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.
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.