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: 158, showing: 1 – 20
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Interesting how online shopping and selling, which was supposed to sweep across the country and make local stores obsolete, has met its Achilles heel and been chopped-off at the knees, by the inevitable crime element. People are talking about local shopping and person-to-person transactions, as being the only safe choice.

It doesn't appear that all the transactional service companies are stepping up and taking responsibility for their part in these scams. Formerly trusted institutions, even a public-owned one, are being brought into question. I certainly will be looking locally for my next camera, but these stores will have to make it easier to order a full range of models, to be picked up in person, even if they aren't kept in stock.

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2017 at 22:00 UTC as 10th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

mcshan: Ray Milland and Rosey Grier did it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWHNA_j7h5A

How did I miss that all these years? The dumbest movie theme of all time.

Link | Posted on Jul 17, 2017 at 21:03 UTC

The two moods of Ericka about Mitchell.

Link | Posted on Jul 17, 2017 at 21:01 UTC as 36th comment

Obviously, the macaque knew what he was doing. Just look at the "I'm so clever" grin on his face.

Link | Posted on Jul 14, 2017 at 21:50 UTC as 168th comment

Sounds like a good idea. After all, the only direction their service and support can go, is up.

Link | Posted on Jul 12, 2017 at 20:19 UTC as 13th comment | 1 reply

The rolling-shutter effect that displeases me the most, is the warping or skew at the margins, with moving subjects or when panning or tilting.

It seems to be worse with cameras that have larger sensors. But with any of the Sony HX-Series cameras I've used, with "1/2.3-inch" type sensors, there's no visible rolling-shutter artifacts, when shooting in 60p.

I've read that the addition of a couple more tiny transistors on each CMOS pixel, to momentarily record the images of a global exposure, for just 1/60th-second, before each rolling scan, would produce the same effect as a global scan of a CCD.

What exactly is preventing this kind of process from being added to CMOS sensors? Is it the cost or the lack of free space to mount more transistors?

Link | Posted on Jul 1, 2017 at 02:32 UTC as 34th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

steelhead3: What happens when the groom can't perform?

Maybe Viagra would become a standard item in a photographer's kit?

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2017 at 00:23 UTC

I'd wager that the consummation has already taken place, some time ago. It would be to document an historical reenactment.

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2017 at 00:21 UTC as 86th comment | 1 reply
On article Sony's Mavica FD71 liked floppy disks, hated magnets (80 comments in total)

Highly overpriced and severely limited in performance. I checked out all these Mavicas at local stores and thought it was a joke that Sony thought that anyone would pay so much for so little. Money was worth at least 2X as much back then, as well. I stuck with my analog camcorders, until the truly groundbreaking Olympus C-2100UV came out.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2017 at 20:16 UTC as 15th comment
On article Video: Removing a stuck lens filter... with a band saw (139 comments in total)
In reply to:

Stephen McDonald: I do exactly the same thing with all my filters and step-rings, before I ever put them on a camera. But, I use a handheld hacksaw blade, to cut the notches. Using a power saw on a camera or a lens could damage it with the hard vibration. I use a knife blade across the notches to turn them.

Of course, by preempting the problem, the notches are cut before they're mounted on any equipment. Also, this avoids having any loose metal shavings getting into the camera's workings. I blow off the filters, then gently use a microfiber cloth, to make sure they're clean and never use that cloth for any lens cleaning.

Some time ago, I had a couple of filters that had those removal notches added at the factory. And there was a tool that fit into them. But I haven't seen those in any new filters or rings that I've bought in the last 20 years.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2017 at 08:37 UTC
On article Video: Removing a stuck lens filter... with a band saw (139 comments in total)

I do exactly the same thing with all my filters and step-rings, before I ever put them on a camera. But, I use a handheld hacksaw blade, to cut the notches. Using a power saw on a camera or a lens could damage it with the hard vibration. I use a knife blade across the notches to turn them.

Of course, by preempting the problem, the notches are cut before they're mounted on any equipment. Also, this avoids having any loose metal shavings getting into the camera's workings. I blow off the filters, then gently use a microfiber cloth, to make sure they're clean and never use that cloth for any lens cleaning.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2017 at 03:24 UTC as 47th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

SantaFeBill: Sadly, when the airlines get through packing us on the the 787, it will be the Nightmare Liner.

John, are you suggesting that airline passengers should be charged by the pound, like FedEx packages?

Link | Posted on Jun 18, 2017 at 00:49 UTC
In reply to:

jhinkey: Oh the things you can do with an empty plane and a lot of excess thrust at takeoff . . .

Probably all the seats removed and the lowest allowable fuel load. I saw a similar demonstration video of a 787-derivative a year ago. You had to be looking closely to see it, but on a touch and go maneuver, the plane was rolled a bit to the right when it jumped up. The right tip of the horizontal stabilizer looked like it came within just inches of kissing the runway.

Link | Posted on Jun 17, 2017 at 05:24 UTC

I gave the SX1 a two-week tryout and returned it. I then bought a great Sony HX1 and was much more pleased with it. The SX1 was not so good in dim light and it had that maddening Canon EV control. that had to be turned around a couple of times to get a response and then would jump ahead two or three clicks. I had a Canon camcorder in 1993, with the exact same exposure-control glitch. I was able to squeeze some passably good photos and video from it, but it was never as dependable and easy to use, as the HX1. Oddly, the Canon S5-IS I had from a few years earlier, was a real gem in handling and performance, although not up to the HX1 in dim light.

The SX1 required 42.5 Mbps for encoding 1080 video. The HX1 used only 12 Mbps and still produced better footage.

Link | Posted on Jun 15, 2017 at 19:02 UTC as 11th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Stephen McDonald: It looks like he took a lightweight dolly and added a few features. It might be good for photos and videos within a certain sector of the field-of-view, but not so good for planes going overhead. He looks sturdy enough to hoist it around without trouble.

His head is so close to the camera, he's probably using the EVF that has a diopter. If a pair of diopter reading glasses of the right X-power were worn, the large viewscreen could be used, unless you had 18 year-old eyes that could focus that close on their own.

I use a diopter viewing loupe on my viewscreen, with 2.6X magnifying power, but I can use only one eye. It's like having an 8-inch screen with 720 resolution, just inches from my face.

If I made something like this, I'd use Sitka spruce, fastened with stainless-steel screws and urethane glue. II is strong, light and dependable enough to make airplanes out of it. I probably would leave off the wheels, unless I found a need for them.

Link | Posted on Jun 7, 2017 at 05:20 UTC

It looks like he took a lightweight dolly and added a few features. It might be good for photos and videos within a certain sector of the field-of-view, but not so good for planes going overhead. He looks sturdy enough to hoist it around without trouble.

His head is so close to the camera, he's probably using the EVF that has a diopter. If a pair of diopter reading glasses of the right X-power were worn, the large viewscreen could be used, unless you had 18 year-old eyes that could focus that close on their own.

I use a diopter viewing loupe on my viewscreen, with 2.6X magnifying power, but I can use only one eye. It's like having an 8-inch screen with 720 resolution, just inches from my face.

Link | Posted on Jun 6, 2017 at 22:23 UTC as 79th comment | 3 replies
On article 2017 Roundup: Consumer Long Zoom Compacts (170 comments in total)
In reply to:

jim seekers: I have a friend who works in a camera shop and i tested the Nikon P900 , Canon SX60 HS and the Sony HX400V, out of the three of them the Sony HX400V has by far the best image Qaulity , Sharpness and Colour Qaulity and I found its stabilisation to be the best, the Canon lost lots of detail and was very soft at 65x and that Nikon gets Duller and Darker when zoomed in, I printed A4 with same shots , ISO , Day and Low Light and the Sony HX400V images zoomed in at 50x kept their sharpness, does anyone else agree with me.

The Sony HX400V has many complex controls, most of which apply to video, as well as photos. It is not the easiest model to learn to use and those who have had earlier superzoom models, need to become more proficient, before getting the best results from it. Many reviewers have had little experience with it and I wouldn't expect them to report good performance. Some of them are primarily users of interchangeable-lens cameras and don't understand how to operate superzooms.

I lock the ISO at 100 and raise it only when necessary in dim light. I also shoot only in 16:9 aspect, as this mode is given about 10% more bits-per-pixel in its encoding. By setting it in wide metering for video, I avoid disruptive exposure changes, when panning. I use wide focus mode for overhead flying subjects, and spot focus for all other photos. I set the color saturation, contrast and sharpness at higher menu levels. Check out my Flickr Photostream for examples. The link is in my signature on my forum posts.

Link | Posted on May 26, 2017 at 23:46 UTC
On article 2017 Roundup: Consumer Long Zoom Compacts (170 comments in total)
In reply to:

jim seekers: I have a friend who works in a camera shop and i tested the Nikon P900 , Canon SX60 HS and the Sony HX400V, out of the three of them the Sony HX400V has by far the best image Qaulity , Sharpness and Colour Qaulity and I found its stabilisation to be the best, the Canon lost lots of detail and was very soft at 65x and that Nikon gets Duller and Darker when zoomed in, I printed A4 with same shots , ISO , Day and Low Light and the Sony HX400V images zoomed in at 50x kept their sharpness, does anyone else agree with me.

Having used the Sony HX400V for more than three years, I recognize it as clearly the best of them all. I wouldn't have settled for it all this time, if it weren't.

The Canon SX60 is not even close to what you describe. It is a significant downgrade from the good SX50 that preceded it. Most contributors to the Canon Powershot Forum have shunned it and treasure their older SX50s.

Link | Posted on May 26, 2017 at 17:04 UTC
On article 2017 Roundup: Consumer Long Zoom Compacts (170 comments in total)
In reply to:

NCB: Would have liked to have seen the Nikon B700 in there as well. Only 60% of the weight of P900 and distinctly smaller, but still has a 60x zoom and uses the same sensor as the P900.

I have the P900 and it's awesome, for what it manages to do. But as an all-in-one travel companion the B700 could be a better bet, and it would be useful to see how it stacked up against the FZ300 and the other offerings.

You also get 4K video with the Nikon B700.

Link | Posted on May 26, 2017 at 16:56 UTC
In reply to:

Stephen McDonald: So just after the bullet goes through, this other guy, with a head filled with solid bone, is standing out in the open, waving his ****ing camcorder around.

No thought about another sniper, who might be shooting from the opposite direction? It's the one you don't anticipate, who gets you.

Link | Posted on May 23, 2017 at 19:35 UTC
Total: 158, showing: 1 – 20
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