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Canon REALiS LE-5W Performance

Posted on August 3, 2013 by Jarrod Buckley


Since this projector lacks a zoom capability, all measurements were taken with the projector displaying a 120” diagonal image, with the projector positioned  approximately10 feet (3 meters) from the screen.  The following maximum brightness measurements were taken at the brightest point of the image, which was at the center of the screen.

Canon specifies the LE-5W projector’s “Brightness” as 500 lumens in Presentation mode.  The light output in other modes is not specified.  The rated brightness is very similar to other compact LED based business projectors, such as the Viewsonic PLED-W500 and the Optoma ML500.

To the eye the projected image seemed fairly uniform in brightness from the center to the edge of the screen.  Canon specifies the brightness uniformity in “Presentation” mode at 85% (meaning a maximum of a 15% light decrease when going from the center of the screen to the edge or corners).  Our measurements show the light fall off was instead about 20%.

The following are the out of the box measurements for lumens output in the projector’s “Normal” (i.e., full power) brightness mode for each of the available “Image Modes” with all of the projector’s settings at their default values.

Presentation 500 lumens (matched Canon’s rated lumens output for the brightest mode)
Standard 417 lumens
sRGB 351 lumens
Movie 236 lumens


  1. All measurements reported above are for “White Lumens” where the test signal is a maximum brightness white test pattern.  
  2. For all of the above modes except for cinema, standard PC signal levels were used and the lumens were calculated using the projector’s native 16 x 10 aspect ratio.  
  3. For the Movie mode standard video signal levels were used and the lumens were calculated using a standard 16 x 9 video format.

The Canon LE-5W also allows for a single User defined Image Mode.  The ‘User’ mode enables the user to save their own custom settings that can later be recalled.  A simple test was make after the projector was calibrated just for reference white and reference black levels.  The color temperate was set to “Low” and these settings were stored in the “USER” memory.  The same approach was employed as described in note 3 above for the “Movie” mode and under these conditions the “User” custom settings provided a measured 385 lumens of light output.

In the Eco mode, which reduces the projector’s light output, the projector’s light output measured about 20% less than the light output measured for operation in “Normal” (i.e., full power) mode.

Presentation mode 8350K
Movie mode 7300K
User mode 6850K

Canon does not specific the color temperature of the projected image for any of the projector’s image modes.  The color temperature for three of the available Image Modes measured, on average, the values as listed below.

Audible Noise

Canon specifies the noise level of the LE-5W as 38 dB in Normal mode and 32 dB in Power Saver mode.  Although these noise levels are higher than many larger projectors, they are typical for this class of portable LED business projectors.

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