As Reikan approaches 10 years since the very first FoCal release, we’re excited to announce the development of a new product which brings wireless control to all FoCal supported cameras.
What is FoCal Wireless Camera Control?
Currently FoCal connects across a wired USB connection and takes control of the camera, allowing users to run tests and calibrations of their equipment.
Often it’s preferable to calibrate outside in natural lighting, and when using long telephoto lenses finding the required distance inside can be a challenge. Laptops can help but many times users would prefer to use a fixed computer system and the maximum 5 meter USB cable might not be long enough.
Ditching the requirement for a wired USB connection provides flexibility to use your camera at a distance without the nuisance of dangling wires.
Enter the FoCal Wireless Camera Control module!
Getting your camera working with FoCal’s Wireless Camera Control module is simple:
- Power up the module – a standard USB power bank is perfect for this
- Plug your camera into the USB port on the wireless module (instead of computer or laptop!)
- Connect your computer across WiFi to the the Wireless Camera Control module (testing has given us a range over 100m or 330 feet!)
- Start FoCal and connect as normal, just as if the camera was directly tethered…
In the screenshot above, you’ll notice a couple of features:
- First, the very top right of the page shows a wireless icon, indicating that FoCal is connected to the Wireless Camera Control module and will detect cameras attached remotely.
- Secondly, there is a wireless icon next to the Nikon D700 camera name in the Connected Camera panel, showing that the D700 is connected wirelessly.
Other than those indications, FoCal behaves exactly as if the camera was connected via a USB cable – all the wireless complexity is seamlessly integrated.
Which Cameras are Supported?
The wireless module builds on our extensive camera control experience and adds a WiFi link to the protocol chain. You can control any camera that is supported by FoCal. Here’s the wireless module connected to a Nikon D700 – a 14 year old camera, working perfectly!
Is it Ready?
Almost, we’re close!
We’ve had Wireless Camera Control working in the lab for quite some time, a lot of our release testing has been across WiFi, checking stability and long term operation of the module. We’ve even had Target Setup running with full live view from the far side of the office car park: that’s over 100m between camera and computer!
Can I Buy One Today?
Not quite yet, we’re aiming to have the Wireless Camera Control module in the online store ready to buy early next year, Q1 2022.
Before it goes in the online store we need to do final tweaking and get valuable feedback from experienced FoCal users, see below for how you can get involved.
Does it Do Any Other Cool Stuff?
Funny you should ask… as of now the module extends control of Reikan FoCal across WiFi, we have more ideas on what might be possible and what happens next is largely down to what users would find useful.
One idea we’ve had: the wireless link opens the possibility for FoCal running on a mobile device. We’ve had full FoCal running on phones and tablets within the lab… is this is something you’d be interested in?
Wireless camera connection opens the door for all kinds of useful functionality. Right now we’re working on FoCal control, what happens next is very much open, it could be the start of something very cool 🙂
I Really Want to Get Involved!
We’re giving away* 10 FoCal Wireless Camera Control modules.
The final phase is to have broader testing in the ‘real world’ in the hands of experienced FoCal users.
The best people will be existing FoCal users (Pro or Commercial) who are happy to work through an occasional teething issue and willing to provide detailed quality feedback of any problems and suggestions for things which could be improved.
Depending on the amount of interest we might ask for those interested to fill out a short questionnaire, for now at least, please register your interest via the following page:
Note, contact details will be only be used for Wireless Camera Control module information and users may unsubscribe at any time.
* no money will change hands but we do require involvement. It’s not a free prize lucky draw giveaway, we’re looking to hook up with users who are genuinely interested, excited to be involved and help shape the product going forwards.