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Canon Realis SX60 Projector Image Quality

Posted on October 4, 2013 by Art Feierman

To put the SX60's performance in perspective, I photographed the SX60 (in Home Cinema mode) side by side with Optoma's new HD7100, which was recently reviewed, received a hot product award, and, I would have to say, is currently the best under $3000 home theater projector around, and the least expensive using TI's Darkchip3 DLP processor. The Canon is on the left, the Optoma on the right. Please note, that the Canon (in Home Cinema mode), is not quite as bright as the Optoma, so the images are not indentical in brightness. Which tends to make the Optoma stand out on some of these images.

Canon SX60
normally exposed

There is one limitation to the SX60 as a home cinema projector not yet mentioned. It has, as noted a 4:3 aspect ratio, but the typical home theater viewer wants a 16:9 aspect ratio, and would favor a screen of that shape. The Canon, on a 16:9 screen will overshoot at the top and bottom, by about 10%. Now if you have significant ambient light in the room, you just won't see it at all, but if you go fully dark, for night viewing the overshoot will be slightly visible unless your walls are dark. I would consider this a small price to pay for being able to watch sports, TV, even movies, for those that cannot fully darken their rooms in the daytime.

I recently reviewed Sanyo's 3000 lumen widescreen PLV-80 projector, another bright projector that could function in the home, where ambient light is an issue. If you are looking for a solution to the ambient light situation, here's how these two might stack up.

The Canon, isn't quite as bright in full power mode, but the two projectors are close enough, so that if lighting is such that the Canon, doesn't cut it, the Sanyo isn't likely to either. Still, the more lumens the better. The Sanyo also has the advantage of being native 16:9 (1366x768 in this case), so there would be no overshoot on a 16:9 screen.

The Canon SX60 however, does far, far better on blacks for dark room viewing, and, perhaps even more important to most, the Sanyo, being LCD, has a much more visible pixel structure, than even DLP, let alone LCD. This would be a tough call, but the Canon is better situated to be a projector for both dark and ambient light viewing, whereas the Sanyo would have the edge if all you care about is having some lights on all the time. I would have to choose the Canon.

In a commercial application, such as a sports bar, that would probably the Sanyo the edge, since ultimate contrast and black levels are very secondary. Of course there are other issues for the commercial applications besides image quality.

Enough! Let's look at General Performance, including using the remote, the menus, and various non-image performance aspects, such as lamp life and projector screen recommendations.

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