Canon 8215 WXGA 3LCD Projector
Projector Central Highly Recommended Award

Highly Recommended Award

Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.

  • Performance
  • 4.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value

Canon's new LV-8215 is an excellent multipurpose widescreen 1280x800 data projector that will be equally at home either in the corporate boardroom or K12 classroom. Its 2600 lumen rating hits the sweetspot for these markets. A variety of blackboard modes, monitor loopthrough, and networking capability will make it particularly appealing to education buyers. The LV-8215 also sports a varied set of input connectors including a digital DVI-I with HDCP to handle nearly anything presenters could want. At a weight of 7.3 pounds, it is a bit too large for the typical road warrior, but it is easily portable enough to move from room to room, or to take home in the evenings. The current price of $899 is attractive for a projector that has its combination of image quality and features. And if you are buying for classroom use, education discounts are available through authorized dealers.

Overview

Brightness and Uniformity: There are five operating modes titled Presentation, Standard, Video, Cinema, and sRGB that have their own color bias and brightness levels. In its Presentation preset mode with brightness at its maximum setting, our test unit put 2,325 ANSI lumens on the screen. Standard mode came in at 1,920 lumens, Cinema and sRGB modes at 1,725 lumens each, and Video mode rounded out the list with 1,440 lumens.

Eco mode reduced brightness by about 28% in all preset modes. That is a sizable reduction in brightness, but Eco mode extends lamp life by 1,000 hours and noticeably lowers fan noise from 35 to 29 dB. So you will find Eco mode a good choice when maximum brightness is not needed. Uniformity is a solid at 90%, well above the average, with the center of the image a little brighter than the edges.

Image Size and Position: The 1.2x manual zoom lens is of average length. It delivers a 100" diagonal 16:10 image from a throw distance of 10.75 to 13 feet. At this screen size, the center of the lens is almost 5" above the bottom of the image. So getting an image properly positioned may require raising the front of the projector. The projector can be elevated by dropping and locking the single front foot, and the right rear foot can be adjusted if horizontal leveling is needed. Should it be necessary, there is ±30° of keystone correction provided.

 

Connections: The LV-8215 can accommodate either two analog data signals, or one digital and one analog signal, via its single VGA and DVI-I (HDCP) connectors. The projector comes with a DVI-to-VGA adapter in case you do not have a DVI cable on hand. Composite video and s-video have their own connectors, and component video is handled via the VGA connector. Each input has an associated audio in mini-jack, and an audio out mini-jack is included should external amplification be needed. Classroom presenters will appreciate the monitor loop through, and both RS-232 and RJ-45 connections are available for security monitoring and networking.

Compatibility. You can connect a wide range of data and video sources from VGA to UXGA and from 480p to 1080i, and you can use the Auto setting to select the aspect ratio for the image or manually set it with one of five choices: 4:3, 16:9, 15:9, 16:10, and Letterbox.

Blackboard modes. To compensate for non-standard projection surfaces such as blackboards and painted walls, there are nine Preset modes that change brightness and image color emphasis.

Remote Control and Menus: The full-size remote has 19 buttons (including six for navigation) and is laid out cleanly with easily identifiable icons. Input selection, image Preset mode, and aspect ratio are conveniently grouped together, and all the buttons are easy to reach. The on-screen menus are easy to understand, and navigation is straightforward. The on-screen menu is relatively large and cannot be moved from its center-screen position which may make video image adjustments cumbersome.

Preset modes: Five Preset modes and six color temperature choices make it relatively easy to get the image looking the way you prefer it. Presentation mode has a slight green tint which is typical of the brightest image mode, and the other four modes each have a hue bias designed to match their applications.

Image adjustments for saturation and hue in a Preset mode can only be made when connecting composite, s-video, and component video sources. So, if you connect a video source via the DVI-I input and want to change the color of the image, you will have to go to the Detail Settings portion of the Adjustment menu to make saturation and hue adjustments.

 

Advantages

Image Quality: Spreadsheets and text documents look crisp, and photos have well-saturated colors that are nicely balanced. Even 8-pt. type is readable with full keystone correction employed. Overall, the data presentation image is superb.

Video images have vivid colors, and highlights and blacks are reasonably well defined despite the LV-8215's modest 450:1 contrast ratio. Skin tones are natural, and almost no saturation, brightness, or contrast changes are needed in Cinema mode. The Gamma setting can be changed in the Detail Settings section of the Adjustment menu. The Natural setting produces a soft film look to images, but if you like a little more "pop", try changing the Gamma setting to Dynamic.

Resolution: The LV-8215's 1280x800 native resolution offers extra width and height over standard XGA projectors. Not only does it display a 1280x800 laptop in native mode, but it will display standard XGA and HD 720p video in native mode as well. This is the most versatile format among inexpensive data projectors on the market today.

Audio Quality: A 7-watt speaker is located on the right side of the projector and provides enough sound for a moderate-size room. There is no buzz, hiss, or break-up through the entire volume range, and volume can be adjusted easily from the remote control.

Portability. Canon has packaged the LV-8215 in a case with a built-in carrying handle that makes transportation a breeze and offers some protection for cable connections at the rear connector panel.

Lamp Life: In normal mode, lamp life is rated at a longer than average 4,000 hours, and Eco mode can stretch that to 5,000 hours.

3-Year Warranty: The purchase price includes a 3-year warranty on parts and labor, longer than the average in the industry. The lamp is covered for 4 months.

Limitations

Fan noise: When not in Eco lamp mode, the noise level from the LV-8215 competes with the audio output and can be a bit distracting. Eco-mode will drop the fan noise significantly. In small or medium venues, users will want to opt for the Eco-mode to reduce fan noise. Since Eco-mode cuts light output by 28%, there is a trade-off between noise and screen size/ambient light that the user will want to be aware of in planning the installation.

No User Memory: While the Preset mode settings may be modified, there is no User mode where you can store your favorite settings. If another presenter changes brightness or saturation in your favorite mode, then you will have to readjust those settings to your liking the next time you use the projector.

Maintenance: As with most LCD projectors, an air filter keeps dust out of the light engine. In the case of the LV-8215, there are two filters that may have to be replaced, and access to the filters is from the bottom of the projector. Replacement is not difficult for tabletop applications, but if the projector is ceiling-mounted, then it may have to be removed from its mounting bracket to replace the filters.

Conclusion

The Canon LV-8215 is an excellent multipurpose widescreen data projector that delivers quite acceptable video quality as a secondary application. Its value is that it has all the key elements needed for K12 classroom or boardroom use. Its 4000-hour lamp and 3-year warranty reduce long term cost of ownership, and considering these extra values it is priced at a very attractive level for what it delivers. At an official street price of $899, and actual prices often below that, the LV-8215 is a strong, new competitor from Canon that has just started shipping this month.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Canon LV-8215 projector page.

Comments (3) Post a Comment
Neale Peeling Posted May 5, 2010 1:31 PM PST
Looks like an interesting projector. I would love to see a head to head visual comparison to the Epson 705HD (aside from contrast these look to be similar projectors) a nd which may be best for an inexpensive 720p home theatre projector.
shanker P. Chodankar Posted Jun 20, 2010 9:13 AM PST
whether this projector can be used for a small cinema theater for 30 people and how big it can give a screen and how much clerity it can give by a DVD player.
Jack Posted Jan 12, 2011 3:28 AM PST
Good choice. I jused this model over 2 month and really enjoy HD movies and TV series with it.

Post a comment

 
Enter the numbers as they appear to the left