Canon REALiS WUX500 Review
July 23, 2015,
The Canon REALiS WUX500 LCOS projector is a WUXGA (1920x1200) with a 5000-lumen rating made for conference rooms, higher-ed classrooms, museums, photo clubs, houses of worship, and other venues where a bright high-resolution image is required. It comes with some significant advantages including small size, edge blending capability, picture in picture, and the highly unusual ability to maintain almost undiminished maximum brightness throughout its full 1.8:1 zoom range. This is unique among projectors we have tested.
At 13 pounds with dimensions of 5.4" x 13.3" x 14.6", the WUX500 is smaller than earlier generation projectors in this performance class which are usually mounted high off the floor and many times on extension tubes dangling from the ceiling. If you have ever tried mounting a projector while balancing on a ladder or scaffold, the small profile and relatively light weight of the WUX500 will be appreciated.
The WUX500's new lens design overcomes a common limitation of zoom lenses: loss of brightness while transiting from wide-angle to telephoto. It is not unusual to lose 30%-40% of a projector's rated brightness when using lenses at the long end of a 1.8x zoom, but the WUX500 maintains 95% of its brightness across its entire zoom range. That means you don't need to overspec lumens to compensate for a long throw distance.
The WUX500 puts up a solid image with well-balanced color and even brightness uniformity across the image. Video and photo images pop with naturally saturated color and accurate color balance when in video optimized mode. Highlight and shadow details have good definition despite the WUX500's relatively low 2,000:1 contrast ratio. Flesh tones are right on the mark, and images have a luminance that combines well with presets of the Photo/sRGB mode to provide good three-dimensionality. There is no frame interpolation on the WUX500, so 24p video does exhibit some judder in slow panning scenes.
Though it may hit its stride with video projection, the WUX500 is no slouch when it comes to data projection. Even at full horizontal or vertical keystone correction, small fonts are easy to read, and the image is sharp from edge to edge with no digital artifacts.
All projectors have preset viewing modes, and most of them have a mode called Movie or Cinema that is optimized for viewing video content. The WUX500 breaks tradition and has only three preset modes: Presentation, Standard, and Photo/sRGB. Presentation mode has the usual green bias to maximize brightness and Standard mode is designed for data projection with truer color balance than Presentation, so that leaves Photo/sRGB for video and photo projection. Fortunately, Canon has set Photo/sRGB up perfectly for video projection with accurate color temperature and a lower sharpness setting for the smooth look you might prefer when watching movies. Also, brightness in Photo/sRGB mode is only 23% lower than Presentation mode, putting out a solid 3500 lumens, so even in moderately well-lit rooms, the projected image doesn't wash out when viewing movies.
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