With the launch of Gallery Designer, many of our photographer friends have been asking about what kind of projector to purchase for their studio, home or portable studio. We have good news for you. You don’t need to break the bank to provide a quality experience for your clients.
The Four Most Important Things
Lumens – This is by far the most important feature of a projector. This is how bright it is. A bright projector will show well with ambient room lighting on, meaning you don’t have to conduct sales sessions in the dark. My personal opinion is that 3000 lumens is the minimum brightness you should look for.
Resolution – This is how many pixels will be displayed in any given size. So a 720p projector will display 720 pixels across, a 1080p will display 1080 pixels across, 4K will display 4000, etc. For most photographers a 720p is plenty and there is no reason to go beyond a 1080p at this point. For most large prints, you don’t want too much resolution or the client will see every wrinkle and blemish.
HDMI Input – HDMI input should be on your list of requirements. This will give you the most flexible connectivity between your computer (whether Mac or Windows) and the projector. A bonus is that you can connect an Apple TV, ChromeCast or Amazon Fire TV for personal movie watching.
Portability – If you will be mounting the projector to the ceiling in your studio, just ignore this point. But if you will be moving your projector from location to location for in-home client sales choose something portable and small.
My Personal Recommendations
There are some wonderful projector makers. I recommend staying with the big brands. My personal favorite brand for quality and value is the Epson Home Series. If you need perfect color corrected viewing, a Panasonic or Canon projector might be a better choice. But for value and quality, the Epson Home series are my favorites.
Top of the Line (excluding 4k projectors which are well over $5000)
Epson Home Cinema 1440 $1699
1080p, 4400 Lumens
Epson Home Cinema 1040 $699
1080p, 3000 Lumens
Epson Home Cinema 740 $605
720p, 3000 Lumens
We also recommend attaching your computer or projector to external speakers so you have the best quality sounds during a presentation. If you are traveling I also recommend a Workforce Case with padding for travel. These run about $35. I’ve even stored this in my checked luggage and it worked fine.
All of these items are available through Amazon.com or your local electronics or camera outlets.