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Canon REALiS LE-5W Picture Quality

Posted on August 3, 2013 by Jarrod Buckley

Picture Quality

The Canon LE-5W has a manual focus wheel located on the top of the projector just above the lens.  The focus mechanism was rather stiff to adjust making it difficult to fine tune the focus for the best possible focus.  Once correctly adjusted, the focus as fairly uniform over the full projected image.  I would rate the performance of focus as only fair.

The lens of the LE-5W appears to have a moderate amount of chromic aberration where the three primary colors are not uniformly in focus.  This resulted in visible color fringing around high contrast edges or borders in the projected image.  See the photo below taken from the screen when projecting a white on black test pattern.

Click Image to Enlarge

Projector Modes

The LE-5W has several “Image Modes” including 4 fixed modes and one ‘User’ mode.  Only the ‘User’ mode allows the user to adjust the “Image Quality Settings”, such as brightness and contrast.  As a result, when using these factory preset modes (i.e., except ‘User’) it is not possible to adjust the image for a more optimum performance.  With ‘User’ mode selected the Brightness, Contrast and Color Temperature can be adjusted when using either the projector’s HDMI input or the composite analog Video input.  However, the remaining Image Quality Settings (i.e., also including Color, Tint and Sharpness) can only be adjusted when using the composite analog Video input.

Rainbow Effect

DLP projector’s are susceptible to producing visible “Rainbow Effect”.  Some viewer’s tend to see this annoying image artifact more so than other viewers.  The LE-5W had relatively high level of visible rainbows indicating a low effective rate for repeating the sequence of the red, blue and green sub-images that form each full color image.  Canon does not offer any specifications this model, but I would speculate that it has perhaps an effective 2X speed, where each of the red, blue and green sub-images are displayed two times each 1/60 second.

Text Readability

The LE-5W has a native resolution of 1280 x 800, which is similar to the displays found on many laptop computers.  The following photos shows the results taken from a projected Powerpoint image with text of various sizes.  The second photo below is a close-up that shows the obvious pixel structure for small type sizes.

The above images were for the case of the connected PC providing an input at to the projector the native resolution of the LE-5W.  Also no digital keystone correction was being used.  Generally the readability of the text remained fair-to-good for input resolutions of 768 x 1280 or higher.

Color Accuracy

As with many business class projectors, the LE-5W by default has a very high color temperature which generally helps to the increase the overall brightness of the projected image, but produces an overly “cool” image with a color balance that has an excess of blue and deficiency in red.  Again this is typical for business-class projectors.  The LE-5W offers the user a High, Middle and Low color temperature setting (but available only in the “User” image mode) as a means of controlling the color temperature the projected image.  While having a high color temperature is generally acceptable for business presentations, some more critical users would prefer a color temperature closer to 6500K, the international standard for video displays, for multimedia presentations.  The following photo shows the same test image displayed using each of the projector’s available Image Modes.  For the “User” mode, I was able to set the color temperature to “low” while for the other preset modes the color temperature is fixed at the middle level.

Canon LE-5W Pic-18

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