Tips for Choosing and Using a Camcorder with Projector
Sharing Home Movies Anytime, Anywhere with a Camcorder with Built-in Projector
Camcorders are great for capturing important events and moments. They can also allow you to express your creativity, but never before have they been able to allow you to share and instantaneously enjoy your videos as they can now. When you have a camcorder with projector there is really no waiting.
With these handy video cameras, you don't have to wait to upload. You don't have to find or set up a screen, connect to a television, or anything else. Just switch to projection, find a blank wall or similar surface, and project your photos and video right now. A camcorder with projector lets you do it in grand style too. Everyone doesn't have to huddle around a 3" LCD screen or pass the camera around. The built in projector allows you to show your images in sizes as large as 65" with sound included.
Tips for Buying and Using
Certainly when you choose a camcorder with projector you need to consider the overall features and performance first. For instance, you need adequate storage for the amount of filming you will be doing. You'll want easy controls, a good grip, a quality lens, a sensor with good resolution, optical image stabilization for steady shots, and so forth. (Beginners can find a good camcorder buying guide here.)
The quality of the images you project with one of the tiny built in projectors (known as pico projectors) will vary by device. You can compare resolution and brightness between them. At 10 ANSI lumen you will need a significantly darkened room. With VGA resolution (640 x 480) your image quality will be best if you keep the projector within 5 feet of the wall. (The smaller the projected image the better it's quality or resolution will be.) Therefore, a projector with more brightness and higher resolution will generally project a better looking image, especially when the room isn't entirely darkened.
While the darkest room and moving the projector closer to the display surface can improve image quality, it can also help to use a flatter and lighter colored surface such as a white or off white colored wall.
Certainly having a built-in projector is very handy and provides a lot of spontaneous fun, but users should be careful not to avoid uploading their photos and video if they wish to keep them. Content shouldn't be stored long term on the camcorder, only because if the device is dropped or damaged, they could lose their content. Always back up your content on a DVD, external hard drive, or an online storage site.
Sony Camcorders with a Projector
Sony offers three camcorder models with a built-in projector. The PJ50V offers 1920x 1080 HD recording, both 60p and 24p, and can capture 7 megapixel still images. The 220GB hard drive allows users to record 91 hours of HD video without downloading. The optical image stabilization and 3-way shake-canceling features assure a steady shot and the 12x optical zoom/17x extended zoom make it easy to get up close.
These camcorders have a wide angle G lens and a back-illuminated CMOS sensor that provides improved performance in low light situations. Face detection and tracking focus also assist in locking in focus on your subjects even when they are moving. The PJ50V also features a built-in LED flash, video light, built-in GPS for geo-tagging photos and viewing your current location, Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound/microphone, wind noise reduction, and microphone/headphone inputs to allow users to monitor and adjust audio as they film.
The active interface shoe allows users to purchase and mount external lights and microphones if desired. This camcorder also allows slow motion capture, the ability to copy video to an external hard drive without a computer, and a buillt-in projector that can project an image as large as 60" (diagonal) on any surface. It has stereo speakers and 10 ANSI lumen brightness.
Another of these devices is Sony's PJ30V which offers similar features including a 3" color touch screen. It offers 32GB of flash memory for storage and can store up to 13 hours of HD video before downloading. The primary difference between the PJ50V and PJ30V models is the type/amount of storage. The PJ50V uses a hard drive (and more storage) and the PJ30V uses flash memory.
The PJ10V on the other hand, offers 16GB of flash memory for 6 hours of continuous filming. It does not offer 24p recording, built-in GPS, nor a video light. It does however provide 30x optical zoom, (42x extended zoom) and can capture 3 megapixel still images. It is the most economical of the three camcorder with projector models from Sony.
A Pocket Camcorder with Projector
There are a handful of pocket camcorders with a built-in projector. Currently one of the better options is this CP40 Shoot N' Share. This camera is very portable, measuring only 5.2" x 2.2" x 1", and simple to operate. It features a 2.4" color display, touch panel controls, an HDMI out, built-in LED light, a mono microphone and speaker, and USB connection for easy uploading to your computer.
The CP40 records 720p video and 5 megapixel still images. It offers 14MB of internal memory which can be expanded thanks to the microSD card slot which accepts cards up to 32GB. Other features include digital zoom, auto focus, and of course, a built-in projector. This device can project an image up to 65" in size in 4:3 aspect ratio and offers 14 lumens brightness on AC power or 12 lumens brightness on the rechargeable Li-Polymer battery. Projection resolution is 640 x 480 (VGA).
The CP45 offers 2GB of onboard memory plus an expansion slot for more storage and a 100 minute battery life for longer recording and playback. The built in projector is also a bit brighter with 20 lumens.
The 2 hour battery life is sufficient to enjoy most movies and the CP40 allows you to project not only your own videos but movies/videos from connected (USB) devices.
The Other Option
If you decide that a camcorder with projector isn't what you need, then perhaps a separate pocket or pico projector is an option. These tiny projectors are small enough to slide into a pocket and can be used to project images from a computer, media player, smartphone, camcorder, and so forth. They are a second device to carry but offer more models, some with greater brightness, higher resolution, and greater contrast ratio.
You can learn more about standalone pico projectors here.
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