Canon LV-7297M Review
The Canon LV-7297M provides solid image quality for a moderately priced XGA projector with a basic feature set.
(3 out of 5)
- Good at projecting text
- Solid (if unspectacular) image quality.
- Lacks carrying case
- Tinting in data images
- Feeble sound system.
The Canon LV-7297M data projector is a step up in brightness from the Canon LV-7292M that I recently reviewed but is otherwise very similar, providing a basic feature set, adequate data and fairly good video image quality, in a portable data projector. It’s a reasonable choice for use in classrooms or small conference rooms.
The LCD-based LV-7297M is rated at 2,600 lumens, a little low by today’s standards (3,000 is more typical), but higher than the LV-7292M’s rating of 2,200 lumens. As perception of brightness is measured logarithmically, the apparent difference in brightness is even less than the ratings would indicate. (It takes a lot more than doubling the rated brightness for a projector to appear twice as bright.) As is the case with the Canon LV-7292M, the LV-7297M’s 500:1 contrast ratio is unusually low for a projector these days.
The silver-and-gray LV-7297M measures 3.9 by 13.0 by 9.6 inches and weighs 6.5 pounds. That makes it reasonably portable, though it doesn’t ship with a carrying case—Canon sells one for $60 direct. Behind the lens are the (reasonably responsive) focus wheel, and a zoom wheel with a 1.2x zoom.
The LV-7297M has a typical (if basic) selection of ports for a portable projector: VGA (which triples as a component video and S-video input); 3 RCA jacks for composite audio/video; HDMI, RS232; audio-out, and a microphone jack.
From about 8 feet away, the LV-7297M’s image filled our 6-foot diameter test screen. As usual, I did most of our data and video testing under theater-dark conditions. With the addition of ambient light, some fine detail was washed out, though the image was still usable.
In testing using the DisplayMate test suite, data image quality was suitable for general business or classroom presentations, though not for situations in which exacting color is required. Text quality was good, readable (if a little fuzzy) at the two smallest sizes. In general, colors seemed reasonably true, but there was some tinting: white backgrounds had a slight yellowish tinge, and some grays had a touch of pale green. Another issue was fringing: some borders between very dark and very light zones, such as at the edge of a white image, appeared yellow or, on occasion, blue.
The tinting was worst in Presentation Mode; it was somewhat better in the Standard or High-Contrast color modes. Switching from VGA to an HDMI connection didn’t resolve the issue; in addition, it made it harder to distinguish between similar very dark (or very light) shades. That said, if the tinting or fringing don’t bother you or your audience, it’s a perfectly good data projector.
Video quality is suitable for showing short to mid-length clips as part of a presentation. As an LCD-based projector, the LV-7297M is immune to the rainbow effect—little red-green-blue rainbow-like artifacts that can appear in high-contrast video scenes—that plagues many DLP projectors. I did notice modest fringing and tinting in places, and some backgrounds had a slightly textured look.
Audio from the LV-7297M’s 1-watt built-in speaker was of relatively low volume, useful only in a small room or when one is very close to the projector; you may want to use external speakers with it.
The Canon LV-7297M is a decent, basic portable XGA data projector, though it brings nothing to make it stand out from the crowd. The Canon LV-7292M offers the same features but with lower brightness, at a lower price.
The Editors’ Choice Epson PowerLite 93+ shares the LV-7297M’s relatively low 2,600-lumen brightness rating, but provides top-notch data image quality and good video image quality, and a good sound system for less money. The NEC Display Solutions NP-V300X is brighter at 3,000 lumens and provides great data image quality, though its video quality is impacted by the rainbow effect.
By Tony Hoffman, PCMag