Digital projectors come of age, but beware of smoke and mirrors!

Almost overnight decent digital projectors dropped in price from thousands of dollars to under $500. Now the best projectors offer image quality that is compelling enough for photographers to consider as showcase for their favorite photos and portfolios (or use on the side.) They’re also more portable than a wide screen TV, and cheaper than making prints to show off. But just as until recently the digital camera industry focused too heavily on megapixels to determine image quality, there are misleading specs and several smoke and mirror acts that can mislead you into buying the wrong projector for showing photos. In fact there’s a war going on between the projector manufacturers, split nearly 50-50, and it all came to a head at the Projection Summit and Infocomm 2008 U.S. Marshals movie download trade show in Las Vegas in June, 2008.

The above image shows a display at the DLP booth during the first two days of Infocomm 2008. (DLP is a rival technology of 3LCD projection technology, by the way.) It supposedly shows LCD color fade on the left screen, and LCD burnout on the middle and right screens. However, by the third day of the show the color fade display was removed. Why? I’m told that lawyers from the 3LCD group threatened legal action against DLP for its tactics and unsupported conclusions–just part of the fun happenings at this show.

About Author

Michael J. McNamara
Michael J. McNamara

Michael J. McNamara is the Editor-in-Chief of the McNamara Report, Director of In-Depth Focus Labs, and former Exec. Technology Editor at Popular Photography Magazine. His photo and video portfolios can be viewed at