Once support for the Z9 was added to the FoCal software, it was time to give the camera a bit of a bash. And what better place than the down at Durdle Door in Dorset, part of the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site!
I loaded up a pack with a few cameras including the Z9, 2 tripods a few computers and some other bits and pieces just to make sure it was unpleasantly heavy and headed off from the car park down the steep slope and steps to the beach.
First things first – camera calibration time! This wasn’t strictly necessary as I’d already calibrated the camera and lenses before leaving, but I wanted to show that calibration is possible in the field. Now this was a far from perfect scenario in which to perform a calibration – the beach was pebbly and soft so tripod legs sunk and the wind was strong and gusty, on a couple of occasions knocking the tripod holding the target over until I moved location!
But what I would say is that FoCal worked admirably. I ran each calibration a couple of times in order to check that the results were consistent, and despite the conditions I was getting perfect repeatability.
With the basics out the way, I wanted to play with some “toys”. First up, the FoCal Wireless Camera Module. Due to the way the module works, once the FoCal software can support a camera, it will be implicitly supported remotely, so I connected to the Z9.
Despite being a beta product at the moment, the module worked flawlessly. Here’s a screenshot of the Target Setup utility in FoCal, with the live feed showing me out by the target – I was using the feed to move the target tripod to make sure the arch of Durdle Door was in the shot. (Note that I hadn’t actually hit the Refresh button to update the Environment Check Results, hence the warnings next to Target Placement and Target Distance despite it being well aligned).
The last thing to play with was definitely “winging it” – could I run a few calibration with a development version of FoCal on an iPad? The answer turns out to be yes! Again, not a single issue at all. Let us know in the comments if an iPad/iPhone version of FoCal is something you’d like to see…
After packing the FoCal related gear away, I captured a few shots of the local area.
Last thing to mention on this page is the Target Holder used on the tripod during testing above. There’s a better photo below. These are little 3D printed holders for the FoCal hard targets which can be mounted on a tripod. Let us know if this is something you’d be interested in.