Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Hi-Tech Studio: Digital Photo Gallery
Go beyond the conventional and display your work with a flat screen or a projector
Native Resolution Vs. Maximum Resolution
Native resolution refers to the actual physical pixel count. A projector that provides SVGA resolution has 480,000 usable pixels arranged in an array that measures 800 x 600. Maximum resolution indicates the highest resolution that a projector can provide. To achieve maximum resolution greater than native resolution, the image is electronically compressed. As one might guess, this compression can have a detrimental effect on image quality. The degree of degradation depends on the machine, and it's something you must judge for yourself. SVGA is sufficient to properly display digital image files, but if it's within your budget, step up to XGA (1024 x 768). You'll get 60% more pixels and will never regret it.
Brightness is measured in Lumens. This specification is generally denoted as ANSI Lumens to signify that the light output was measured according to the testing procedure established by the American National Standards Institute. Brightness ranges from 1000 to 2000 for most digital projectors, with the higher number becoming more standard. The advantages of a brighter projector include the ability to overpower ambient room light. For low-ambient or true lights-out productions, a 1000 to 1500 Lumens rating is sufficient. If you occasionally play to a large audience from the back of a big room, you'll want a 2000 Lumens projector.
This specification indicates the projector's dynamic range, but be careful—there are two ways to measure the contrast ratio. The so-called Full On/Off method measures the ratio of light output between an all-white (full on) image and an all-black (full off) image. This yields a higher number than the ANSI method and, therefore, is used by most manufacturers. For DLP projectors, look for a contrast ratio of about 2000:1; for LCDs, 300:1 to 500:1 is standard. Higher is better.
Making a digital gallery adds a new dimension to your imagery and to how clients will perceive you and your photography. You might not be ready to invest in multiple projectors or screens all at once, but even adding one or two at a time and building an electronic gallery over time can make a serious impact.
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