Which Projector Should I Buy?

When you're looking for a digital projector for high-quality slide shows, resolution is just one factor to consider.

Which-Projector-Should-I-Buy
Which-Projector-Should-I-Buy
Which Projector Should I Buy?

Question: I am a travel and nature photographer who regularly runs digital slide shows for groups of 10 to 50 people at seminars and clubs. What's the best projector for my purposes?

Answer: There are five important factors to consider: maximum resolution, brightness, color accuracy, connectivity, and price.

If your slide shows bring in significant income, you might invest in a top-tier projector such as the Canon REALiS SX6 ($4,700, street). Its three-chip LCOS technology provides 1400x1050-pixel resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, and stunning colors that run the entire Adobe RGB color gamut. Its 1.7X ultrawide zoom lens with AF, auto screen-color correction, and brightness of up to 3500 lumens allow you to project a brighter image in a partially lit room, or bigger images in a dark auditorium.

But if you're looking for great image quality, light weight, and wireless connectivity at a much better price, the Epson PowerLite 1715c ($1,800, street) is the one.

This 3.7-pounder uses three-LCD technology that delivers 1024x768-pixel resolution, up to 2700 lumens in brightness, and a 400:1 contrast ratio. It has a color-matching control panel for adjusting color accuracy, and can project up to four different images simultaneously (ideal for panoramic projection). It also includes a Wi-Fi 802.11g connection, a wireless remote control, and an instant-off (no cool-down time) function.

On a tighter budget? The Epson PowerLite 1700c is less bright (up to 2200 lumens) and lacks Wi-Fi, but costs $500 less than its sibling.

The ultimate accessory to any of these projectors is Epson's Duet Ultra Portable screen ($250, street). It can be set to either 65 inches wide (at 4:3 aspect ratio) or 80 inches wide (at 16:9 aspect ratio) and mounted on a stand or wall (mounts supplied).

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