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Thread: Anyone know much about projectors?

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    Anyone know much about projectors?

    Our camera club needs to purchase a projector to display images for our monthly comps, we don't have a huge budget, so I am keen to hear from anyone who knows much about them.....what to look for, what to avoid etc.....cos I am not really sure, although I am aware that running costs need to be taken into account.


    Thanks in advance if you can help.
    Cheers, Lani.
    Bodies: Nikon D700, D300 Primes: Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4G, 105mm VR 2.8, 300mm f4. Zooms: Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200VR II 2.8, Sigma 10-20mm Processing: Photoshop CS5 extended, LR 3.2.


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    Hi Lani,

    We went through the process of purchasing a projector for our studio last year, so I can relate our experience to you.

    There are two main types of consumer projectors: data and home theatre.

    We found that the data projectors were generally cheaper (but brighter) and of lower image quality. They seemed to be geared more towards business use for powerpoint presentations in bright or well lit rooms.

    The home theatre projectors rendered a better image, but were not as bright and were designed to be used in darkened rooms, primarily.

    We initially bought an Epson home theatre projector (around $1500) but we were unhappy with the image size as it was 16x10 ratio and didn't resolve well on our 100" 16x9 screen. We exchanged (and upgraded) it for an Epson full HD 16x9 1080P model ($2500) which we have been delighted with. We have a darkened cinema in our studio with a 100" screen and our projector is the perfect fit.

    It really comes down to the room size, screen size, lighting and budget. If you could clarify those points I could point you towards some specific models to consider.

    Also, don't be afraid to ask the seller if you can trial the projector in the environment it will be used in and exchange if it's not suitable. Most sellers will agree with that scenario.

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    Would have to agree with Zeke here. More details needed with regard to where you want to use it, especially lighting. I would recommend the data projectors and put limits on the image sizes (same as AP), as this will mean that you can save a fair amount as really high resolution projectors get exponentially more expensive. Before you purchase one though, find out how long a globe is expected to last and how much a replacement is. I would also purchase 1 or 2 extra globes at time of initial purchase, as models are superseded very quickly these days, and the globe is sometimes also superseded. I purchased a "cheap" projector a while back, and now I can't get new globes except from a dealer in the UK, and each globe is 600 pounds. Not so cheap anymore...

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    Ah, screen....need one of those too! Our budget would max out at $1500, comp images are restricted to 1024 horizontal x 768 vertical pixels max so just something that would display that well. Our venue is darkened but not blacked out, it would be good to also have the option to use it for tutorial presentations as well. My understanding is that most projectors can be calibrated these days?

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    You could probably get something like this, and with a screen will still be less than your budget. Due to the XGA screen res, you can look at much cheaper projectors. Btw, this site can also answer lots of projector questions and tell you what all the jargon means.

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    For our club projector we ended up with an Optoma. Have been using it for 10 months now and very happy with it. Got it for a reasonable price, certainly cheaper than an Epson of similar features.
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    Thanks, will check out that site and the Optoma projectors.

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    G'day Lana

    The projector I use for my workshops is a BenQ job, XGA [1024 x 760] resolution

    Seen them in Office Works for $750 - much less than I paid a year ago
    It's a 'reasonable' projector, works well, quiet, decent lens ... ie okay but nothing magic

    Biggest issue I have with these devices is that they don't project vertical images full size - like the old slide projectors did

    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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