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Camera Club Projector Advice.

We are aware that camera clubs have different needs to the ordinary user. The image quality and clarity of digital projectors becomes paramount for digital photographers looking to show their images. Spending club funds for a major purchase and then fellow club members having great expectations of the projector can be quite a responsibility.

ProjectorPoint can help you select the right projector for your club. We've been in business for over 15 years and during that time have supplied hundreds of projectors to camera clubs. We also offer demonstrations and ongoing support post-purchase.
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Colour Accuracy.

If you want to do your photos justice, they need to be projected as true to the original colours as possible.There is a still a significant difference between projectors when comparing colour accuracy. The three main projection technologies (DLP, LCD and LCoS) render colours in completely different ways which may be seen as positives by some but as negatives by others.

  • DLP is traditionally strong on contrast but weak at displaying certain colours, such as yellow, accurately.
  • LCD is generally better at colour accuracy, but only a handful of LCD projectors produce high contrast to rival DLP, and those projectors tend to be more marketed towards home cinema than photography as well as being bulkier and more expensive than high contrast DLP models.
  • LCoS is a hybrid of DLP and LCD so you get the best of both worlds with regards to colour and contrast but is the most expensive of the 3 display types. The Canon XEED range of projectors use LCoS display technology, if your budget allows for one of these models, you won't be disappointed with the results. The vast majority of camera clubs opt for the Canon XEED range.
  • Resolution.

    When looking through the specifications of projectors available at ProjectorPoint, you'll notice they're generally classified as having either XGA, WXGA, 1080p or WUXGA resolution. The resolution you opt for determines how many pixels the projector can display at any one time, which in turn affects the smoothness and detail of the image.

    WUXGA resolution is superior to 1080p resolution which is superior to WXGA resolution which in turn is superior to XGA. Of course, this also means it's more expensive. As a minimum we would recommend a XGA projector but for photographic work you could opt for a 1080p or WUXGA projector if your budget allows it. Remember always match the native resolution of your content to that of your projector to avoid image distortion. If your content is a mixture of both 4:3 and 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio then we would suggest selecting a projector that meets the resolution for the aspect ratio of which you have the largest content for.

    See our article Projector Resolution for more information on this subject.
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    Contrast Ratio.

    Contrast is another major factor when deciding what projector you need for your camera club. It is measured as a 'contrast ratio', e.g. 2000:1. This tells you the difference in brightness between a 'fully on' pixel and a 'fully off' pixel. For instance, on a projector with a 2000:1 contrast ratio, and (for simplicity's sake) a 2000 lumen brightness rating, 'fully off' pixels would actually be 1 lumen in brightness.

    (Incidentally, you may be wondering why a 'fully off' pixel has any brightness at all. Unfortunately there is some 'leaking' of light with all projectors which means black is not actually pitch black, which is why we keep putting quotation marks around 'fully off'!) .

    So that's the technical explanation over. What does contrast actually mean to you?

    Essentially, the higher contrast on a projector increases the perception of depth in the image, and means subtle colour variations show up more clearly. Hence subtle textures are more visible. It also means that darker photos don't look washed out.

    Brightness.

    If you only project in darkened surroundings then brightness is a less vital factor in selecting the right projector for displaying photographs. However in some cases you may need to use your projector in different environments, and need the flexibility to display images in dim and bright environments. If this is the case, we recommend that you choose a bright projector that will be able to cope with the environment you will be using it in.

    Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. Projectors suitable for photographic work are typically rated from 2500 lumens to 4500 lumens.

    If you have very low ambient light, you can save money buying projector with a low ANSI lumens rating. As a guide, 2000 lumens is generally suitable.

    If you can't control the ambient light, you could opt for a high brightness, high contrast projector. In really bright conditions, though, we would recommend you opt for a projector over 6000 lumens.

    Keystone correction and Lens Shift.

    Nearly all of the projectors at Projector Point have a vertical keystone facility. ('Keystoning' is the name given to the effect on the projected image when the projector sits below or above the centre of the screen. Keystone correction counteracts this effect by digitally compressing the image at the bottom or top, resulting in a more rectangular image.). Some projectors feature vertical and horizontal keystone some even have the ability to just adjust one or more of the corners to the image. Look out for these types of keystone correction in the spec.

    With digital keystone correction there is always a reduction in quality of the image, where possible we would always avoid using keystone correction or keeping it to an absolute minimum. To completely avoid any reduction in quality you are better off looking for a projector with a lens shift feature. Lens shift allows you to move the optics of the projector so the image moves up or down. As it’s an optical adjustment rather than a digital adjustment there is no loss in quality unless you use the lens shift correction at its extremities

    Connectivity.

    Nearly all of the projectors we sell come with the following 'essential' connections:

  • 1 x HDMI
  • VGA
  • Composite

    HDMI input is becoming more and more common place as projectors come onto the market this input is starting to be included as standard.. Most digital photo enthusiasts will use the VGA output from their PC to connect to the projector and be happy with the results. However you can take advantage of digital connections such as DVI and HDMI to get even sharper images. So look out for them in the product specification sheets.

    Some times it may not be convenient to trail long wires from your PC or video source to the projector so you may be interested in our guide to wireless projection.
  • Still Confused?

    We hope the above camera club projector guide has given you a clear understanding of the basics in what to look out for. We understand there is a lot to take in and a lot of choice so if you still need help we're only a phone call or email away.