We’re delighted to announce the full, general availability release of Reikan FoCal 3.1!
This release brings several usability improvements, support for new operating systems and features, internal bug fixes and more.
[If you’re not interested in the details and just want to grab the release download info is here]
- Wireless Camera Control Module support added ready for our public testing phase.
- Support for Windows 11 and macOS Monterey
- Camera control lock/unlock improvements
- Target Setup improvements
- History sort options
- Camera control improvements
- Metadata, camera and lens recognition improvements
- File Mode chooser updates
- Data Transfer Indicator
For a recap of the operation, you can check out the FoCal 2020 overview video.
The Release Notes contain a comprehensive list of changes.
Support for the Wireless Camera Control Module
This release of FoCal is the first to include public support for our new Wireless Camera Control Module.
The module is still under development and will be in the hands of our first testers early next year. Places are still open for those interested in helping – check the blog post for more details!
Support for Windows 11 and macOS Monterey
Both Microsoft and Apple have published new releases of their operating systems in the last few months.
Windows 11 brings a clean new look and quite a few new changes under the skin, but is essentially not too different from Windows 10. We’ve tested FoCal on a range of Windows 11 computers and FoCal 3.1 includes some minor improvements to fully support Windows 11.
Apple’s yearly operating system update brings macOS Monterey – macOS 12. Over the years, macOS updates have caused quite a headache for developers, especially for software that communicates with external hardware as FoCal does with cameras. Luckily, this time round everything is working without any issues.
Again, we’ve added some minor updates in FoCal 3.1 which integrate better with macOS 12.
Camera Controls Lock/Unlock Improvements
In order to ensure the camera settings are in a consistent, known state, FoCal locks the camera controls so there is no chance of accidental adjustments. When the controls are locked, the padlock icon on the top right of the FoCal window will be shown in a locked state, and:
- On Canon cameras, the word “busy” is shown on the top LCD if you try to make any adjustments on the camera,
- On Nikon cameras, the “PC” text is shown on the top LCD and the controls are not active.
All the time FoCal is in control of the camera, the controls should be locked. Prior to FoCal 3.1, this was not always the case – sometimes the camera was left in an unlocked state which could occasionally lead to inconsistent behaviour. This has now been corrected in FoCal 3.1.
If you need to make any adjustments with the camera connected to FoCal, if you’re not running a test you can click the padlock icon. The controls will be enabled, the padlock icon will shows as unlocked and the message below will be shown:
You can adjust controls on the camera only while the message is on screen. Once you hit the OK button and the messages disappears, the camera controls are locked again.
There will also be times where the controls are automatically enabled for you to make changes as instructed by FoCal – again, this will be indicated by the padlock being unlocked, but also with information messages on screen.
Target Setup Improvements
Before running any tests, it’s a good idea to use Target Setup to make sure that your camera, lens, target and settings are all correct.
Over the 10 years since FoCal was first released, Target Setup has gone through a lot of changes and improvements to make it quicker, easier and more informative. In FoCal 3.1, we’ve improved a few aspects to avoid some usability problems that a few users have reported.
First off, each setting panel now has a small “?” icon on the far right which you can click to jump to the online help for this particular check that’s performed. It gives more details about why the check happens, what to expect and how to correct any issues.
When Target Setup informs you that there are changes to make to various settings, it’s not always obvious you need to stop the test and in some cases unlock the camera controls or disconnect the camera to make those changes.
We’ve added a clear message to show that you must not disconnect the camera without first stopping the test.
If you get notified of issues with a lot of the checks – e.g. Target Placement, Target Distance, Focal Length etc – you can simple make the adjustment on your equipment then hit the Refresh icon to check again and update.
For Camera Settings, however, the test will need to be stopped and the camera controls unlocked. This is now a one-click operation – just hit the Click Here text in the Camera Settings panel if you need to make any adjustments.
Target Setup will stop running, unlock the camera and show the message below. When you’ve made any necessary changes, hit the OK button and the test will resume, rechecking all your settings and showing the results.
Sort options for History
We’ve improved the History page by allowing you to choose a sort order for the camera and lens lists.
Prior to FoCal 3.1, the cameras and lenses were shown in the order in which they first appeared in your results which was not particularly intuitive.
Opening the Settings tab now gives you the option of choosing to sort by:
- Description (alphabetical)
- Minimum or maximum focal length (for lenses)
Camera Control Improvements
Software to control more than 50 different cameras can get quite complicated, with each camera behaving a little differently to the others!
During use, some of our users discover obscure issues with the control of cameras, or we occasionally find problems during internal testing.
We’ve fixed several obscure issues in this release related to subtler control aspects of both Nikon and Canon cameras, improving reliability and speed of operation during use with FoCal.
Metadata, Camera and Lens recognition Improvements
New cameras and lenses are being released all the time, and we try to keep our detection and description code up to date.
FoCal 3.1 brings new camera definitions for the newly released Nikon Z fc, Nikon Z9, Canon EOS R3 and Sony A7iv cameras – at the moment this improves the results available through File Mode, but when the documentation is available we will add automatic control of the Nikon Z fc, Z9 and EOS R3 to FoCal.
We’ve also improved processing of the image metadata so it works with the new Nikon Z9, fixes some issues with the Nikon Z fc images and also fixed some File Mode issues with Sony cameras.
File Mode chooser updates
File Mode allows you to process images you capture offline and get results for tools like Calibration, Aperture Sharpness and Autofocus Consistency.
Once you have selected a set of files, FoCal will display the list for you to pick the ones you actually want analysed for the chosen test.
If you click the arrow on the far right of each line, it will expand the line to show further details, and for FoCal 3.1 we’ve added the Camera and Lens names and serial numbers where available so you can clearly see the source of the images.
Data Transfer Indication
FoCal 3.1 now shows you when data is being transferred between the camera and the computer with the use of a circular progress indicator on the top-right of the window.
Usually occupied by the camera controls lock/unlock icon, when data is being transferred between the camera and computer, this icon will show a circle filling to indicate the progress of the transfer to the computer.
Operating System Support
The following are supported Operating Systems:
- Windows 11 (NEW)
- Windows 10
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 7 should work, Microsoft ended support in January 2020 and we do only limited testing on Windows 7.
- macOS Monterey (12.x) (NEW)
- macOS Big Sur (11.x)
- macOS Catalina (10.15)
- macOS Mojave (10.14)
- macOS High Sierra (10.13)
- macOS Sierra (10.12)
Thank you to all our users past and present who’ve used FoCal for their calibrations. An extra special thank you to everyone who’s got in touch with feedback, a lot changes are driven directly from what you tell us!
Get Reikan FoCal 3.1
Download FoCal 3.1 for Windows or macOS by logging in to the account system via lms.fo-cal.co.uk. Once logged in, you will see a download link to the software.
FoCal 3.1 is available to all users that are within their Included Updates Period as of 14th December 2021. You can get the software as below:
- By logging in to the FoCal Account system via lms.fo-cal.co.uk.
- Go to the About > Update Check option in the software. From here you can hit the Download button to get the software.
If the above does not apply to you, you can purchase 12 months of updates by logging in to the account system via lms.fo-cal.co.uk and going to the Included Updates Period section.
If you’re not yet a FoCal user, you can purchase the software as a download or boxed product, as well as Focal Hard Targets from the FoCal Online Store.
Reikan FoCal on Social Media
We regularly post news and updates on social media. You can keep updated, connect and follow us via: