Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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It is rather unfortunate that with higher resolution projectors and sources that it is now practical to have larger screen sizes, however the lack of lumens now holds us back. The previous generation of 720p projectors had lumens between 1000 and 1500 lumens which would throw a bright large picture, but the current 1080p projectors usually do 300 - 800 which necessitates a smaller screen or a more reflective screen (and associated artifacts).
The reason for the dimmer projectors is not to annoy consumers, but to increase the contrast ratio which in the current generation projectors is approaching CRT levels, with 1080 resolution and contrast ratio the main marketing messages for product positioning, not lumens. I'm hoping that the next generation of 1080 projectors will go back to lumens as the marketing message so the engineering will concentrate on increasing brightness but not at the expense of lumens. Unfortunately it is difficult to have both lumens and contrast.
There is always the expensive 3 chip DLP projectors for brightness but their contrast ratios are not as good as the latest generation sub $10K projectors. I currently have a Canon SX50 which does 2500 lumens on a 12 foot wide (not diagonal!) screen and am pleased with the results. I'd like more contrast but not at the expense of a dimmer picture, as I like bright vibrant colors that 'pop' out of a bright screen. So until there is a 1080 projector with 1500 lumens or more with decent contrast for less than $10K my money stays in my wallet.
Oh, lens shift would be great too....