Reikan FoCal is now available on mobile devices: Autofocus calibration on the go: Digital Photography Review

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Reikan FoCal is a powerful software tool that allows users to connect their cameras to their computers and dial in autofocus calibration. Until now, you’ve needed to do this with a computer, but Reikan has announced FoCal Mobile, a new mobile app that brings the power of Reikan FoCal to the palm of your hand.

The original FoCal desktop app launched a decade ago, providing fully automatic autofocus calibration for Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EOS 7D DSLR cameras. At that time, the app was available only on Windows. Since then, FoCal has added support for nearly 60 cameras, including the latest Nikon Z mirrorless cameras, and runs on macOS alongside Windows. The desktop app now offers much more than autofocus calibration, with features such as testing stabilization, autofocus consistency, aperture sharpness, dust spots and more.

The new FoCal Mobile app is a complement to the desktop app, rather than a full replacement. It doesn’t offer all the same features and instead emphasizes autofocus system checking and calibration. On the free version, you can perform an AF system check and sync camera time with all FoCal-supported cameras. The compatible cameras include Canon DSLR and mirrorless cameras and Nikon DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

Following an in-app purchase, users can perform full AF system calibration, compare their camera against the FoCal database, view results history, share results to FoCal Desktop and perform time sync.

Users connect their camera to their mobile device using an Apple Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter, a USB-C connector, or Reikan’s Wireless Camera Module. Once connected, Verify Setup in the app checks your environment, ensuring everything is set up for proper testing. You can then start AF System Check. It takes about two minutes and you’ll learn how well your camera and the specific attached lens work together. Results are shown with scores ranging from 0 (poor) to 100 (excellent), providing the user an instant, easy-to-understand performance metric. As for the actual autofocus testing, you must use the printable FoCal Target.

If you use multiple cameras, you know how frustrating it can be to keep them synced. The FoCal Mobile app lets you sync your cameras to the same time as your phone or tablet.

As mentioned, the paid version of FoCal Mobile includes an in-depth comparison database. From here, you can view real-world data points from other FoCal users with more than 14,000 camera and lens combinations. This lets you see how your gear compares with other users. If you get repeated results showing that your lens performs worse than others, it’s worth having it looked at.

Autofocus calibration is especially important when working with DSLR cameras. Due to the mirrors in a DSLR that must move up and down when shooting, slight variation in mirror positioning can change how light hits the sensor, which then changes autofocus accuracy since DSLR cameras have AF chips separate from the image sensor. In contrast, many mirrorless cameras have the autofocus system built into the sensor. Plus, there’s no mirror, so there’s more consistency from camera to camera. However, you may still want to perform autofocus micro-adjustment on mirrorless cameras when using adapted DSLR lenses. Of course, double-checking your setup can provide you peace of mind even when using a mirrorless camera. It can also help you identify physical issues with your lens that may be causing poor performance.

FoCal Mobile is available now. The FoCal Mobile Pro subscription is $18.99 per year. To learn more about the app, visit the App Store and the Google Play Store.

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