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Author Topic: Digital Projection  (Read 15862 times)
Gellman
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« on: July 18, 2006, 10:09:00 AM »
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A photographer can use great care and skill in preparing an image, only to have it look less than desirable when projected. Digital projection is becoming an increasingly important means of image display for many photographers. Yet, there currently is no obvious place on the LL Forums to have discussions about digital projection.

I think the lack of a forum devoted to digital projection, at the very least, makes it more difficult to find projection related posts, and may inhibit discussion from participants who canít find an obvious place to post on this topic.

I suggest that a new forum be added to the Equipment & Techniques section of the LL Forums that would be devoted to matters regarding digital projection. Like all other types of digital equipment, there are many factors to be considered in making purchasing decisions, as well as best operating practices, and care and feeding. A digital projection forum would be a natural home for these discussions and would benefit visitors to the forums.

John
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boku
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2006, 10:13:31 AM »
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A photographer can use great care and skill in preparing an image, only to have it look less than desirable when projected. Digital projection is becoming an increasingly important means of image display for many photographers. Yet, there currently is no obvious place on the LL Forums to have discussions about digital projection.

I think the lack of a forum devoted to digital projection, at the very least, makes it more difficult to find projection related posts, and may inhibit discussion from participants who canít find an obvious place to post on this topic.

I suggest that a new forum be added to the Equipment & Techniques section of the LL Forums that would be devoted to matters regarding digital projection. Like all other types of digital equipment, there are many factors to be considered in making purchasing decisions, as well as best operating practices, and care and feeding. A digital projection forum would be a natural home for these discussions and would benefit visitors to the forums.

John
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I have asked a few questions here regarding digital projection and projector calibration. I got very little response. It's a shame really, because that sort of technical information needs to be developed, expanded, and shared. I support your intent. I just don't know if you could convince the management that there would be much interest considering the disappointing past response.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 10:13:57 AM by boku » Logged

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Gellman
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2006, 10:19:55 AM »
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I think the level of past response is due more to the lack of an obvious place to discuss the topic, rather than a lack of interest. If he builds it, they will come.

John
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ricwis
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2006, 12:08:00 PM »
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I've also have a lot of difficulty getting reliable information on digital projection.  The review sites for digital projection equipment focus on either business use such as pie charts and spreadsheets or on television and movie display.  The cost of even the cheaper models is $700+ US and represents a significant investment.  The bulbs alone can cost $200 or more.  

The other problem I see is that most of the photographers here seem to lean toward printing their work.  Thus all the discussion over paper, inks, and print longevity.  Nothing wrong with that.

I have turned down several invitations to present slide shows of my wildlife photography because I do not have a digital projector and neither did the folks wanting the presentation.

The local camera club is stuck on slides.  Every meeting has a slide and/or print "contest" and evaluation.  When I asked about digital, the reply was they are not set up for that.

It would be great to have a digital replacement for the slide projector at a reasonable price that is designed with the photographer in mind.
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Gellman
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2006, 01:52:18 PM »
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I have also been unable to find a discussion forum on the web that deals with digital projectors for photographers, and I think this would be a great place for one. I am researching digital projectors on behalf of my local camera club, which is making the change from slides to digital projection.

I am interested in specific projector recommendations as well as general knowledge about which stats, if any, shed light on a projector's ability to accurately reproduce colors, and just as importantly, hold details in highlights. Do highlights wash out on a projector that is too bright? What is the best brightness level and contrast ratio based on varying distances from projector to screen? I assume that projectors, like monitors, need to be properly adjusted or calibrated for optimum display. What are the necessary adjustments, and which adjustments are possible on various projectors?  

I can't find discussions of this stuff anywhere.

John
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John Camp
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2006, 02:28:37 PM »
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Perhaps it's because these forums are dedicated to high-quality photographic reproduction, and digital projection, by definition, sucks. It's the one area in which digital in no way can compete with film.
 
I use most of my photography as support for paintings. I often want to see things in large scale, rather than as a small print, so I've gone to projection. I've also recently gone back to my F5 and an M7, shooting slide film, because when I use a fairly decent (by digital standards) Epson projector and digital shots, I can't see what I need to see; everything becomes too soft. Sometimes people on this forum ridicule others for "pixel-peeping," looking at stuff at 100%. Can you say 1000%? With mediocre lenses? The answer for people really into projection is Kodachrome and a Leitz projector; the equipment can now all be bought on e-bay for about the price of a low-end digital camera.

JC
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Gellman
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 04:03:56 PM »
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These forums were discussing digital photography when a Canon D30 was the highest quality digital camera available for under $5000. "High quality" and "state of the art" are always moving targets. I have seen some digitally projected photographic presentations that looked quite good, and others that didn't look so good. I am fairly certain that today's digital projectors do a much better job than projectors that are several years old, just as a 5D produces technically superior images than a D30 (but not necessarily better photos - that's up to the photographer).

Just because current technology may not meet the needs of every forum participant does not mean that it is not worthy of discussion.

I wouldn't say that I'm "really into projection". But I don't have a film camera to go back to, or the desire to go back, and neither do many of my photographic friends. Digital projection is a valid need for us, so I would like to have access to useful information on the topic. Hopefully we can accomplish that without irritating folks who still prefer Kodachrome.

John
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michael
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2006, 05:06:41 PM »
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OK. You asked for it, you got it.

Michael
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2006, 05:47:40 PM »
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http://www.audioholics.com/ and other sites devoted to AV contain useful information on projector color calibration etc... you should check out articles as well as the forums.

Besides, the treatment images should undergo for digital projection are similar IMHO to those you apply for web posting except that digital artifacts are likely to show more on a very large screen.

I do typically apply a bit less sharpening for images that have to be digitally projected so as to avoid halos etc... hence, the web mode of Photokit sharpener should IMHO be avoided because they typically create images that look oversharpened. In my (very limited experience), a conservative PS USM (250% at 0.2) does the job well.

Finally, most of the reasonnably priced projectors today are 720p, meaning that their resolution is 1300 * 720 pixels.

You have 2 main types, the LCDs and DLPs... the LCDs are typically cheaper, but show a stronger matrix pattern than the DLPs. DLPs tend to produce better colors but are more expensive and sometimes produce some color artifacts called rainbow effect.

My personnal pick is the Panasonic TH-AE900 (Japanese market designation). I picked it for home theatre applications, but it seems to do well on stills as well. It is an LCD, but a special treatment makes the LCD pattern nearly invisible.

Regards,
Bernard
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Gellman
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2006, 05:49:28 PM »
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THANKS MICHAEL!!
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boku
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2006, 06:51:08 AM »
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OK. You asked for it, you got it.

Michael
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Thank you, sir!
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Bob Kulon

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bjanes
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2006, 09:55:34 AM »
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http://www.audioholics.com/ and other sites devoted to AV contain useful information on projector color calibration etc... you should check out articles as well as the forums.

Besides, the treatment images should undergo for digital projection are similar IMHO to those you apply for web posting except that digital artifacts are likely to show more on a very large screen.

I do typically apply a bit less sharpening for images that have to be digitally projected so as to avoid halos etc... hence, the web mode of Photokit sharpener should IMHO be avoided because they typically create images that look oversharpened. In my (very limited experience), a conservative PS USM (250% at 0.2) does the job well.

Finally, most of the reasonnably priced projectors today are 720p, meaning that their resolution is 1300 * 720 pixels.

You have 2 main types, the LCDs and DLPs... the LCDs are typically cheaper, but show a stronger matrix pattern than the DLPs. DLPs tend to produce better colors but are more expensive and sometimes produce some color artifacts called rainbow effect.

My personnal pick is the Panasonic TH-AE900 (Japanese market designation). I picked it for home theatre applications, but it seems to do well on stills as well. It is an LCD, but a special treatment makes the LCD pattern nearly invisible.

Regards,
Bernard
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Bernard,

Your suggestions are most interesting. As you point out, the projectors have much less resolution than todays dSLRs. If you feed a full resolution image to the projector, it will resample it with possible image degradation. If you know you will be using a 1300 by 720 projector, would it be best to downsize with bicubic sharper before applying your suggested sharpening?

Bill
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Lin Evans
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2006, 12:04:32 AM »
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Bernard,

Your suggestions are most interesting. As you point out, the projectors have much less resolution than todays dSLRs. If you feed a full resolution image to the projector, it will resample it with possible image degradation. If you know you will be using a 1300 by 720 projector, would it be best to downsize with bicubic sharper before applying your suggested sharpening?

Bill
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A little off-topic, but relevant I believe.

The answer to that question is yes. Using a good interpolation algorithm will nearly always make the projected image better when downsampling is necessary.

The other issue concerns the type of program (software) used to actually create your slideshow and whether you will have stills in the sense that you are only projecting a fixed image, or whether you will have movement such as pans, zooms, etc.

If your slideshow is very simple with manual advance, etc., there are fewer issues that if you have transitions and especially if you have the Ken Burns effects (Pan, Zoom, Rotate, etc.). There are essentially two types of slideshow programs - ones which have these effects and ones which simply show sequential slides. Simple software with slideshow capabilities such as IrfanView can be used to produce beautiful stills but if you want Pan, Zoom, Rotate and transitions you need a serious slideshow program capable of hardware rendering at the resolution of your projector.

Currently the only software which does hardware rendering is PicturesToExe, but apparently ProShow (Gold and Producer) are working to get hardware rendering so it may be coming from several different providers in the future.

When you prepare images for projection, as mentioned earlier you need to interpolate with a good algorithm (bicubic is fine) to the projected resoltion. If there will be zooms, pans and rotates, you may need to take a bit of the edge off sharpening. If the image will be displayed with no movement this is of less importance, but movement, especially zooms, requires that the program resize on the fly and this tends to cause "sparkle" and some pattern artifacts which are exacerbated by overly sharp images. Consider this when preparing your slides (images).

Some of the new software such as PicturesToExe (at Beta 5 of about 7 now) has incredible power to produce everything from simple still shows to elaborate movement and animation. It's a new world folks when an inexpensive software program can do things which formerly took studio technicians months to achieve.

Best regards,

Lin
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