FoCal 3.6: Improvements & Fixes!

The public release of FoCal 3.6 is now available to all users, bringing a host of internal improvements and bug fixes.

Durdle Door overlaid with the FoCal 3.6 text

This latest release includes improvements to Mirrorless Calibration Check, faster and more reliable operation with the FoCal Wireless Camera Control Module, improvements to camera control and metadata processing across all manufacturers, lots of usability improvements and a whole host of bug fixes.

What’s New?

[If you’re not interested in the details and just want to grab the release download info is here]

Headline Features

For a recap of the operation, you can check out the FoCal overview video.

The Release Notes contain a comprehensive list of changes.

Mirrorless Calibration Check Improvements

We released the Mirrorless Calibration Check functionality in our last major release, FoCal 3.5. On the whole, it was working pretty well, but there were some situations where the FoCal AF algorithm wasn’t working as it should, leading to failure to complete tests.

FoCal Calibration Check running on a mirrorless Nikon Z 50 camera
Calibration Check running on a Nikon Z 50 Mirrorless Camera

We’ve worked on fixing sensitivity issues with FoCal AF, and it now works a lot better! It’s both more reliable and faster at detecting the best possible quality from your camera and lens.

Head over to our previous release post for more details on Mirrorless Calibration Check.

Camera Control Updates

FoCal’s primary design goal is to control cameras for testing, and we now support almost 60 different DSLR and Mirrorless cameras (more if you include beta cameras!) Couple this with the thousands of lenses available and you can see there are literally millions of combinations of cameras & lenses that can be used with FoCal!

A photo of a Canon EOS R5 with the sun in the background.

Sadly, we can’t test them all! But thanks to our great base of FoCal users, we get regular reports of any issues that arise with unusual combinations of equipment.

In this release, we’ve addressed issues on both Nikon and Canon cameras in areas including autofocus drive modes, Live View initialisation, focus point adjustment, image transfer, clock control, metadata processing and much more.

Wireless Camera Control Module updates

The Wireless Camera Control Module is something we use a lot in the lab, and as such, we’re often finding ways to improve its performance and operation with FoCal.

A photo of the Reikan FoCal Wireless Camera Control Module.

We’ve modified the way that FoCal handles communication with the Wireless Module, making it more reliable, especially with weaker signal quality and improvements to operating speed.

Internal Improvements

We’ve had our heads down working on many internal improvements to how FoCal works. These updates don’t always get the attention they deserve but they’re important for the reliability and operation of FoCal.

Here’s a taste of the things we’ve fixed and improved:

Comparison Database

FoCal’s comparison database is a unique feature of the software, allowing comparison of your camera and lens performance to that of thousands of other users to see how real-world operation compares.

An aperture sharpness profile result showing FoCal Comparison Data.
An example of FoCal Comparison Data, the green area is excellent, blue is typical and red is poor.

Our backend data processing, combined with updates in this release, allows us to build better profiles to more accurately compare kit performance.

License Management

There have been various improvements to the license management within FoCal, making it less obtrusive to you when you upgrade FoCal, update licensed cameras, renew your included updates or any other things that require a change to the license. Reinitialisation after a major change is much quicker, and many cases now happen instantly and without user intervention.

Improved help messages

Various features now have more information, helping to get the best from FoCal.

A screenshot showing the Raw mode information message.
Information messages have now been included for some features

User interface improvements

Various aspects of the user interface have been improved, making it more reliable and faster.

  • Some operations (e.g. enabling logging) can now be done without requiring a restart.
  • More information is presented during longer operations such as connecting to a camera.
  • Various logic fixes in how parts of the user interface respond
  • The Typical information panel can now be copied to the clipboard
A screen shot showing Aperture Sharpness test Typical results panel, and the new copy icon.
The Comparison with Typical Performance contents can now be copied with the Copy icon on the title bar

Operating System Support

The following are supported Operating Systems:

Windows (64-bit)

Mac

  • macOS Monterey (12.x)
  • macOS Big Sur (11.x)
  • macOS Catalina (10.15)
  • macOS Mojave (10.14)
  • macOS High Sierra (10.13)
  • macOS Sierra (10.12)

More details…

There are more details in the changelog on the release notes for this release.

Thank you!

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 of changes are driven directly by what you tell us!

Get Reikan FoCal 3.6

Download FoCal 3.6 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 3.6 is available to all users within their Included Updates Period as of 29th Sep 2022. 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 you’re outside of the period above you can purchase 12 months of updates by logging in to the account system via lms.fo-cal.co.uk and scrolling to Included Updates Period.

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.

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