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5 Best Projectors For Projection Mapping


Projection mapping is an important tool for producers and creatives who want to bring art, venues and other forms of creativity to life. It allows people to project images onto 3D surfaces which keep audiences both amazed and engaged.

For the record, projection mapping makes use of a number of techniques to build the attention-grabbing effect it has.

First, it can completely map a large venue; it will put in beautiful images with rich colors that make the place seem like somewhere else entirely.

The images or movies projected are so consuming in their entirety that they can evoke great emotional responses from the audience. These 3D projections can be motivating or inciting, depending on the intent.

It is all too easy to get caught up while trying to acquire a projector for mapping and forget to look out for important specifications.

In this article, we will see the different qualities to look out for in projectors for mapping and also explore a list of some of the best projectors for projection mapping.

Buying guide: 6 qualities to look for

projector for projection mapping

In a manner of speaking, you can use any projector for projection mapping. It is only important to note that different projectors will give different image qualities.

The options available to you will depend mostly on your budget. The type you get should also depend on how much image clarity you desire and the scale of the project you want to display.

For large-scale projections, more expensive projectors would be required because they give better image quality. They also have a wider range of functions.

Projection mapping is quite unique and different from regular projection. Mapping involves projecting onto colored surfaces whose backgrounds may not be as smooth as projector screens.

This is why you should use projectors that are bright enough to overcome the challenges of background.

Below are the five things to look out for before purchasing a projector for projection mapping:

1. Brightness of the projector

brightness of a projector

Projection mapping may be done in brightly lit areas and this affects projection quality. Images projected in daylight often come off with faded colors.

This is why you need bright projectors with high lumens so that the production quality would be satisfactory. The brighter a projector is, the better its image output.

If the projection mapping is to be done in a dark area, the optimal choices are between 1500-3000 lumens of lighting.

However, if the area is brightly lit, it is advisable to use projectors of up to 4500 lumens and above.

While 3000 lumens will still be visible in lit-up areas, it may have a dull image quality.

2. Throw distance of the projector

Short-throw projectors are those that do not require much space between them and the projection background to produce clear and large images.

Basically, the size of the image they project is large compared to the distance of the projector from the background. This makes them a better choice than long-throw projectors.

These projectors are quite expensive and can project images up to 15 or even 30 feet large from short distances.

3. The native resolution

Resolution tells you how clear the image projected will be depending on the number of pixels the projector can display on a given space.

Get a high-resolution projector that can help you show off the spectacular imagery you prepared for projection.

The higher the resolution of the projector, the better the quality of its image.

For projections that include colors and animations, it is advisable to go for projectors above 800 x 600 in order to get the memorable viewing experience you desire.

4K projectors are highly recommended, however, a bit pricey. 1080p projectors are a close second.

4. Size of the projection background

projection mapping on wall

The size of your background for the mapping has a lot to do with the type of projector you buy. It determines the size of the image you intend to project.

This, along with the mounting distance can help you decide on whether you should get a short-throw projector or a long-throw projector.

5. High contrast ratio

High contrast ratios are one of the tools for getting truly amazing viewing experiences.

Contrast is the quality that shows the difference between light colors and dark colors in a projection.

If there is a higher difference between light colors and dark colors, this means that there is higher contrast.

If you want to be able to set your images’ contrast to the most desirable state, you should get a projector with a relatively wide contrast range.

6. Life expectancy of lamp

a projector lamp

The type of projectors required for projection mapping are strong ones. Because of their many functions, they often have the problem of reduced lamp life.

It is best to go for projectors that have between 15000 to 20000 hours of lamp life.

LED and laser projectors are great choices because they have relatively higher lamp lifespans than average projectors.

The only difference between both of them is that laser projectors often have higher luminosity.

The factors above should help you decide on the specifications you want for your desired projector and eventually help you select the best one within your budget.

Top 3 Picks for You

Christie Digital Systems USA 118-019101-04 HD14K-M/ 3-DLP, 1080P, 12000 ANSI LM (13500 Center), Dual 450W Lamps, 55LBS - No Lens
Editor's Pick
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI
Christie Digital Systems USA 118-019101-04 HD14K-M/ 3-DLP, 1080P, 12000 ANSI LM (13500 Center), Dual 450W Lamps, 55LBS - No Lens
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI
Christie Digital Systems USA 118-019101-04 HD14K-M/ 3-DLP, 1080P, 12000 ANSI LM (13500 Center), Dual 450W Lamps, 55LBS - No Lens
Christie Digital Systems USA 118-019101-04 HD14K-M/ 3-DLP, 1080P, 12000 ANSI LM (13500 Center), Dual 450W Lamps, 55LBS - No Lens
Editor's Pick
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI

5 Best Projectors for Projection Mapping

I have compiled a list of the best projectors that are guaranteed to give good results for projection mapping this year.

If you find one within your budget, I suggest that you go for it.

The projectors include:

  1. Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD Projector
  2. ViewSonic PG800HD
  3. Christie Digital 3DLP
  4. BenQ MW612
  5. InFocus IN112XA Projector

Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD

Sale
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
  • Widescreen Full HD 1080p entertainment up to 300 inches life sized images upto 25x larger than a 60...
  • Bright ideal for a variety of lighting conditions, the projector has 3,100 Lumens of color/white...
  • Versatile connectivity 2x HDMI ports (1x MHL) to Connect your cable/satellite box, Blu ray Disc...

The Epson Home Cinema 1060 full HD is recommended for projection mapping because of its capacity to project large images.

It is a short-throw projector and can project up to 300″ of image, covering very large backgrounds.

This projector is portable and lightweight. This makes it really great for outdoor set-ups because it can be easily transported.

The Epson Home Cinema projector has a 3100 lumens brightness. This means it works remarkably well at night and can project relatively good images even during daytime.

This projector can operate from a distance of up to 6 meters from the projection background. It performs satisfactorily whether during the day or at night.

Its connectivity options are quite satisfactory as it comes with 2 HDMI ports and one NHL. It has a full HD native resolution capacity of 1080p.

Related: Epson 1040 Projector Review

What we like:

  • It is a very bright projector.
  • This projector produces very clear images.
  • The projector is portable, lightweight and easy to transport.

What we don’t like:

  • The projector’s fan is quite audible.

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ViewSonic PG800HD Projector

ViewSonic PG800HD 5000 Lumens 1080p HDMI Networkable Projector with Lens Shift, White
  • VERSATILE PROJECTOR: Advanced visual features ideal for professional installations, large venues,...
  • BIG SCREEN PROJECTION: Project up to 300 inches in 5000 lumens with 50,000:1 contrast ratio; Light...
  • EASY SETUP: 1.3x optical zoom, centered lens, vertical lens shift, and vertical keystoning for...

This is a short-throw projector that is small but impressively equipped with desirable features.

To use it, just set it up at a distance from where it can cover the desired background.

This projector can project up to 300″ of image. Also, because it is a short-throw projector, it can project big images from small distances.

It has a native resolution of 1080p and 3500 lumens brightness. This enables it to project clear images and it can control the effects of ambient light.

The ViewSonic PG800HD projector has a high contrast ratio to adjust the difference in white and black colors for better viewing.

A remarkable improvement would be a reduction in bulk to make it easier to transport.

What we like:

  • It can project up to 300″ images.
  • It is a very bright projector.
  • The projector has a 12,000:1 contrast ratio.
  • The native resolution is at 1080p and it projects clear images.

What we don’t like:

  • It is not portable and the fan is quite noisy.

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Christie Digital 3DLP Projector

This is the most impressive on the list by a long shot and it goes without saying that it is the most expensive. Christie Digital includes a range of projectors and it is also a leading brand in the industry.

It has projectors with a range of brightness options to choose from, depending on your budget.

It boasts between 5000 to 30000 lumen projectors and they can all control the effects of ambient light.

It is often used by large-scale producers and for big shows that want remarkable imagery, because it gives clear and crisp image quality when viewed from any angle.

A great part of the brand is the range of resolutions available including 4k, and the lamp options to choose from.

What we like:

  • The projectors have perfect brightness with various options.
  • They have great resolutions and image quality.
  • Their lamps have long lifespans.
  • It is 3D upgradeable and comes with a good warranty.

What we don’t like:

  • The Christie Digital projectors are not very portable.

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BenQ MW612 Projector

Sale
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI
  • HIGH IMAGE QUALITY: WXGA (1280x800) resolution and 20,000:1 contrast ratio increases clarity and...
  • BIG SCREEN PROJECTION: Projects 120in image from 13ft-2in at 4000 ANSI lumens
  • COMPATIBLE CONNECTIVITY: HDMI x2, 5V/1.5A USB power supply, and MHL

This is a lightweight and portable projector weighing about 5 lbs. It has impressive projection mapping specifications for its relatively budget price.

Its design is simple and it can be used from a ceiling mounted position. Some of its features make it ideal for use in brightly lit venues.

It has a high lumen range of 4000 and gives brightly colored pictures with crisp texts. This means texts are readable even from far away positions.

The BenQ projector has good clarity because its high contrast range allows for suitable adjustments in different lights.

Connectivity options include two HDMI ports, 1 VGA and a USB port. It allows for wireless pairing.

It has a vertical keystone that allows you to adjust and align images on the background, even if the projector is at an awkward angle.

What we like:

  • It has a 15,000-hour lamp life.
  • The vertical keystone makes it easy to align projections on the screen.
  • It has options for wireless connection.
  • The images projected are very bright and clear.

What we don’t like:

  • It has low audio quality.

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InFocus IN112XA Projector

Sale
InFocus IN112XA Projector, DLP SVGA 3800 Lumens 3D Ready 2HDMI with Speakers
  • LONGEST LASTING LAMP - Get over 15,000 hours of viewing with a long lasting projector lamp that will...
  • GET BETTER IMAGES ON ANY SURFACE - Get better, brighter images on any surface with the 3800 lumen...
  • SUPERIOR VIEWING EXPERIENCE - Enjoy your home theater or next business presentation on the perfect...

This is a portable and very bright projector. It is compact and lightweight, weighing about 5.5lbs.

This projector is good for people who want to create projection mapping in lit-up spaces. This is because it has 3800 lumens of brightness.

The InFocus projector can project images up to 300″ from a distance of 12 meters. It gives off great quality images with brilliant colors using InFocus BrilliantColor and DLP technology.

The projector has a native resolution of 800×600 and a 15,000-hour lamp life in dynamic mode.

The high 26000:1 contrast ratio allows a wide range of adjustments.

The projector comes with many connectivity options including HDMI, VGA and S-video. It also supports many 3D forms like Blu-ray, video games and PC.

What we like:

  • It has a wide range of connectivity options.
  • The projector is lightweight and is quite portable.
  • It is quite easy to install.
  • It has very accurate color reproduction.
  • The high contrast ratio that gives a wide range of adjustments.

What we don’t like:

  • This projector is not suitable for mapping large areas or backgrounds.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM

Christie Digital Systems USA 118-019101-04 HD14K-M/ 3-DLP, 1080P, 12000 ANSI LM (13500 Center), Dual 450W Lamps, 55LBS - No Lens
Editor's Pick
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI
Christie Digital Systems USA 118-019101-04 HD14K-M/ 3-DLP, 1080P, 12000 ANSI LM (13500 Center), Dual 450W Lamps, 55LBS - No Lens
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI
Christie Digital Systems USA 118-019101-04 HD14K-M/ 3-DLP, 1080P, 12000 ANSI LM (13500 Center), Dual 450W Lamps, 55LBS - No Lens
Christie Digital Systems USA 118-019101-04 HD14K-M/ 3-DLP, 1080P, 12000 ANSI LM (13500 Center), Dual 450W Lamps, 55LBS - No Lens
Editor's Pick
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
Epson Home Cinema 1060 Full HD 1080p 3,100 Lumens Color Brightness (Color Light Output) 3,100 Lumens White Brightness (White Light Output) 2x Hdmi (1x...
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI
BenQ MW612 WXGA Business Projector | 4000 Lumens | 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio | Dual HDMI

FAQ

What can go wrong if I get the wrong type or size of projector?

The type of projector one uses is very important. If you want a certain size of projection, you have to get projectors that can project clear images in that size and range.

If you use those that don’t project your desired image size, the image at that size would come out dull or grainy.

The size of your projector matters too. It will determine where you place it and how you transport it.

If you are making use of a hatch or a projector stand, you have to find a projector that can fit in or on it conveniently.

Conclusion

3D projection mapping is usually for people who want to put on big elite shows and attention-grabbing events. It can convince people to purchase from a clothing line, try a new product, or see a movie at a cinema.

If you want a projector with good features at a reasonable price, I would recommend the BenQ MW612. For professional mapping projects and other large-scale projections, the Christie Digital 3DLP is the best option.

A lot of work and skill go into making the videos for projection mapping. It would be a shame to let all your work go to waste by using a projector that does not do it justice.

Now, you must find a projector that will make your production look as impressive as you intend it to. This article has made it a lot easier!

Last update on 2021-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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