Projector Reviews - General Performance
Let's start off with the SX60 remote control.
The remote is backlit (backlight button is on the right of the bottom row. Brightness of the backlight is acceptable. Not the brightest, but far from the dimmest.
The layout of the remote control is good, and you will find some features here typical of business projectors, that are not found on home theater models, including a page up and down buttons, digital zoom, right mouse click for limited "remote mousing".
There is also audio control, because the Canon does have a speaker, for presentation purposes. There are buttons for power zoom and focus, and the traditional four arrow keys for menu navigation. There is even a freeze frame (which was handy for photographing some of the HD images.
Overall, a nice, compact remote control.
Canon SX60 Menus
The Canon SX60's menu layout is pretty respectable.
Below you will find several shots of the menus, mostly of those relating to image control.
Of particular note is that the Canon SX60 offers rather in-depth control of color. This will be appreciated by commercial users that require precise color accuracy, such as photographers, architects, possibly medical imaging, and of course a host of other applications.
To the right you can see the image modes selected, including modes for presentations, sRGB for color matching to applications relying on sRGB for color accuracy, a Movie mode, and of course the darker Home Cinema mode.
There is also the traditional RGB menu with separate gain and brightness for Red, Green, and Blue.
But as mentioned, there is also the more precise 6 color adjustment from the advanced image menu shown here:
This 6-axis color adjust allows you to control the color content within indivual colors. This level of control is rarely found on projectors, although with home theater projectors, in some cases is is available, but only in the service menu, designed to be used by color calibrators, not end users. Since this is first and foremost a commercial projector, that is built for optimum color and image handling, this is a nice touch for those who need that level of precision, and know how to work with it.
Lastly, here is a look at the Display settings menu, which handles traditional setup issues, including use for rear screen or ceiling mount, and user settings.
SDE (Screen Door Effect) and Rainbow Effect
Here's a projector without either. As you saw in the Image performance area, the pixels are so unnoticeable compared to LCD and DLP techologies, that screen door effect will not come into play at any distance even remotely considered normal for viewing.
Since the SX60 uses three LCOS panels, it works more like an LCD than a DLP projector in regards to rainbow effect, in that it doesn't have a spinning color filter wheel. The result, there is no rainbow effect.
So, the SX60 offers the best of both worlds, no screen door, no rainbows.
When we calibrated the projector we took brightness measurements. The Canon SX60 produced around 2000 lumens in full power mode in the brighter settings modes (it varied depending on the settings chosen - Standard, Presentation - etc.. In Home Cinema mode with low power, it produced just under 400 lumens. If the lamp power is set to the same (high or low) for Home Cinema, or Standard, the difference in brightness (lumens) is four fold.
Sadly, Canon does not provide life expectancy info for the SX60, so we can only guess. We should therefore assume that it is at least on the low end of normal for projectors, which would be 1500 to 2000 hours under full power mode, and 2200 - 2500 under eco-mode. Of course, it could be longer, but those numbers should be reasonable guess.
Audible Noise Levels
The Canon SX60 is relatively quiet in low power mode. Not as quiet as the better home theater projectors, but pretty average, in that regard. In full power mode, it is, of course, noisier, but I would say not as loud as many business projectors. Even in small room environments, under full power, I don't believe anyone will be complaining about the Canon's fan noise. The claimed specs are 27db in low power, and 30db in full power. I might guess that the first number is conservative, but under full power it sounds noiser to me than other projectors rated 30db.
The SX60 has a built-in 1 watt speaker.
The SX60 has some nice touches, including a spotlight feature to highlight an area (actually it leaves the area you want, at full brightness while dimming everything else) you wish to point out while presenting. Arrow keys allow navigation. You can control the projector from the included wireless remote or a USB mouse (not included).
Present and Go
Finished your presentation? Just unplug immediately, the SX60 will continue its cool down process, with it's fan running without being plugged in. Remember, though, not to put the SX60 back in its shoulder bag, or other highly confined area, until the fan turns off and the unit's cool down is complete.
The SX60 offers an optional networking adapter. This will not only allow you to interface to a network, but your projector can notify you of problems, such as replace lamp, a failure, etc., via email over the network.
Lens Throw Distances and Lens Shift
The SX60 does not have Lens Shift, however it does have keystone correction, both vertical and horizontal, to the tune of 20 degrees in each direction (up/down/left/right).
Repeating what we pubished on the first page of this review:
To fill a 100" diagonal 4:3 ratio screen, the projector can be placed as close as 9 feet 8 inches, and as far as back as 16 feet 2 inches.
If you are working with 16:9 screen for wider format sources, and don't care about the top and bottom (in this case unused) areas hitting off the screen, then for a 92 " diagonal 16:9 screen, you would have essentially the same placement distances as for the 100" 4:3 aspect ratio screen.
Projector Screen Recommendations
For typical business operation, I would recommend a screen that best matches the room. A white surface with some gain should be just fine for most applications, higher gain screens will work as well if you don't need a wide viewing angle.
If your application does call for maximum contrast for photo-realism related applications, a high contrast gray surface will sacrafice some brightness, but enhance contrast and black levels. I would definitely lean this way if the projector is going to be used for a home cinema type application, or perhaps to display photos for a commercial application. Combining a gray, high contrast screen with the SX60 in home cinema mode, will give you performance in these areas rivaling home theater projectors.
A quick calibration was done, on the Home Cinema Mode.
Initial measurements for Home Cinema mode leaned toward red, with most IRE settings between 5900 and 6200. The image to the right is a shot from one of the other modes which came close to the normal 8000K for non-home theater mode.
Correcting the Home Cinema mode to 6500K for ideal Home Theater temperature, was pretty straighforward, with the final RGB settings looking like this:
Gain: R=+1, G=0, B=+5
Offset: R=0, G=-1, B=0
The Canon SX60 comes with a nice padded shoulder carry case. It also comes with an impressive collection of cables, an analog data cable (HD15), and it includes a short adapter cable for the DVI-I input, that provides the DVI-I connector for the projector end, and 3 RCA female jacks for component video, on the other end.
Time to move on to the next section.