FoCal Wireless Camera Control

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!

Reikan Wireless Camera Control Module
The FoCal Wireless Camera Control module

Setup

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
Reikan Wireless Camera Control Module with battery
Give module some power to kick things off
  • Plug your camera into the USB port on the wireless module (instead of computer or laptop!)
Reikan Wireless Camera Control Module with battery and camera
Connect to your camera
  • Connect your computer across WiFi to the the Wireless Camera Control module (testing has given us a range over 100m or 330 feet!)
Windows 10 WiFi settings, showing Reikan wireless module WiFi network
Select the Reikan WiFi network
  • Start FoCal and connect as normal, just as if the camera was directly tethered…
FoCal with the Wireless Camera Control module

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!

FoCal Camera Control module working with an old Nikon D700

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?

Reikan FoCal running on an iPhone – is this 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.

32 comments on “FoCal Wireless Camera Control

  • Phil Scheel says:

    This will definelty help in my situation. We recently sold our house and moved into our RV full time. If I need to calibrate a lens then I am required to do it outside. The weather in Florida is great but light is not always consistent so I have to find a suitable location. Dragging my laptop l, cord, stand etc can be challenging. This will certainly help.

    Reply
  • Hi Dave

    Had done some testing for you last year about this time and am due for a recalibration on a number of my lenses. Would be happy to give this a try as the length of cable for some of my longer lenses and adequately lighting a long hallway in my home are indeed troublesome and would benefit from this device!

    Reply
  • Serge Fleury says:

    I’m interested !
    I have several Nikon cameras (“argentique” and digital – D300 – D850)
    If help is needed to translate documentation (from english to french) I could help you, as I translate software and plugins
    I already use some remote shutters

    Thanks Have a good day

    Reply
  • ken elliott says:

    Very nice product, but I really dislike the USB power supply. I suspect it will be very awkward having the USB power supply, cable, FoCal Control Module, and another cable. Most of us already own AA batteries for flashes, so I think that would be a better choice. But perhaps the molds are already made. May I suggest a snap-on pack for AA cells, while still allowing the USB power?

    After you launch, please consider using a third party app, like Capture One, Lightroom, and/or digiCamControl.

    Reply
    • Hi Ken,

      Thank you for your interest in FoCal Wireless Camera Control 🙂

      USB power bank is a reasonably universal way to power a mobile device and gives users a lot of options.

      You mention powering via AA batteries, well there’s a good number of power banks that let you do that! Search google for something like Travel AA Battery Power Bank – you’ll see it’s very possible to use standard AA batteries to provide power 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
    • Hi Duncan,

      Thank you for your interest in FoCal Wireless Camera Control 🙂

      Pricing is one of the areas that is not yet fully determined. We want to price the unit at a reasonable cost, ‘reasonable’ of course is a matter of perspective. We definitely want to make it affordable for existing FoCal users!

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
    • Hi Jeffrey,

      Thank you for your interest in FoCal Wireless Camera Control.

      It’s a good question, the first step is to get everything working with FoCal. Where things go following is an open question and partly at least down to what users would find useful 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • David Jones says:

    jUST REALLY HAVE NOT USED fOCAL, GAVE UP. TO FIND A LOCATION TO WORK WITH fOCAL HAS BEEN AN ISSUE FOR ME I DON’T HAVE A LAPTOP AND MY DESKTOP COMPUTER JUST REALLY DOES NOT WORK TO DO EXTENDED TEST. SO I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE ABILITY TO USE IT ON MY PHONE… THE SOONER THE BETTER…THANKS

    Reply
  • Larry Sacks says:

    Love this idea. Just registered my interest to help.

    As silly as it sounds, trying to find a straight line of sight between my camera and a surface that is absolutely perpendicular to the front of the lens in our place is difficult. The best run is between the living room wall and the bathroom, which is a bit inconvenient when there’s only 1 bathroom. Being able to go outside or somewhere more convenient sounds like heaven to me.

    Reply
    • Hi Larry,

      Thank you for registering your interest.

      Yep, questions we often get asked on support are about how to find space and what is the maximum USB length possible(!)

      The wireless module has a decent range and should solve those problems 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Thomas Östreicher says:

    To me this sounds very interesting. Currently I have to use the laptop of my wife to be “mobile”. Would be great to use our PC . Hope to connect it via Fritz Box.

    Reply
  • Jose Enrique Castro Sanchez says:

    When Focal was born, I was a Focal beta tester with a Canon 1Ds Mark III. Now I have other cameras and lenses and I am ready to test this device.

    Reply
  • Carl Schmidt says:

    Hello,
    I’m aware that Nikon AF fine tune must be set manually during calibration. This wireless device will not change that, correct?

    Reply
    • Hi Carl,

      It’s a good question but yes you are right, it won’t change the functionality of FoCal.

      Really the only way AF Fine Tune could be completely automated would be a change from Nikon (and that seems unlikely at this point!)

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Steve Shawl says:

    Sounds fantastic! Will make it so much easier to use and thus use often to stay on top of how the camera-lens system is working! Very much interested!

    Reply
  • Benny Fischer says:

    Looks good Dave, a little bit different from my setup that i send you, but I hope I have inspired you 🙂
    I’m all in for testing 🙂

    Reply
  • Paul Buckley says:

    Guys, I know you said you were looking for experienced FoCal users to test, but don’t forget us new users with little experience of the software.
    I am about to purchase the software this week. If the remote was available I’d go for it.
    I’m sure such feedback on its use by ‘newbies’ would be valuable for you and of course I’d like to be one of those to test it!

    Reply
    • Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your interest in FoCal Wireless Camera Control 🙂

      Yep and I think you’re right, we definitely want to make something which is easy to get started with (and doesn’t require a networking or FoCal qualification to use!). We’ll likely go for a mix if we can!

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Hi I’d love to trial one…. My data port on my d850 has given up so I haven’t been able to use my focal Pro for 9 months and really miss it as it was superb for keeping my lenses in tune

    Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your interest 🙂

      I think though this is unlikely to help in your case, the wireless module still needs to connect to the camera data port (locally to the camera). The wireless link happens between the module (plugged into the camera) and the computer’s wireless adapter.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.