5 Best Projectors For Tracing Images


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To get enlarged copies of an image, you can either employ the grid method or project the image onto a larger surface and trace it. Tracing is easier and has recently become popular for wall murals, large portraits and other forms of art.

Have you spent minutes or even more time wondering which type of projector would best suit your art?

It can be confusing, with all the options available in the market and all the parameters you would have to consider to choose one. However, by the end of this article, those worries can be laid to rest.

In this article, I will be showing you what to look out for when trying to purchase a projector for tracing images. After this, I will provide a list of the five best projectors for tracing images.

Not all projectors can be used for tracing images, so it helps to know the types available and their functions, before purchasing. You can look up YouTube reviews of the projector you are considering, so that you can see it in action and decide whether it suits your needs.

Buying Guide: 6 Things to Look For While Choosing a Projector

1. Throw distance

a show throw projector tracing images from a laptop

The throw distance describes how far away the projector has to be before its image can be in focus.

It is best if a projector has short distance focus because it will give you greater control over the size of the image you want to draw.

Most online manuals provide information about the projector’s throw distance and the size of the screen projection at different distances. Check them out before purchasing.

2. Size and weight

When attempting to trace an image, you may have to manipulate the projector or hitch it onto an articulating arm to get it to point in the angle you want.

For this reason, projectors for tracing images are best in small sizes and light weights. This way, they are easy to attach to articulating arms or balance on tripods.

3. Ability to store and display images

a projector tracing images on the wall

Not all projectors can display images. Some only display videos, so it is necessary to find out what a projector can display before purchasing it for tracing images. A projector that can display both is ideal.

4. Cost

This is a very important parameter —perhaps, the most important— as it determines the kind of projectors you should consider. You must know your budget and explore the best options within that budget.

Budget projectors often come with some form of limitation, but I find that they work quite well if you only want to use them for tracing images.

5. Power/brightness

It is important to choose a projector that is suitable for the brightness of your working area.

This is because brighter spaces will need more powerful and brighter projectors. Often, digital projectors are the best option for this i.e. the Vankyo Performance V630 projector.

6. Minimum focus distance

a projector focusing at a short distance for smaller pictures

This has a lot to do with the size of your work space i.e. the surface area of the background you are working on.

You have to choose a projector that can focus at a short distance for smaller pictures or one that can be clear at a distance for bigger pictures.

If you don’t consider these before purchasing, when you take the projector too far, images may end up being too large or too dim.

Types of Projectors

There are a variety of projectors out there, including the digital, opaque, slide and overhead projectors. On the basis of their operations, they’re classified as either digital or opaque.

1. Digital Projectors

digital projector connect to a laptop

Digital projectors project media including videos from a variety of digital sources: SD cards, phones, computers, cameras, etc. They are also referred to as theater projectors.

Previously, their use was limited due to cost, but in recent times, there have been cheaper and brighter models. This has caused art enthusiasts to embrace them.

Digital projectors are very easy to use because you do not have to print out your images onto transparencies. For the sole purpose of tracing images, less expensive models suffice. They have less picture clarity, but are still great for tracing images.

Projectors that use LED are preferable to those that use bulbs because LEDs are brighter and last longer, making it easier to see projections in rooms that are lit up.

2. Opaque Projectors

These are not digital and require a sketch or printed image for them to enlarge. This makes it less convenient.

However, they’re pretty simple to operate and are ideal for large paintings.

Opaque projectors work by shining a bright light on a transparency, picture or small material. Then, they employ a combination of prisms and lenses to enlarge a reflection and project it onto the desired background.

Top 3 Picks for You

Artograph EZ Tracer Opaque Art Projector-No Bulb (Not Digital) in White
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The 5 Best Projectors for Tracing Images

I have compiled a list of projectors which I consider the best options for professional artists and hobbyists this year. My selections were based on their cost, ease of use, durability, portability and the quality of images they produce. The projectors are in no particular order.

  1. Artograph LED EZ Tracer
  2. Vankyo Performance V630
  3. Apeman NM4 Portable Projector
  4. Artograph 225 090 Prism
  5. QKK Mini LED Projector

1. Artograph LED EZ Tracer

Sale
Artograph EZ Tracer Opaque Art Projector-No Bulb (Not Digital) in White
  • Overall Dimensions: 4.5" W x 13.25" D x 7.5" H
  • Easy to use, lightweight and portable, silent operation, Dark Room Needed for Clarity
  • Enlarges flat artwork from 2 times up to 10 times onto any vertical surface. Copy size: 4 x 4 inch...

This is an opaque projector, and it is the best kind to get if you’re working on a budget. It cannot store or receive images, but it is quite easy to use.

Artograph Tracer is great for artistic kids. So, if you have kids whose hands just won’t stop reaching for paper or your walls, this is a great option to keep them occupied.

It is also a good option for starters or hobby artists who do not intend to spend too much on a projector.

You only have to draw something or get a picture and place it under the projector. It reproduces images between 2 to 10x larger than the original image. Any bigger and the projection may get fuzzy and blurry.

Typical of opaque projectors, the light isn’t very bright and it’s hard to use in bright spaces. It is better used in dark rooms or at night.

The trick to getting the best kind of image on your background is to use a bright LED light bulb since it has a replaceable lightbulb.

What we like:

  • It is easy to use
  • It uses replaceable light bulbs
  • This is the most affordable projector suitable for tracing images

What we don’t like:

  • The brightness is limited and the projected image can be tricky to focus.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM

2. Vankyo Performance V630

VANKYO Performance V630 Native 1080P Full HD Projector, 300" LED Projector w/ ±45° Electronic Keystone Correction, Compatible w/ TV Stick, HDMI,...
  • 【REAL NATIVE 1080P FULL HD】VANKYO Performance V630 is equipped with native 1920x1080 resolution,...
  • 【300” MEGA PROJECTION SCREEN】Features a huge projection screen, Performance V630 movie...
  • 【±45° ELECTRONIC KEYSTONE】Performance V630 LED projector utilizes advanced electronic keystone...

The Vankyo brand has proven to be quite trustworthy when it comes to digital projectors. This model is one of the best mid-budget digital projectors in the market.

It is great for professional artists who want to create wall murals or enlarged versions of an image. It has a strong durable build and a size that makes it easy to carry around.

To use, you only have to plug in the power cable, connect it to an input source and position it properly.

It has a native resolution of 720p and it can support up to 1080p footage. Its 500 lumen brightness makes it capable of projecting in lit up areas.

This projector puts out color quality that is simply amazing. It sports a 50,000-hour lamp life, which simply means that if you use it for four hours daily, its lamp will still last you over 20 years.

The Vankyo projector has built-in speakers which means that you don’t have to work in boring silence. You can put on some music and get your groove on while creating your art.

It displays between 44 to 200″ of sharp images at a distance of 1.5 to 5 meters. For connectivity, it has a vast range of options: two HDMI ports, one AV, one VGA, one USB, one SD card slot, and one audio out-port.

What we like:

  • It has a 45° keystone corrector for getting images projected correctly on screen, even from awkward angles.
  • It has good image and color quality.
  • It has built-in speakers.
  • It has multiple connectivity options.

What we don’t like:

  • Due to its 780p native resolution, it can be challenging with large projects.

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3. Apeman NM4 Portable Projector

APEMAN M4 Mini Portable Projector, Video DLP Pocket Projector for Home and Outdoor Entertainment, Support 1080P HDMI Input Built-in Rechargeable...
  • BIG SCREEN HD MOVIE: The latest UPGRADED DLP technology provides a 70% brighter, more vivid, and 50%...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AS A PHONE: Pocket size mini projector (3.86x3.86x0.85 inches) and lightweight (0.44...
  • EXCELLENT FEATURES: Super low noise which hardly to hear when you are watching a movie. The mini...

This is the best option on the basis of portability. It is a small digital projector weighing about 0.44lbs. Its size does not limit its functionality however, since it gives great results.

It is a great option for artists who want to create murals and also for other forms of projection. Its size means it can fit in your pocket.

The Apeman projector is ideal for small projects and uses a HDMI connector. It can be used with a smartphone by using a HDMI to phone adaptor. To get the best viewing experience, use it in a dark room.

The Apeman projector gives very precise colors. It has 45,000 hours of lamp life and supports up to 1080p footage on a 480p native resolution. It displays between 30 to 100″ of image at distances between 1 to 4 meters.

This projector has built-in stereo speakers and a built-in 3400 mah battery which limits its time of use. An upgrade to the battery capacity would earn it higher points.

What we like:

  • Its throw ratio allows you to get a big image even if you’re working in a small room.
  • Its unique and literally ‘pocket-friendly’ size.
  • It comes with a 360° tripod that makes balance easy.

What we don’t like:

  • The bright image projection uses up the battery quickly, leaving only 1.5 to 2.5 hours of use on a full charge.
  • It uses only a HDMI connector.

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4. Artograph 225-090 Prism

Artograph Prism Opaque Art Projector for Wall or Canvas (Not Digital) in Black
  • Overall Dimensions:14" W x 14" D x 7.5" H
  • Enlarges artwork up to 20x or Reduces to 80% of the original size with lens reversed
  • 200 mm precision-ground optical glass lens, UL Approved, 1- Year Warranty, 7.5ft Long Cord

The Artograph Prism is an advanced opaque projector. It is one of the best opaque projectors out there for reproducing enlarged images and tracing them.

It is a mid-budget tabletop projector and is great for artists who want a projector only for their art.

To use it, you only have to place small 3D objects, paper or pictures on the glass-covered copy area which measures 7 × 7″. It has an adjustable magnetic cover with a spring clip to prevent any material placed within the copy area from moving out of place.

It has a reversible lens function which gives it a wide range of projection and a reduction of up to 80%. It has a 200mm precision-ground optical glass function. With two lamp bulbs at 250w each, the Artograph Prism has 500w lighting and resulting photo quality.

This projector has impressive enlargement as it can enlarge projections up to 20× of the original image size. It has up to 4× enlargement on a tabletop background — of course, it has to be held up by an articulating arm.

What we like:

  • It has a fan cooling system which prevents the overheating of its circuits.
  • The reversible lens function and wide projection range.
  • It has great enlargement for an opaque projector.

What we don’t like:

  • The light bulb is not too bright. For this reason, it is better suited to darkened rooms.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM

5. QKK Mini LED Projector

QKK Upgrade 5500Lumens Mini Projector [Tripod Included] for Outdoor Movies 200" Display Full HD 1080P Supported Portable Projector, Compatible with...
  • 🌷 Full HD 2020 Latest Upgraded Projector 1080P Supported - Our QKK 2020 Latest Upgraded Mini...
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  • 🌷 Double USB Port Designed Projector - Cocerned about many customers need to use 2 USB flash...

This mini projector is the cheapest digital projector in the list and it offers quite a good deal for its price.

It is a good and budget-friendly option for people who only want to project images for tracing. It is not the best option for motion pictures or gaming but it is great for displaying large presentations or images.

It is small, portable and easy to use. Simply turn it on, connect it to your preferred input source and balance it on its tripod.

The projector has clear to decent picture quality, depending on the size of the projected image. It displays a native resolution of 1080p and supports HD images up to 1080p.

The QKK mini projector can display clear images up to 170″ in size at a 5 meter distance. The brightness is up to 4500 lumens and it has a lamp life of 50,000 hours. Its connectivity options include multiple HDMI ports, two USB ports, and one AV.

What we like:

  • It boasts an efficient cooling system to prevent overheating.
  • It has multiple connectivity options.
  • It is lightweight and easy to transport.
  • We like its great image quality.

What we don’t like:

  • The picture is not very good for motion footage and images get blurry at longer distances.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM

Artograph EZ Tracer Opaque Art Projector-No Bulb (Not Digital) in White
Editor's Pick
QKK Upgrade 5500Lumens Mini Projector [Tripod Included] for Outdoor Movies 200" Display Full HD 1080P Supported Portable Projector, Compatible with...
APEMAN M4 Mini Portable Projector, Video DLP Pocket Projector for Home and Outdoor Entertainment, Support 1080P HDMI Input Built-in Rechargeable...
Artograph EZ Tracer Opaque Art Projector-No Bulb (Not Digital) in White
QKK Upgrade 5500Lumens Mini Projector [Tripod Included] for Outdoor Movies 200" Display Full HD 1080P Supported Portable Projector, Compatible with...
APEMAN M4 Mini Portable Projector, Video DLP Pocket Projector for Home and Outdoor Entertainment, Support 1080P HDMI Input Built-in Rechargeable...
Artograph EZ Tracer Opaque Art Projector-No Bulb (Not Digital) in White
Artograph EZ Tracer Opaque Art Projector-No Bulb (Not Digital) in White
Editor's Pick
QKK Upgrade 5500Lumens Mini Projector [Tripod Included] for Outdoor Movies 200" Display Full HD 1080P Supported Portable Projector, Compatible with...
QKK Upgrade 5500Lumens Mini Projector [Tripod Included] for Outdoor Movies 200" Display Full HD 1080P Supported Portable Projector, Compatible with...
APEMAN M4 Mini Portable Projector, Video DLP Pocket Projector for Home and Outdoor Entertainment, Support 1080P HDMI Input Built-in Rechargeable...
APEMAN M4 Mini Portable Projector, Video DLP Pocket Projector for Home and Outdoor Entertainment, Support 1080P HDMI Input Built-in Rechargeable...

Conclusion

Most of the projectors I have listed are budget projectors and may be functionally limited in some ways. However, they are guaranteed to provide satisfactory image tracing experiences. I recommend the QKK Mini LED Projector because it offers all the necessary functions for tracing images at a reasonable price.

If you’re on a high budget, the Anker Nebula Capsule  is a great option. It is a high-function mini projector with great features. Ideally, it should only be necessary for photorealistic drawings, but you’re welcome to give it a try!

Never forget that your selection of a projector for tracing images depends largely on your budget, your project and your work space.

Read more: How To Trace A Picture Using A Projector?

Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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