Photography News Issue 36

Photography News | Issue 36 | absolutephoto.com

44 First tests

BenQW2000 projector £914.97

Specs

There are so many ways to enjoy your photographic masterpieces. I love prints but there is also something very special about seeing your shots big, seriously big; and that means projection. Of course projection is not new but modern technology means it is a world away from how it used to be with jammed slides and fragile bulbs. What’s more, a projector is multi-purpose so it’s easy to justify as a family purchase rather than something just for your photography. The BenQ W2000 is a fine example of a modern LED projector. It is a single-chip DLP (digital light processing) projector with Full HD, zoom lens and a pair of built- in speakers. It has CinematicColor tech to deliver the Rec. 709 colour standard. This is an HDTV colour profile used for DVDs and Blu-ray discs so how well still images looked with Adobe RGB and SRG profiles was going to be interesting. Leaving aside the technical stuff, the W2000 is nice and easy to set up and get running. Two adjustable rear feet and one at the front help to get the image level. Even with the lens’s vertical shift lever at its lowest position and the front foot retracted, the projected image is around two feet higher than the projector’s central axis. That head start is useful as the amount of vertical shift is limited.

I plugged in my Mac laptop using an HDMI cable, turned on the projector and soon afterwards the computer desktop was projected brightly on my white wall. There is a menu item to cope with walls of a four different colours. I projected images including one of a Datacolor test chart with Keynote (the Mac equivalent of Powerpoint) as well as Lightroom and Photoshop. I also played DVDs and Blu-rays on my home player via HDMI, and to check the unit’s suitability as a ‘family’ buy I plugged in my Xbox too. The menu, accessed via the unit’s on-board controls or the supplied remote control, is extensive so has plenty of fine-tuning and set-up options including a grid to aid off- centre set-up. The built-in zoom, manual focus lens is an all-glass low-dispersion model and while its 1.3:1 range isn’t great it is useful. In my test, from a distance of three metres from the lens front to the wall, the long end of the lens gave an image measuring 204x110cm and that increased to 255x144cm at the wide end. At a distance of 1.5m at the wide end the image measured 132x75cm so you still get a good-sized image at a close distance. The W2000 gives a bright image with its 2000 lumens output in normal mode and a claimed contrast

Projection system DLP

Native resolution 1080P (1920x1080) Brightness 2000 ANSI lumens Contrast ratio 15000:1 Display colours 1.07 billion colours Lens 16.88-21.88mm, f/2.59-2.87 Zoom ratio 1.3:1 Lamp type 240W Lampmode Normal – 3500 hours (lamp life varies according to usage etc.) Keystone adjustment 3xHDMI, PC, composite video in, component video in, USB type A, USB type mini B, audio in/out Dimensions (wxhxd) 380.5x121.7x277mm Weight 3.6kg Contact benq.co.uk Auto vertical and manual horizontal +/-30 degrees Interfaces

Above The BenQW2000 is a compact and portable projector. Below There are plenty of connection options including two HDMI sockets. The USB A interface takes the optional wireless accessory.

ratio of 15,000:1. I thought image quality looked excellent with rich yet accurate colours and the projector was bright enough to give a viewable image even on bright days – with the curtains drawn of course. Economic and SmartEco are twomodes available to extend lamp life. SmartEco seemed to give the same light output as Normal so that seems the best option to use with extended lamp life. Compared with my calibrated monitor, images were slightly warm with the Rec. 709 profile but not unattractive and there are options to fine-tune the colour to suit your taste. I tried the unit straight on to the projection surface and also at an oblique angle. Keystoning impacts on image size, though, so if you need the biggest possible image you need to place the projector straight on to the projection surface.

Digital keystoning can impact on quality but even around 30° off centre (the limit for this projector) the images were very sharp and detailed. Illumination was also even at this angle – an ambient light meter confirmed the edge-to-edge difference was 0.2EV. The pair of integral speakers facing out the back of the unit is available should you need audio and don’t have a soundsystemhandy to take the audio out option. Sound output is from these is rated at 20 watts and while quality is okay and loud enough for a decent- size room, it is not a relaxing sound if you prefer it loud. Also, for late-night use, the lowest volume setting still seemed loud. Sound quality through an external amplifier was good though, and having the option of integral sound is really good. WC

Above An infrared remote control is supplied as standard. Most adjustments can be made on the control panel.

Above The zoom lens is wide enough to give an impressively big image even at a short distance. The amount of vertical lens shift, though, is limited.

Verdict

A projector is a big investment and not one you will make that often so it pays to get a good one. BenQ’s online shop price is £914.97 (carriage extra) but a web search showed it is available from £854 and that seems a fair price for a unit of this quality to help you enjoy your photography – among other things. Pros Quiet, bright, keystoning good, rich colours, even illumination Cons Limited vertical shift, the unit’s sound quality isn’t great

Above The W2000 has limited vertical lens correction but there is keystoning for horizontal image correction. Here you can see the original (left) and corrected (right) images photographed from the same position and you can see that the corrected image is much smaller.

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