete everything will work nicely on Snow Leopard and even on Retina laptops too.
As well as the development work, we’ve also improved how we handle support with more people working to answer any questions you might have.
FoCal as it stands today is the result of 9 months of development and testing before we released, then nearly a year of improvements since the first release. We’ve got over 100,000 test results in our database which have helped to see what works and what doesn’t and have helped us improve how FoCal works to give you the best results. We’re improving all the time and will carry on doing so. And don’t forget – the updates are free!
There’s one other really exciting thing that we’re working on, but I’m going to keep quiet on that for the moment as it’s not quite ready yet…!