Canon Realis SX7 - SXGA+, LCoS, Portable Business, Scientific, and Engineering Projector: Overview
4-2-08 Art Feierman
This is Canon's top of the line portable projector. It sports SXGA+ native resolution of 1400x1050. While it may seem very pricey for a 4000 lumen projector, remember that it is SXGA+ resolution, which makes up only a very small share of the market. SXGA+ projectors are all expensive, but if that's what you need...
Overall, the Canon Realis SX7 is an excellent projector and was well on its way to receiving our Hot Product Award, however, we found one serious flaw, that required rethinking. That flaw is in video processing, at least when fed a 1080p/24 video source through the digital input. Were it not for that issue, the Canon Realis SX7 would have easily picked up our Hot Product Award. As it is, I am contacting Canon, to discuss. If it turns out that the problem is with this unit, and they send another to verify, I'll revisit the award issue.
Highlights of the Canon Realis SX7
- 4000 plus lumens pack plenty of punch, even in large presentation spaces like hotel ballrooms. Invisible pixel structure, for smooth image
- Quality of "out of the box" color performance varies, depending on mode selected and application
- Power zoom and focus (including auto focus)
- Digital input (DVI - compatible with HDMI)
- Motion artifact is easily visible on fast moving videos from HDMI sources
- Impressive 3 year parts and labor warranty
- $6999 MSRP, sounds like a lot, but SXGA+ projectors have always been very expensive, and the SX7 is pretty much in line with the SXGA+ competition
Canon Realis SX7 Portable Projector - Basic Specs:
Click for more detailed specs: SX7
Native Resolution: XGA (1024x768)
Brightness: 4000 Lumens
Zoom Lens Ratio: 1.7:1
Lens Shift: None
Lamp Life: 2000 hours (normal mode), 3000 hours (quiet mode)
Weight: 10.6 pounds
Warranty: 3 Years
Let's begin with a look at the phyical attributes of the Canon SX7 portable projector:
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Canon Realis SX7 Projector: Physical Tour
The 1.7:1 zoom lens is mounted on the left side of the SX7's front. Just to the left, is the infra-red sensor for the remote control. A button in the center of the front (down low) releases the single front drop down foot, (which is mounted back a couple of inches). One nice touch is that the Canon SX7 offers auto-focus.
On the top of the Canon SX7 projector, near the back, and on the left (if viewing from the rear), is the power switch, and right next to it, a button for the auto-setup function.
Opposite these two - on the right side, is the main control panel. It consists of four arrow keys in the usual diamond shape, with a centered "OK" (enter) button. In addition, there are four additional buttons in the "corners". These four control Focus, Keystone, Menu, and Zoom functions. In addition, the left and right arrow buttons double as volume up, and down, when the menu system is not engaged. All considered, a very well done layout, which I found easy to learn and use (not easy for a reviewer who doesn't spend that much time with each projector). That ease of use is especially nice if this is a projector that is going to be shared by many users, few of which will use it often.
The Inputs for the SX7 are located on the left side (left, if you are looking from the front). The SX7 has a reasonably good selection of inputs. There's a DVI-I port that can accept Digital computer, Digital Video, or an analog computer source. Next is a standard analog computer input with a standard HD15 (VGA) connector. That input can handle both analog computer, or a component video source. A monitor out is also provided allowing desktop computer users to have a monitor hooked up.
In addition, there are the obligatory S-Video and Composite video inputs, as well as three stereo audio inputs. The Canon SX7 also has a stereo audio out (nice when ceiling mounting, to feed nearby ceiling speakers), a service port, and a USB port for basic "remote mousing" features (such as Page Up, Page Down).
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There are two screw thread adjustable rear feet, giving the SX7 a nice, stable three point stance.
The SX7 comes with a more decent set of cables than most. There's a DVI to VGA cable for analog computer, a component video adapter, and a USB cable. Better still would have been to include a standard VGA-VGA cable so the user has enough to support two sources without having to run out and buy an extra cable.
The Canon SX7 has a single 1 watt audio speaker system - a bit basic for such an otherwise high priced, and fairly large (for a portable) projector.
The SX7, is basically a "box" projector - rectangular, deeper than wide, but sculpted with rounded front edges, and a sloping front, plus some brushed silver trim around the sides, to brighten up an otherwise neutral gray finish. Not bad looking at all, for those concerned about such things.