Stephen McDonald

Stephen McDonald

Lives in United States Eugene, OR, United States
Works as a Videomaker-Writer
Has a website at None
Joined on Sep 21, 2006
About me:

Sony HX400V, HX200V, HX100V, HX1, TX100V, Webbie HD, Sony HC9, an HDV camcorder, Canon S5, Olympus C-2100UZ. Former Sony H5, H9 and Canon SX1 User. Raynox DCR-2020PRO, Raynox HD2200, Sony DH1758 & DH1774 telex lenses.

Comments

Total: 67, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

AlexCHStudio: I was hoping to play with DL24-500 on vacation. Well, looks like Sony RX10 III would be a toy instead...

Do you think that the Sony RX10 III will be available soon and won't be delayed by the disruption in parts production?

Link | Posted on Apr 20, 2016 at 23:20 UTC
In reply to:

Stephen McDonald: I didn't notice the price before I read the article. I guessed that it would be overpriced at about $100. Little did I know. I've found bags that were the equivalent of this at Goodwill that were $5. or less. Sometimes I've bought two or three at that price and plucked off the best parts and put them all onto one.

Actually, the best camera bag I have is by Ralph Lauren. A friend found it discarded by a roadside and gave it to me. Once, someone asked me how much a bag like that would cost and all I could do was smile.

All I'm after is good pictures. I'll let others blow their money on superfluous luxury gear.

It's common to see things like that in the neighborhood, so it could have been.

Link | Posted on Apr 17, 2016 at 22:08 UTC
In reply to:

N13L5: If you don't mind a constant skeletal, muscular imbalance while walking about with your (usually weighty) gear, by all means, get a messenger bag.

Well if you always just shoot out of your car window, with the bag on the passenger seat, I see no problem either.

But if you like to hike places to get the exact pictures you want, don't get any bag with a strap for only one shoulder.

The best camera pack system I've used, put 60% of the weight in a backpack and 40% in front in a belly pack. Items frequently used like batteries, cards, tapes, add-on lenses and a flash-bang for bears, would go in front for quick access. The whole rig was balanced and caused me no discomfort or soreness.

Link | Posted on Apr 16, 2016 at 22:47 UTC

I didn't notice the price before I read the article. I guessed that it would be overpriced at about $100. Little did I know. I've found bags that were the equivalent of this at Goodwill that were $5. or less. Sometimes I've bought two or three at that price and plucked off the best parts and put them all onto one.

Actually, the best camera bag I have is by Ralph Lauren. A friend found it discarded by a roadside and gave it to me. Once, someone asked me how much a bag like that would cost and all I could do was smile.

All I'm after is good pictures. I'll let others blow their money on superfluous luxury gear.

Link | Posted on Apr 16, 2016 at 22:33 UTC as 42nd comment | 2 replies
On article Hands-on with the Sony RX10 III (302 comments in total)
In reply to:

maxnoy: How do you get 2.35mp from 1024x768?

I wonder how consistently this 3X dots/pixels formula is used by different manufacturers? Does my Sony 921K viewscreen actually have only 307K pixels? I wish they'd put more of those dots/pixels on the viewscreen of this model, as that's all I ever use, with a diopter viewing loupe. I'm very glad it doesn't have a touchscreen.

Link | Posted on Mar 30, 2016 at 04:38 UTC
In reply to:

jaykumarr: Thou Shalt Do Unto Panasonic as Panasonic did unto you - Sony Marketing

Sony marketing must have found out that, People chose 200mm longer reach FZ1000 over RXII. So with with RX-IIISony is doing the same 200mm longer over FZ1000.

For 4K video, the reach of the Sony RX10-III is only marginally longer than that of the Panasonic FZ1000. The comparison is 585mm for the Panasonic and 600mm for the Sony. This is due to the Panasonic not having full-sensor readout and using only an 8-MP inner-sector of the sensor for 4K.

Link | Posted on Mar 29, 2016 at 18:10 UTC
On article Flickr makes Auto-Uploadr tool a Pro-account exclusive (97 comments in total)
In reply to:

Stephen McDonald: I've been paying $25. for years for a "Pro" account there. Not a pleasant surprise to find that it now will cost $50. And this Auto-uploader is something I never use. Too bad that anyone uses it. The pages of photos, when you want to look at a certain model's results, are often clogged with thousands of photos from single subscribers, who post every exposure they take. One such guy boasted that his camera was so good, that every shot he took was a keeper. He often takes and posts dozens of shots of exactly the same thing. I never saw even one from him that I would have put there, if I'd taken it.

I also may take dozens of shots of the same subject and maybe one or two or sometimes none, will get posted there. It's better to be your own toughest critic, than to wait for someone else to do it. If you do take excellent photos, but post all the others with them, they will mostly be lost in the jumble, to anyone viewing them. This is the downside of digital photography.

They charged me $25. last year and said that would be the price for one more year after that. But apparently, according to this article, they have raised the price for new "Pro" subscribers. But I wouldn't count on anything they might say about the future, because the main company has trouble. My best hope is, that if they re-structure Yahoo, that they will spin off Flickr to some group that will run it to serve only its own interests and those of its users.

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2016 at 08:34 UTC
On article Flickr makes Auto-Uploadr tool a Pro-account exclusive (97 comments in total)
In reply to:

Stephen McDonald: I've been paying $25. for years for a "Pro" account there. Not a pleasant surprise to find that it now will cost $50. And this Auto-uploader is something I never use. Too bad that anyone uses it. The pages of photos, when you want to look at a certain model's results, are often clogged with thousands of photos from single subscribers, who post every exposure they take. One such guy boasted that his camera was so good, that every shot he took was a keeper. He often takes and posts dozens of shots of exactly the same thing. I never saw even one from him that I would have put there, if I'd taken it.

I also may take dozens of shots of the same subject and maybe one or two or sometimes none, will get posted there. It's better to be your own toughest critic, than to wait for someone else to do it. If you do take excellent photos, but post all the others with them, they will mostly be lost in the jumble, to anyone viewing them. This is the downside of digital photography.

They charged me $25. last year and said that would be the price for one more year after that. But apparently, according to this article, they have raised the price for new "Pro" subscribers. But I wouldn't count on anything they might say about the future, because the main company has trouble. My best hope is, that if they re-structure Yahoo, that they will spin off Flickr to some group that will run it to serve only its own interests and those of its users.

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2016 at 08:34 UTC
On article Flickr makes Auto-Uploadr tool a Pro-account exclusive (97 comments in total)
In reply to:

quiquae: Any suggestion for a replacement to Flickr as a place to share images with the general public? I do like Flickr's proposition of community-based photo sharing, but their execution of the concept has been rather suspect for some time now.

I do not enjoy 500px as it is way too slanted towards the popularity contest aspect, and too often "the best Photoshopper" contest at that. DPR is too slanted toward gear talk, and few photo sharing opportunity apart from contests. Instagram is, well, Instagram. I generally want to brush up my photos carefully before sharing with the entire world, and Instagram runs exactly counter to that philosophy.

To paraphrase Churchill, there is no photo-hosting site worse than Flickr, except all the others.

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2016 at 03:48 UTC
On article Flickr makes Auto-Uploadr tool a Pro-account exclusive (97 comments in total)

I've been paying $25. for years for a "Pro" account there. Not a pleasant surprise to find that it now will cost $50. And this Auto-uploader is something I never use. Too bad that anyone uses it. The pages of photos, when you want to look at a certain model's results, are often clogged with thousands of photos from single subscribers, who post every exposure they take. One such guy boasted that his camera was so good, that every shot he took was a keeper. He often takes and posts dozens of shots of exactly the same thing. I never saw even one from him that I would have put there, if I'd taken it.

I also may take dozens of shots of the same subject and maybe one or two or sometimes none, will get posted there. It's better to be your own toughest critic, than to wait for someone else to do it. If you do take excellent photos, but post all the others with them, they will mostly be lost in the jumble, to anyone viewing them. This is the downside of digital photography.

Link | Posted on Mar 9, 2016 at 22:36 UTC as 25th comment | 4 replies
On article Sony introduces Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 30x travel zoom (79 comments in total)

Ho-hum. One more little camera with a pinhead "1/2.3-inch" sensor and no 4K video. Will they release a large superzoom model with a bigger sensor and UHD, to get one-up on Panasonic and Nikon? What happened to "2/3-inch" sensors? I had a camcorder with them 28 years ago. One of those in a fullsized superzoom with 30X and 800mm would be a winner.

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2016 at 01:36 UTC as 18th comment | 2 replies
On article Opinion: Enthusiast compacts have finally come of age (494 comments in total)
In reply to:

mgblack74: How did we get to the point of mixing fractions with decimals? 1 over 2.3? 1 over 1.7? How is that possible? It's like saying 1.3 miles. Its either 1.3 kilometres or 1 1/3 miles. Imperial is idiotic (don't get me started on Fahrenheit). Saying a sensor is 1/1.7 means what? It's 0.7" larger than 1? Or rather it's 7/10ths larger than an inch? It's bizarre that we have 1" or less measured in fractions of an inch. We even have view cameras measure in inches; 4x5, 8x10. But APS-C, full frame ("35mm format. Millimetre), crop frame medium format (44x33) and full frame medium format (60x45) are measured in millimetres. We have standard hotshoes. Standard film/sensor sensitivity. Standard focal length nomenclature. But come sensor size..... it's all over the map. mm is just more accurate too. Anyway. :-)

I use the Metric System extensively. I find that it is better for some things and not so good for others, So I use the standard system for those things. After all, who would be thrilled to see someone run a sub-four minute 1,604-meter race? Or clear 2.13 meters in the high jump? I might have a running workout of 6 miles, but never think of it as approximately 10,000 meters. The Metric System lacks good conceptual units that are shorter or longer than a meter. So I have three measurement standards to use, instead of only one. It's just like knowing how to speak several languages.

The fact is, that American and I assume also English surveyors, use the foot as a standard, but divide it decimally.

Link | Posted on Mar 1, 2016 at 08:41 UTC

Another example of why foreign companies should hire someone raised in this country to review their product names, press releases, etc. The fictional character, "Foxy Brown", was a high-priced prostitute in a movie made in the 1970s.

Link | Posted on Feb 29, 2016 at 23:26 UTC as 66th comment | 1 reply
On article Opinion: Enthusiast compacts have finally come of age (494 comments in total)
In reply to:

mgblack74: How did we get to the point of mixing fractions with decimals? 1 over 2.3? 1 over 1.7? How is that possible? It's like saying 1.3 miles. Its either 1.3 kilometres or 1 1/3 miles. Imperial is idiotic (don't get me started on Fahrenheit). Saying a sensor is 1/1.7 means what? It's 0.7" larger than 1? Or rather it's 7/10ths larger than an inch? It's bizarre that we have 1" or less measured in fractions of an inch. We even have view cameras measure in inches; 4x5, 8x10. But APS-C, full frame ("35mm format. Millimetre), crop frame medium format (44x33) and full frame medium format (60x45) are measured in millimetres. We have standard hotshoes. Standard film/sensor sensitivity. Standard focal length nomenclature. But come sensor size..... it's all over the map. mm is just more accurate too. Anyway. :-)

If my 8th-grade Math teacher could see this mixing of decimals and fractions together today, she'd turn over in her grave.

And now that I think about improper use of numbers and measures, how about the misuse of the term "Megabyte"? In recent years, manufacturers have been describing card and device speed in "Megabytes per second (MBps). Correctly used, A Megabyte is a measure of storage capacity or file size. The term "Megabits per second" or "Mbps" is the measure of transfer speed (8 Megabits of signal flow needed to fill 1 Megabyte of storage space.

Link | Posted on Feb 29, 2016 at 22:22 UTC
On article Opinion: Enthusiast compacts have finally come of age (494 comments in total)
In reply to:

mgblack74: How did we get to the point of mixing fractions with decimals? 1 over 2.3? 1 over 1.7? How is that possible? It's like saying 1.3 miles. Its either 1.3 kilometres or 1 1/3 miles. Imperial is idiotic (don't get me started on Fahrenheit). Saying a sensor is 1/1.7 means what? It's 0.7" larger than 1? Or rather it's 7/10ths larger than an inch? It's bizarre that we have 1" or less measured in fractions of an inch. We even have view cameras measure in inches; 4x5, 8x10. But APS-C, full frame ("35mm format. Millimetre), crop frame medium format (44x33) and full frame medium format (60x45) are measured in millimetres. We have standard hotshoes. Standard film/sensor sensitivity. Standard focal length nomenclature. But come sensor size..... it's all over the map. mm is just more accurate too. Anyway. :-)

The meaning of the word, "Imperial", is that it rules over all. Rejection of the old and sensible Imperial standards of measurement is just another example of the resentment around the world, of the increasing dominance of English and the culture of the United States.

Some people in other regions keep criticizing our culture, but their younger citizens are seeking it out and adopting it in increasing numbers. This media of the Internet we are using here, is one of the main reasons for this.

Even though the Metric System is forced on our students in school, they always revert back to our own standards in their personal lives. We will never give up our standards and use foreign ones. The road signs here will always show distances and speeds in miles.

Link | Posted on Feb 29, 2016 at 22:05 UTC
On article Opinion: Enthusiast compacts have finally come of age (494 comments in total)
In reply to:

mgblack74: How did we get to the point of mixing fractions with decimals? 1 over 2.3? 1 over 1.7? How is that possible? It's like saying 1.3 miles. Its either 1.3 kilometres or 1 1/3 miles. Imperial is idiotic (don't get me started on Fahrenheit). Saying a sensor is 1/1.7 means what? It's 0.7" larger than 1? Or rather it's 7/10ths larger than an inch? It's bizarre that we have 1" or less measured in fractions of an inch. We even have view cameras measure in inches; 4x5, 8x10. But APS-C, full frame ("35mm format. Millimetre), crop frame medium format (44x33) and full frame medium format (60x45) are measured in millimetres. We have standard hotshoes. Standard film/sensor sensitivity. Standard focal length nomenclature. But come sensor size..... it's all over the map. mm is just more accurate too. Anyway. :-)

This is a multi-mensural world. It's like being bilingual in a place where two languages are spoken. In England, they still use weight measures like "stone" or "fathom' for depth. Knots are used universally for speed or distance in aircraft or boats. The Earth itself, is divided into degrees, minutes and seconds.

Link | Posted on Feb 29, 2016 at 07:27 UTC
On article Opinion: Enthusiast compacts have finally come of age (494 comments in total)

So a camera with a 50mm top end, is going to fill her need for a zoom? Unless she's ready to do some zooming with her feet, you'd better be prepared to find something else for her.

If you talk about a gap in camera capabilities, what we really need is a small one with a "2/3-inch" type sensor. This could be fitted to a smaller body and lens than a "1-inch" type and still have twice the sensor area of a "1/2.3-inch" type. You could have three things in one: reduced size, more sensor area and a longer zoom.

Link | Posted on Feb 29, 2016 at 02:21 UTC as 57th comment | 3 replies

What are the video bitrates for the DL 24-500? Does it use full-sensor readout for 4K? If not, does it use an 8.1-MP sector and give a longer focal-length for 4K?

Why have they given such long model numbers to this series, that have no easily recognizable personality to them? DL 24-500 sounds like a lens specification (which it is), rather than a name or model number. Why is nothing said about 4K photo capture? What they really should have done is make a camera that has a "2/3-inch" sensor and 800mm.

Link | Posted on Feb 24, 2016 at 19:12 UTC as 16th comment | 1 reply

Lots of confusing, disappointing and missing specs here. Looks like they've changed the mistake about the B700 price and now show it as $499. There's no mention of a mike input, but elsewhere, it's listed as having one. No information about the bitrate of video. Does it have filter threads on the lens or adaptor threads on the lens housing? Why does last year's 2000mm P900 lens have F2.8, while this one has F3.3 and 1440mm, with the same sensor size?

Link | Posted on Feb 24, 2016 at 18:56 UTC as 4th comment

What such a camera really needs is an App that processes photos marked as "selfies", to make the subject appear beautiful, although still recognizable. Talk about a hot seller, this would be it.

Link | Posted on Feb 15, 2016 at 21:10 UTC as 15th comment | 1 reply
Total: 67, showing: 1 – 20
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