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Weekly Chatter: Digital Projector Suggestions?
Wednesday August 13, 2003

Section 1: Digital Projector suggestions?





Color Management/WorkFlow > Hardware and Software > Digital Projector suggestions?







AuthorSubject: Digital Projector suggestions? †
Tim Ernst
Posted on Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:06 PM

I am trying to find a digital projector to show slide programs with - replacing film projectors and a dissolve unit with a laptop and digital projector. The only answers Iím getting elsewhere are ďthis projector will do great Powerpoint presentations!Ē Iím not interested in charts and graphs, but only getting the best possible image on the screen from photographs (both original digital capture and scanned film). Iíll be using a Mac Powerbook G4, and showing the programs in a variety of locations, room sizes and lighting setups in relatively dark rooms. I realize the images on screen wonít match the quality of projected film, but am looking for something that I can live with in the 2-5 grand range. Any ideas on resolution, contrast, and luminance requirements I should look for? One brand do a better job of handling photos than others? Any specific models you can recommend? Is it possible to profile a projector? The programs will be run with some sort of programmed software (with an amplified soundtrack), not simply projected - Iím still looking for the best Mac software too. Any ideas would be most appreciated. Thanks!

Seth Resnick
Posted on Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:20 PM

Tim,

For me portability, color and luminance were all key factors and both
Infocus and Epson have excellent solutions. I am working with a Epson
715c which I can take with me in my laptop case along with my Titanium
and a 1Ds and a lens.

Seth


On Monday, August 11, 2003, at 10:10 PM, IR - Tim Ernst wrote:

> I am trying to find a digital projector to show slide programs with -
> replacing film projectors and a dissolve unit with a laptop and
> digital projector. The only answers Iím getting elsewhere are ďthis
> projector will do great Powerpoint presentations!Ē Iím not interested
> in charts and graphs, but only getting the best possible image on the
> screen from photographs (both original digital capture and scanned
> film). Iíll be using a Mac Powerbook G4, and showing the programs in a
> variety of locations, room sizes and lighting setups in relatively
> dark rooms. I realize the images on screen wonít match the quality of
> projected film, but am looking for something that I can live with in
> the 2-5 grand range. Any ideas on resolution, contrast, and luminance
> requirements I should look for? One brand do a better job of handling
> photos than others? Any specific models you can recommend? Is it
> possible to profile a projector? The programs will be run with some
> sort of programmed software (w!
> ith an amplified soundtrack), not simply projected - Iím still looking
> for the best Mac software too. Any ideas would be most appreciated.
> Thanks!
> --------------------------------------------------

Jeff Schewe
Posted on Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:35 PM

Tim Ernst wrote:

> Any ideas on resolution, contrast, and luminance requirements I should look
> for? One brand do a better job of handling photos than others? Any specific
> models you can recommend? Is it possible to profile a projector? The programs
> will be run with some sort of programmed software (w!
> ith an amplified soundtrack), not simply projected - Iím still looking for the
> best Mac software too. Any ideas would be most appreciated. Thanks!

There are no "perfect" answers right now. . .but it's REAL close. . .

First. . .if you say any size audience, it's gonna cost you. Last year doing
the DIFP's we found that for an audience of 150+ you NEED a high end high
output projector with AT LEAST 2500 lumens and ideally more like 3000-3500.
That will raise the price to the $3,500+ price range. That added lumens for
a large crown really drives the price up.

I personally have an Epson 715 Featherlite which at 1300 lumens is great for
up to say 50 people in a well darkened room. Epson no longer sells the exact
model, but a comparable one would be the Powerlite 73c Multimedia projector
for a list price of $1,995 or so. This unit is a bit bigger than the one I
have, they also have a 2000 lumens 730c that only weighs 4.3 pounds. . .this
would be ideal size but it's $2,834 (don't ask why they have odd number
pricing ).

You also ask about profiling. . .well with the Eye-One Photo plus the Beamer
base you can actually make a profile for the projector that allows for VERY
GOOD projection color and contrast. . .REAL GOOD and in some cases too
good-I have demos I've done to push the outer extreme because historically,
projectors are so bad, but now I'll have to redo the demos :-)

But as it relates to a projected show with full music and other goodies. .
.well, there's PowerPoint (that sucks for quality and usability but allows
for sound effects and music) and there's Apple's Keynote that is a dream to
use and offers great fades and effects but doesn't yet support real
soundtracks. That and Keynote doesn't allow for fully automated looping
shows. . .

I would expect as Apple revs Keynote, these things will be added. . .but the
projection of Keynote with effects on a good projector such as the Epsons
make for great visuals. . .better than with slide projectors with slides
failing to drop or popping out of focus. . .

There's also one other thing to think about. . .screens. In all the venues
we used for DIFP, we got stuff using the house's screens. . .which varied
from good to REALLY BAD. In Chicago the venue had no screen to we had to
rent one and we got a really good one. Fold up, self framed, ten foot tall
with variable heights and new they are about $1,500 including the case.
Having the ideal screen really helps in any digital projection-that and
blackout blinds for windows .

All told, doing digital projection presentations is still a challenge and
costly, but prices are coming down. Epson just announced a $999 projector
(although I've been told it really is only good for "PowerPoint" and not
photos).

Jeff Schewe
www.schewephoto.com - www.pixelgenius.com - www.imagingrevue.com




Andrew Rodney
Posted on Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:39 PM

The other totally cool technology that really helps all this is the Beamer and EyeOne combo from GretaghMacbeth. Sure, it ain't cheap but when you can build a custom profile for the projector and whatever computer you're using, you can't believe what a difference it makes for the presentations. I just started getting into the habit of traveling to all the shows I do (or where I'll run into buddies who are showing presentations with a projector) with the equipment and it really makes a huge difference. I don't have to do CMS seminars any more and tell the audience "what you're seeing isn't really correct." It takes 5 minutes to run the process which takes the projector, ambient light and other conditions into play and the results are pretty impressive.

Tim Ernst
Posted on Tue Aug 12, 2003 9:35 AM

THANKS for the info on the GretaghMacbeth Beamer - I had no idea that was available, and it sounds like would make a big difference in the final image quality. My slide show setup just went up $1500 in price!

I give presentations to small groups (50-100 people) and several a year that are 200-300 folks, so it sounds like I will need one of the brighter projectors. I've been looking at the Epson 820-P (2500 luminens). The next step is a big jump in price, and probably not worth it for just a few shows a year, although I'm still looking around and interested to hear other comments/suggestions. Any particular models of InFocus?

Sorry to hear that Apple hasn't included good quality sound in their Keynote software - that is the one I was leaning towards, but a great soundtrack is a key in my presentations (which is why I go to the trouble to haul around an amp and big Bose speakers). I may have to settle for running the soundtrack on a separate CD system to get the quality that I need until Apple produces a complete product. Most Powerpoint presentations that I have seen have been dismal at best. Any other slide show software out there for Mac that can handle good image and audio quality?


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