We’re pleased to announce the second beta release of FoCal 1.9 for both Windows and Mac. The headline feature of this release is support for the Nikon D7100, but it also brings several fixes over the first beta.
Updates and Fixes
This version incorporates all the fixes in the first beta detailed on this page, as well as the following updates:
- Adds support for the Nikon D7100
- All Canon Cameras updated to improve reliability
- Improvements to small light-level change compensation algorithm
- Canon Hotkey Change – now a change in value controlled by the top dial will trigger continuation of FoCal
- Fully Automatic test now shows target distance even without Target Optimisation
- MSC Mode Request window is now used for all MSC mode requests
- Warn-on-close for tests if the report has not been saved (FoCal Pro only)
- Improvements to TurboCal for MSC mode cameras (e.g. the 5D Mark III)
- Improvements to automatic camera settings save/restore
- Fix to Target Setup Focus Point display
- Updates to fix display issues with Windows High Resolution displays
- Fix to stop MultiPoint Target Setup crashing on Windows
- Fixes to drop-down image selection lists
- Fixes to wording in AF Consistency Test report
- Fix to operation of manually ignored points in AF Consistency and Fully Auto tests
Note: If you’re upgrading from the first FoCal 1.9 beta, the update notification (when you run the software) should offer to take you to the download page automatically to save you having to log in through the LMS.
Here are a few highlights of the functionality improvements for FoCal 1.9:
Canon “HotKey” operation change
Certain cameras run in MSC (Manual Setting Change) mode, where the camera is completely controlled by FoCal except for the AF Microadjustment setting. When there is a requirement to change this value, a window will appear on the screen telling you which value to enter on the camera.
The “HotKey” function allows you to tell the computer you have entered the value from the camera – so you don’t need to keep going backwards and forwards between the computer and camera while the requests are made.
Up to this version, on Canon cameras the HotKey was to half-press the shutter button on the camera. However, on certain cameras and under certain situations, this can be falsely triggered and could cause some problems. We have now changed the Canon HotKey to a turn of the top control wheel to change the aperture or shutter speed. You just need to make one click of the wheel in either direction (as long as the value changed) and FoCal will recognise this and continue the test after a short delay.
What’s left to do before Release?
Hopefully not a lot in terms of functionality. Our testing for this release has been the most thorough we’ve ever performed on any release of FoCal. We’ve developed specific release tests to exercise some of the more complicated parts of FoCal, and we’ve tested with as many operating systems and camera combinations as possible.
One thing that is left to do is work on the Manual. In order to get this release out for testing, we’ve only made basic updates from the FoCal 1.8 manual so there are several sections which are not yet up to date. This also applies to the QuickStart guide and the Testing Guide too.
The following table shows what is working for this version of FoCal:
|Operating System||Camera Manufacturer||Status|
|OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)||Canon & Nikon||Fully functional|
|OS X 10.7 (Lion)||Canon & Nikon||Fully functional|
|OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)||Canon & Nikon||Fully functional|
The following table shows what should be working for this version of FoCal:
|Operating System||Camera Manufacturer||Status|
|Windows XP||Canon only||Fully functional|
|Windows Vista||Canon & Nikon||Fully functional|
|Windows 7||Canon & Nikon||Fully functional|
|Windows 8||Canon & Nikon||Fully Functional|
What’s meant by Beta?
This beta software is almost ready for a “General Availability” release, but we want to get feedback from current users before making it a general availability release.
Please remember though that as a beta version there may be functionality that doesn’t work on some systems, and indeed in some cases the software may not run at all. Please let us know if this happens and we will investigate the problems. As is hopefully apparent, we do provide regular and comprehensive updates to FoCal to fix issues and add new functionality.
How do I get it?
This version is available to all license holders (FoCal Standard, FoCal Plus and FoCal Pro).
You can download it from the License Management System – you’ll see the link to the download near the bottom of the page once you log in.
MAC: The software is available as a disk image (DMG) file for OS X, containing the software itself, the target images and documentation in separate directories.
WINDOWS: The software is available as a ZIP file, which contains the software, the target images and the documentation in separate directories.
Installing on OS X (IMPORTANT!)
Please read the installation section of the manual if you don’t already have FoCal installed! FoCal uses the Mono framework, and this must be installed before you use FoCal. You only have to do this the very first time you install FoCal, so if you’re already using FoCal on your Mac then installation is just a case of copying FoCal to the Applications folder and running it.
You should download the Mono framework from www.fo-cal.co.uk/mono as this will obtain the correct version (2.10.9). Any other version WILL cause problems with FoCal.
Some versions of OS X give you a message and take you to the Mono download page, but most don’t give you much help – either a bouncing FoCal icon that quickly disappears, or an obscure “OS Error”. If you get either of these issues, you can resolve them with the steps in Section 2 (Installation) of the FoCal Manual which is in the Documents folder when you mount the DMG image.
There are short guides available which help you through the installation, connection and first use of the software available for Windows and for Mac on the Document Downloads page.
What can I do to help?
Please download the software and give it a go. Let us know how you get on:
- If you spot any errors, please let us know
- If you can make the software misbehave, let us know what steps you take to make it happen
- If it works perfectly we’d love to hear too (good news it always nice!!)
You can contact us through the contact form (please use the Mac or Windows Beta option as appropriate). There’s likely to be quite a high volume of emails, so we can’t reply to everyone but every bit of information we receive will be read and used to make FoCal better, so please let us know how you get on.