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: 46, showing: 1 – 20
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On photo Go Ahead, Sit Down at McDonalds -- in China in the Lost In Translation challenge (6 comments in total)

I'll tell you, I'm never going to take a guest to that place.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 12, 2016 at 08:05 UTC as 1st comment

A 15 frame-per-second video rate is useless, except to make vidcaps. But it is possible to produce good video with a sensor this small, if everything in the camera is of good quality and programmed correctly.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 10, 2016 at 21:37 UTC as 32nd comment
On article GoPro's poor holiday sales lead to staff layoff (124 comments in total)

The decline may be partly due to the distortion of the fisheye lens and the realization by more and more people, that it's not suitable for general video purposes, but just for use as a POV. If GoPro wants to survive, they need to expand their model selection to include a non-fisheye lens type, inside of just selling a one-trick pony. A model that could shift back and forth from a fisheye to a straight lens, might be a winner.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 16, 2016 at 01:08 UTC as 41st comment
On article Kodak revives Super 8 with part-digital cine camera (367 comments in total)
In reply to:

Stephen McDonald: Nest thing you know, Quadraphonic records will be back and maybe this time, they'll get it right, so you can actually hear something from those rear channels. And I can't wait to use my 8-Track recorder again.

I have 12 speakers in my system and wouldn't settle for less. I have simulated surround in two-speaker modes, but it doesn't come close to the full system. The very best sound experience I have comes from a 28-year old processor with full manual options of up to 150 milliseconds delay and all sorts of echo and reverberation effects. But it's too much bother to use it for ordinary programs, so I usually settle for an automatic 30 mls delay on my newer Yamaha receiver. Some of my 25-year old VHS movie tapes still provide the best surround effects, such as "Hamburger Hill".

Direct link | Posted on Jan 11, 2016 at 01:29 UTC
On article Kodak revives Super 8 with part-digital cine camera (367 comments in total)

Nest thing you know, Quadraphonic records will be back and maybe this time, they'll get it right, so you can actually hear something from those rear channels. And I can't wait to use my 8-Track recorder again.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 8, 2016 at 08:40 UTC as 44th comment | 7 replies
In reply to:

bbrigg57: I would like to see the new filters tested to see what sort of effect they have on the optics before i buy them.

After all, the optical effects are the main purpose of filters; high-tech names and claims of no importance without the performance.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 15, 2015 at 20:13 UTC
In reply to:

Ron Poelman: No, really, how are they to clean ?
Some optical coatings make all sorts of claims,
but when they DO get dirty (and they will),
all you seem to do is push the smearing around.

These optical coatings can talk? They really are advanced.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 15, 2015 at 20:03 UTC

It's hard to imagine how any consumer use of video could benefit from anything above about 5K. The main use of 8K would be to show it on Jumbotrons or similar giant screens. The problem of developing sensors that will refresh 33 Megapixels at 30 or 60 times per second, seems substantial. The overheating problem would be prohibitive in smaller cameras and would need special cooling systems even in big broadcast units. I can imagine that breakdowns would be common and the cost of maintaining them would like the difference between operating a Piper Cub and a Concorde SST.

On any screen of a feasible size to have at an ordinary home, the visible limit for most human eyes is about 3K. But we have come a long way from the time when most people were satisfied with a 250-line VHS picture.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 8, 2015 at 19:15 UTC as 10th comment | 8 replies
On article Panasonic's Post Focus feature arrives November 25 (218 comments in total)

Driverless cars are looming up and now photography without a need for a competent photographer. But does anyone have illusions that the edge of quality in photos produced by this, will equal genuinely-produced images? I'll bet that no program will ever give good quality to most photos seen on so-called social media.
Is DPR considered to be part of Social Media? I hope not.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 20, 2015 at 19:41 UTC as 56th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

mpgxsvcd: I don't see how any company could be selling many more cameras now than they had in the past. The market shrinks every time someone buys a camera that they don't ever see a need to replace.

The key is being able to make a profit on all of the cameras you sell and being able to convince people to buy interchangeable lens cameras. The best way to make a profit off of cameras is through the lenses.

This suggestion doesn't fit in with Sony's emphasis on the RX-Series of fixed-lens cameras. The fact that so many people have been willing to pay $1,300. for an RX10, which is no better than a $900. FZ1000, has boosted their profits.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 31, 2015 at 04:18 UTC
On article JPEG Committee contemplates adding DRM to image format (186 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jakub Kubica: Bunch of morons.

The world is ruled by morons. Why else would we be on the brink of self-extinction?

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2015 at 23:12 UTC
In reply to:

Giuseppe Fallica: Some doubts. This camera is the state of the art and there is no discussion. But I fear it's a very fleeting temporary item (if exist not-fleeting consumer items!). I mean that RX1rII was born simply assembling the new (amazing) A7rII sensor inside an almost old RX1 body. Honestly, I was waiting for a fullframe curved sensor, 4k video hight frame rate, new lens f1.4. And something more, as focus stack mode, HDR built in, ecc. In conclusion I'm a bit disappointed, but I think also that it's an superb camera, well above even top class SLR costing twice.

Giuseppe, you'll have to buy a much cheaper camera, to get all those features you want.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 15, 2015 at 10:07 UTC

Well, I'm sure that Jeff did his best and you couldn't ask for better subject material. But most of these photos are dull and faded in color and they just don't sparkle. If it was another brand, you'd think this was a pre-production camera, that didn't have its firmware tweaked for best performance.

Panasonic seems to be caught in a dead-end software alley. They get the best sensors from Sony and good glass, then mess up the performance with the firmware.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 23, 2015 at 06:33 UTC as 5th comment | 1 reply

Just wait until North Korea gets hold of this.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 11, 2015 at 04:48 UTC as 129th comment
On article Sony launches αUniverse online content platform (21 comments in total)

I looked at this site for ten minutes and found nothing that interested me. Whatever type it is that Sony is trying to reach with it, I'm not one of them.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 02:52 UTC as 7th comment

I used to get that much degradation with just 5 or 6 re-recordings. Who says digital is better?

Direct link | Posted on Aug 19, 2015 at 09:05 UTC as 15th comment
On article Picture this: Our revamped galleries system is now live (115 comments in total)

I can't see any difference for viewing my own gallery. It's still awkward to use. And it requires Flash for uploading, so no new photos from me, as a Firefox user. I'll just continue to ignore it, as I have for years.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 11, 2015 at 06:25 UTC as 46th comment | 1 reply
On article Flickr brings back Pro account option (74 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ian: "...there’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing really as professional photographers..."
-Marisa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo, May 2013

So does this news mean that there are in fact "professional photographers"?

I couldn't resist...

It's amazing that Mean Marissa hasn't completely trashed Yahoo and Flickr by now. The changes she fomented on serious Flickr users two years ago, have made it a much less friendly place to showcase their entire collection of photos. Only rarely does anyone visit older photos, that are not on the first long page.

But despite the efforts to dumb-down Flickr, I'll have to admit that it is still the best choice for having your photos hosted. If there was any other place that would do it better, I'd go there in a New York minute. I guess what I am is what Benoz suggests, a "professional amateur".

Direct link | Posted on Jul 24, 2015 at 08:02 UTC

I hope that isn't really a once-in-a-lifeime shot for him. I'll bet he's taken thousands of photos better than that one. It's just a conglomeration of things that don't go well together. I'd never show it to anyone, if I'd taken it. It escapes me why anyone at DPR would have picked it to go on the News column.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 12, 2015 at 09:42 UTC as 51st comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Yanko Kitanov: Let's just have a flat rate - each time you take ANY photo - you pay. Next time you will have to pay for shaving yourself and a bit later for breathing. The people behind these "smart and difficult" decisions are not politicians they are anchors stopping progress and social advancements.

Great idea about taxing the number of breaths taken. Those who keep themselves in good, lean shape will have to pay less.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 6, 2015 at 09:36 UTC
Total: 46, showing: 1 – 20
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