In Memoriam: Imaging Industry Pioneer and DIR Columnist Passes

In Memoriam: Imaging Industry Pioneer and DIR Columnist Passes


Woodbury, NY—It is with great sadness that Digital Imaging Reporter announces that Bob McKay, imaging industry pioneer and longtime DIR columnist, passed away unexpectedly in March. He was 78.

Born in Australia, Robert Michael McKay entered the camera industry in 1973. He began his career working at the Hanimex Optics Factory in Hong Kong, with an initial focus on Cooke triplet lenses as well as condensers for slide projectors. After Hanimex, Bob went on to work at Haking. There he switched his focus to the development and marketing of instant cameras as well as binoculars.

DIR columnist Bob-McKay-Nico-2-2022
Bob McKay

Moreover, after setting various sales records with Haking in Europe, Hong Kong and China, Bob had the opportunity to move with his family to America. In the U.S., he worked as a director of product development for Vivitar. He even earned a patent for red-eye reduction along the way.

DIR Columnist: Zooming In

Following his retirement after a successful 40-year career, Bob became a contributor to various photography, camera and expat columns and communications. He began writing his column, Zooming In, for DIR in 2008.

In the years that followed, Zooming In was filled with anecdotes and stories from his experiences as a firsthand observer to the evolution of imaging technology. However, it was more than just a peek behind the curtain. Bob offered keen insights, as well as prognostications—all intermingled with his warmth and humor.

An unforgettable character, Bob was a deft humorist and raconteur. He is survived by Janie, his devoted wife of 49 years, and sons Nick and Chris, along with their families. In his later years, the joys of Bob’s life were his grandchildren: Francesca (4 years); Tommy (3 years); Avery (19 months); and Nico (4 months). He will be sorely missed by family, friends and former colleagues.


  1. So sad to hear of Bob’s passing. I didn’t know him extremely closely, but back when I used to attend trade shows in person Bob was one of a handful of people I always looked out for, and he always made sure to have a friendly chat when he saw me. And on first hearing of Imaging Resource’s financial troubles a few years back when they laid me off, Bob was among those kind few who instantly reached out to help me find work elsewhere.

    On our very first meeting, we discovered a shared Hong Kong connection in that I was born in Hong Kong the very same year that he first moved there. Every time I saw him thereafter, he always regaled whomever was present with that story, and it breaks my heart to know I’ll never hear him tell it again. Goodbye Bob, and thanks for everything!