OK people, I know you've all been waiting for. . . .
DAN'S PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE CANON SX50
First, please note this first report is using the component input only. I'm going to have to pick up an adapter to use the DVI/RGB port.
Setup into my system was an absolute snap. I raised the adjustable projector shelf on my projector stand, put back the 2" x 2" lift blocks I used on the other projector, and presto, the image was perfectly aligned on my screen with just a little fiddling with the right-hand rear adjustable foot. Manual focus and zoom are really easy to use but I can see that if I am not careful when putting the lens cap on, I'll change the focus as it is very easy to turn. Lens cap is sorta cheesy, pretty thin plastic.
For this first run, I was feeding the projector from my LG LST4200A OTA HDTV box. Serendipity smiled on me and it is Monday Night Football time.
First thing I did was turn the lamp down on low mode. Then I selected "Cinema" mode. It is definitely darker and more contrasty. I turned on Dynamic Gamma. Didn't see much difference with that.
Out of the box, the color was overdriving IMO and a tad too green. The main image adjustment menu is an absolute snap to use and it is easy to see how your changes affect the image as you make them. I lowered the color level 3 ticks and lowered the green tint two ticks. I lowered contrast most of the way and turned off sharpness. The color is really rich even after initial settings.
In a dark room the image was too bright. I selected the low lamp setting. Definitely improved the black. Still VERY bright.
I selected the widescreen setting and noticed the "black bars" got a little darker. But these were most drastically affected by the "cinema" setting. The screen masking I am adding will make this a total non issue IMO.
I set the image to slighly overlap the vellum-covered frame of my firehawk. However, this projector doesn't seem to have that "blue frame" that has been reported earlier. The boundary between the "black bars" and the image is sharp and straight with nothing added.
FYI, I am using a Firehawk screen. 106" diagonal 4:3.
Here are my impressions, compared to my previous Sanyo XP21N LCD.
NOISE: A lot quieter than the Sanyo! Where I have it sitting, above the seating and beyond, the noise is simply not an issue. It is low pitched and can hardly be heard from a few feet away. Exhaust is pretty hot, even on low lamp. Fortunately, my setup directs this away from the seating but if you had this projector on a table in front of you, you might find the exhaust heat bothersome.
IMAGE: No keystone or other distortion, as I was able to mount the projector completely level and centered. Focus and zoom are really easy to use, even if manual. The lens on this projector is clearly excellent! I noticed none of the "jaggies" that inputting the same signal (720P over component) into my Sanyo produced. HDTV image was MUCH smoother.
THROW: Perfect for my setup. The front of the lens is 16.5' from the screen and I have plenty of adjustment left.
LENS & BUILD: NO distortion. Clearly, Canon has brought their mastery of camera lens technology to this projector. The projector looks well built, nice trim appearance. Oh, and it filters out the ground loop problem I had before, no need for the cheater plug.
IMAGE QUALITY: Film like, if a little soft. It has been previously reported that inputting through the RGB/component port gave a softer image. I'll be trying the other port shortly. However, the projector synced up flawlessly to the 720P from the HDTV tuner. Image was the right size and perfectly centered with no distortion on top or bottom. Grays are much more detailed than I was used to with the Sanyo.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: WOW!! This is one heckuva projector for the under $4grand purchase price. It is much better IMO than the JVC SX21 that used the same panels. The image has far more punch and the "purple black" problem is virtually nonexistent once you tweak a little. The image is so smooth I see no reason to use an anamorphic lens with it, there are plenty of pixels to go around. My seating distance is nearly 2 screen widths and you have to get your face right on the screen to see any pixels.
Next up, hooking up the rest of the system. I'm going to run the output from the LG box as a pass through signal through the NRS and combine everything into one cable, the VGA cable, and see what happens. I'll have that report for you in the next day or two.