Projector for photography (WUXGA) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-29-2017, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Projector for photography (WUXGA)

I have a slightly unusual application for a projector - I'll be using it essentially to show photographs (I'm a landscape photographer who presents in a variety of venues) - maybe the occasional movie or baseball game, but mostly for traveling slide shows...

One unusual requirement is WUXGA (1920x1200) resolution (or better, of course! - yes, WUXGA is similar to 1080p, but those extra vertical pixels make a huge difference since the camera is 3:2, not 16:9). Even 16:10 isn't quite there, but the black bars are pretty minimal and it's using most of the available pixels - the wider 16:9 format has larger side bars and uses significantly fewer pixels. A higher resolution 16:9 projector would work, since I'd have more detail and could zoom the bars outside of the screen. I'm not aware of any projector past WUXGA that is really portable, though!.

It needs to be portable - under ~10lbs, since I need to be able to fly with it easily.

Color is (very) important, motion is not

I only need a single HDMI input, and no wireless or other frills (in other words, any WUXGA projector on the market will offer far more connectivity than I'll actually use).

It needs to be reasonably priced - under $1500, preferably under $1000.

The screen won't be huge - my own screen (that I'll sometimes drag around if there's no screen in the venue) will be around 80", and the occasional venue I present in that has a screen above 100" generally has a high-end installation projector as well. The university I sometimes teach at has a mixture of classrooms with junky SVGA and XGA projectors, but 80" screens and lecture halls with much larger screens but $10,000 Christie projectors.

Light control will be variable, but sometimes questionable - the lights can generally be turned off, and there are some sort of shades, but often not great ones. Any projector in the 2000-3000 lumen range (in a decent color mode, post-calibration) should be fine, but a home theater model that calibrates to 700 lumens might well struggle!

Right now, my thought is the Epson PowerLite 1286 - an $800 3600 lumen 3LCD WUXGA projector in the 6 lb range that is supposed to have excellent color (from preliminary reviews). Looking higher up the Epson range, I seem to gain lumens and connectivity, not an actually better light engine (I might well stretch to the 2245 for around $1200 if the image were significantly better).

Every DLP model I've looked at is either 1080p (and often dim) because it's meant for home theater OR features the dreaded white segment in its color wheel because it's meant for PowerPoint. Nobody seems to make a WUXGA unit with a RGBRGB wheel?

Even if I stretched to $2000 for a 4K projector, the current options don't exactly seem portable!

Can anyone beat the Epson 1286 for my application???

Thanks

Dan
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-30-2017, 08:40 AM
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I also do and enjoy a lot of photo shows in my home theater. I right now have a WXGA projector I use for movies, TV, internet and photos and I think it does a fine job with scaling larger pixel counts down. You can always process your photos to match the projector. You are right with photos changing between landscape and portrait a more square AR is best. For many years I used XGA and loved it. WUXGA would be perfect of course.

Depending on your screen size and viewing distance you might be able to get away with less resolution than you think you might need. And that all depends on how critical your viewing needs to be. But if you are new to projection you owe it to yourself to look at some of the cheaper lighter lesser resolutions at least so you have a bench mark.

I differ from most here also on the merits of the non RGB projectors. IMO the dreaded white segment and the non RGB segments of supplemental colors and things like brilliant colors have a place beyond power point slide in a bright room. Most of these projectors have 10 levels of brightness and yes the brightest #10 is selected when the room is daylight bright and colors are drastically altered to work with all the extra white light in the room. These settings are the ones that produce the highest lumens and testing of them in these settings as if they are HT projectors give dismal results. It is my opinion though having one and testing it that some excellent images can be produced in settings that do sparingly use the non RBB segments.

Hardly anyone on this forum has owned one or taken the time to try one and the talk around them is always pretty negative as are the lesser resolutions below 1080.

If at all possible let your own eyes be the judge.

I liked WXGA as the extra height is good and as you mentioned not quite enough though. But my requirements is more varied AR’s and many more movies. it has worked out ok for me and my seating distance is 2.5 x screen height.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-30-2017, 09:41 AM
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Optoma DU380 and WU416 are good choices too.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-30-2017, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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While I've never owned a projector, I've used quite a few, and I find that (for the kind of work I show) the more detail the better... I can easily afford to get into WUXGA (the PowerLite 1286 that's currently on top of my list is very affordable).

Interesting point on the DLPs - I wish I lived someplace where I could see several models! The only dealer I know of that is set up for projector shootouts is B+H, and I don't live in New York. Even B+H doesn't have one of the less expensive WUXGA DLPs set up (they have an Epson very similar to what I'm considering, a more expensive Sony that's also 3LCD and a $1500 Canon DLP). I'd absolutely love to see one of the myriad Epsons in person next to an Optoma or BenQ WUXGA DLP.
Epson have at least four VERY similar WUXGA models under $1000 - the only reason I'm looking at the 1286 in particular is that I can get a good price with a 3 year warranty because I'm an educator - it seems to be identical to the EX9220 and closely related to several other models. There's a similar logjam of Epsons from $1200-$2000 in the 22xx series (those all seem to be the same basic machine with increasing lumen counts as you pay more). I'd love to see the 1286 or one of its relatives next to a 22xx series machine, because my budget would stretch to the 2245U (the bottom of that line) if there was much to gain.
BenQ and Optoma seem to be the major options in relatively affordable WUXGA DLP projectors. Each has a model in very much the same range as the Epson 1286/9220 twins (nominally a little cheaper, but I can get the Epson for the same price as an educator), and a model around the price of the Epson 2245. There's a Canon DLP (no, it's NOT one of their Realis LcOS models - that would be tempting) and a Sony 3LCD hovering at the very top of my price range, which are the least expensive options outside of Epson, BenQ and Optoma. The only meaningful differences I can see from reading the spec sheets are that the Epsons are lighter and 3LCD (which I suspect means brighter once calibrated - all the ~$800 models are just about the same lumen rating, but the BenQ and Optoma have white segments in their color wheels), and the Optomas (including the cheaper model) and the more expensive Epsons have lens shift. All the ~$800 models are right around 3600 lumens, and the next step up is around 5000 lumens.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-30-2017, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danwellsvt View Post
While I've never owned a projector, I've used quite a few, and I find that (for the kind of work I show) the more detail the better... I can easily afford to get into WUXGA (the PowerLite 1286 that's currently on top of my list is very affordable).

Interesting point on the DLPs - I wish I lived someplace where I could see several models! The only dealer I know of that is set up for projector shootouts is B+H, and I don't live in New York. Even B+H doesn't have one of the less expensive WUXGA DLPs set up (they have an Epson very similar to what I'm considering, a more expensive Sony that's also 3LCD and a $1500 Canon DLP). I'd absolutely love to see one of the myriad Epsons in person next to an Optoma or BenQ WUXGA DLP.
Epson have at least four VERY similar WUXGA models under $1000 - the only reason I'm looking at the 1286 in particular is that I can get a good price with a 3 year warranty because I'm an educator - it seems to be identical to the EX9220 and closely related to several other models. There's a similar logjam of Epsons from $1200-$2000 in the 22xx series (those all seem to be the same basic machine with increasing lumen counts as you pay more). I'd love to see the 1286 or one of its relatives next to a 22xx series machine, because my budget would stretch to the 2245U (the bottom of that line) if there was much to gain.
BenQ and Optoma seem to be the major options in relatively affordable WUXGA DLP projectors. Each has a model in very much the same range as the Epson 1286/9220 twins (nominally a little cheaper, but I can get the Epson for the same price as an educator), and a model around the price of the Epson 2245. There's a Canon DLP (no, it's NOT one of their Realis LcOS models - that would be tempting) and a Sony 3LCD hovering at the very top of my price range, which are the least expensive options outside of Epson, BenQ and Optoma. The only meaningful differences I can see from reading the spec sheets are that the Epsons are lighter and 3LCD (which I suspect means brighter once calibrated - all the ~$800 models are just about the same lumen rating, but the BenQ and Optoma have white segments in their color wheels), and the Optomas (including the cheaper model) and the more expensive Epsons have lens shift. All the ~$800 models are right around 3600 lumens, and the next step up is around 5000 lumens.
I would look more at calibrated lumens.

Here's a review of the BenQ MU686:
http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/v...jector-review/

and it puts out about 1375 lumens fully calibrated.

Based on that the Optoma WU416 should be around 1600-2000 lumens with excellent colour as it has more calibration options including adjustable gamma.

The Epsons throw a lot of colour lumens (I have the HC1040 and it's a nice TV replacement) but the resulting sharpness, colour and contrast isn't as pleasing and at equal image sizes I prefer my BenQ W1070. Once a full calibration is done the Epson will also lose a lot of lumens so it depends upon what level of colour fidelity and sharpness you need.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-30-2017, 02:33 PM
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@danwellsvt , on this forum you will typically find more people who prefer DLP to 3LCD for reasons that may or may not be applicable to your use. The biggest advantage of 3LCD is that it produces equal white and color lumens in any mode. Almost every review of an Epson 3LCD projector praises the bright, saturated colors whereas DLP models are typically more praised for sharpness and slightly better native black levels.

If I were in your position of trying to optimize for still photography I would be inclined to favor 3LCD over DLP. The 1286 is a brand new model from Epson so there really aren't any pro reviews on it. But previous similar models from Epson have gotten good pro reviews so there's no reason to think this one won't. Each generation seems to get a little better than the last. For an 80"-100" screen 3,600 lumens is more than you really need, which will allow you to run it in one of its less bright, more color accurate modes.

I think you've done a good job of researching this. You really can't know for sure which technology would work best for you without seeing both with your own eyes. If you can't actually compare them then you need to rely on your own research and the differing opinions of others.
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