You may not remember the archaic photograph projectors of old.
They required you to carefully load up film, before it clunkily and nosily took you through picture after picture at an incredibly slow speed.
Technology has now moved on. For better if you are an expert photographer who takes amazing pictures that people love seeing, or for worse if you are one of those who regularly has to suffer some family member’s holiday snaps that aren’t interesting in any way.
Though modern projectors are now able to handle gaming, playing movies or TV, and displaying photos, this list is specifically looking at the best projector for photographers.
Comparison Table for Best Projector for Photographers
Top 5 Projectors for Photographers Reviews
1. VANKYO LEISURE 3 | Best Projector For Photographs
The first projector on this list is an entry level option that does a good job at an affordable price, being ideal for those for whom photography and showing off its results is more of a hobby than a profession.
The VANKYO LEISURE 3 comes with an 800*480 native resolution which is excellent for a portable mini projector.
Other projectors of this type are unlikely to produce a clearer image, and it is highly likely that while they claim a high resolution, they will not be able to deliver.
A contrast ratio of 2000:1 is again good for a mini-projector and will ensure that the balance of light and shade in your photography come out looking great.
One issue you may have with this projector is the lumens, the number of which remains unclear. It is definitely not high enough to project clearly in anything but a darkened room. Estimations by users of this projector put the rating at 1800 lumens which clearly supports the dark room hypothesis.
This projector can project an image of up to 33 to 170 inches and has a long lamp life of up to 40,000 hours which means you can get a decent few years of usage.
- Can be set up with a tripod and be placed in the middle of room
- Can be connected to mobile devices with HDMI adapter
2. DR. J Professional HI-04 | Best Projector For Photography Studio
This projector from DR. J Professional has a close to four and half star rating from almost 10,000 reviews on Amazon, which is a testament to the level of enjoyment that people have gotten from this device.
As a projector for photographers, it has clear advantages to the first projector on this list.
Starting with resolution, you will get a much sharper image with 1280*720 native combined with a 2000:1 contrast ratio to ensure you get colors that are true to life.
Lumens again with this projector could be an issue if you are looking to use this in anything other than a darkened room. It is described as a 2000 lumens projector but when used it is highly likely you will find it not meeting that power.
This projector is ideal for a smaller space, with a 32” image possible from 1.5 meters and a much larger 176” from 5 meters back. Consider other options if you need to place your projector any further back, or if you need a smaller picture from that 5-meter distance. There is no picture size reduction feature on this model.
- Comes with 100” projector screen
- Can connect wirelessly with smartphone using a wireless HDMI dongle
- Easy to connect to a tripod for convenient placement in a room
3. Hompow Mini Projector | Best Photography Projector
Coming in at 7.3×5.8×2.8 inches, when Hompow say that this is a mini projector, they are not exaggerating about the mini aspect of things.
It’s the perfect projector for you if you are the sort of person that wants to go round to a friend’s house and show off the photos you’ve taken on something larger than your smartphone or table screen.
The native resolution of this projector comes in at a lower 850*480, but that is still a good resolution for showing off photos taken on a mobile device.
With a 3600 lumens brightness, and 2000:1, the coloration of your photos will have justice done to them even when using this projector with ambient light in the room.
Recommended projection distance is 60-200 inches, meaning that this is very much a projector to utilise in a small room. However, despite that small usage distance you can get a huge screen of 50 to 176 inches.
The LED lamp on this projector holds the longest lifespan of any of the projectors on the list so far at a whopping 50,000 hours, which could potentially get you decades of photo slideshows and other usage.
- Connect to smartphones and tablets with an MHL cable
- Noise reduction technology means photo slideshows without distracting background noise
- Lightweight 2.17 pounds for easy travel
4. DBPOWER L21 | Best Projector For Displaying Photographs
The most noteworthy feature of the DBPOWER L21 is the 5000 lumens brightness.
Such a high brightness spec means that you can easily use this projector in a room during daytime, or outside at night with other lighting, and not compromise on picture quality.
For optimum picture this projector needs to be positioned about 2 meters from a screen or wall, but can be used from a distance of 1 to 5 meters in order to achieve a screen size of 40 to 200 inches dependent on the distance placed.
A 1280*780P native resolution make this one of the clearer images you are going to get from a projector on this list. Ideal if you are looking to show photos taken on higher quality smartphones or professional cameras.
The contrast ratio of 3000:1 is superior to anything else on this list so far, meaning that for that bit of extra money you are getting a projector that really highlights the different shades that have been captured in your photographs. Perfect especially for landscapes.
Finally, you are getting all of that from what is still a relatively easy projector to travel with, coming in at 2.3 pounds and with dimensions of 7.4×5.9×3 inches.
- High lumens mean projector can be used almost any time of day or with lights on
- Can connect wirelessly to smartphones using a dongle
5. GOODEE YG420 | Best Projector for Presentations
The GOODEE YG420 is quite a nice little projector to look at with its stylish curves being much more aesthetically pleasing that some of the more bricklike, rectangular projectors that are on the market.
This is a native 720P projector, though, like all the projectors on this list, it is able to support 1080P images. The combination of this, a 2000:1 contrast ratio and lumens of 3600 mean it is a great little projector to show off your photos in a dim to dark room.
You could even get away with using this projector outside at night so long as there are not too many bright artificial lights to interfere with the image being projected.
Compared to other projectors in its price range, this is the projector that is going to do the best job at displaying photos to pretty much match what you are seeing on the display screen of your device.
It can also easily connect to your devices using an adaptor, so you are not limited to plugging it into a laptop or other such machine.
The optimum screen size, to get perfect images, is about 5.9 feet away from a wall or screen, getting you a 60-inch picture. You can, however, get up to 200 inches from 15 feet.
- Very affordable with best specs at its price
- Can be used in dim light
Best Projector for Photographers Buying Guide
For displaying your photos as clearly as possible the resolution of your projector is vital.
Sellers will provide you with a ‘native’ resolution and a ‘supported’ resolution.
Native resolution is the most important number to look at as this is what the projector will be displaying, whereas supported resolution is telling you what type of images the projector is able to convert.
If a seller is trying to hook you on a high supported resolution, but hiding the native resolution or not giving you any idea as to what the native resolution actually is, it probably means that projector’s resolution isn’t that high.
Be careful with cheaper projectors as well. Maximum native resolutions will depend on getting your projector into the optimum setting. Things like distance and light interference will make a difference to what you are seeing.
2. Contrast Ratio
The contrast ratio is the balance of light to darkness or shade.
A contrast ratio of 2000:1 means that the white in your image is 2000 times brighter than the black.
The higher the contrast ratio of your projector the better your projector will be at really bringing the color of your pictures to life. Subtler shades will be much more easily picked out, giving you a much more beautiful image on the projection area.
Lumens and lux both refer to the brightness of the projector.
Lumens is much easier to understand as a measurement, and essentially lets you know whether you need complete darkness in order to get a good picture, or whether the projector can be used in situations where there is light interference.
Lux requires a PhD in mathematics to work out what it actually means for you and your projector, but sellers will sometimes use this number as it looks higher than lumens.
Personally, if a projector is using a lux measurement and doesn’t tell me the Lumens anywhere, I get suspicious that it isn’t going to work very well in anything other than complete darkness.
4. Lamp life
It is very frustrating when a projector bulb dies, and on older projectors this used to be an annoyance that meant a projector got left in a cupboard to gather dust.
Now projector lamps can last for tens of thousands of hours, so try to find one with such a shelf life, and you can potentially enjoy projecting pictures for decades.
There are many fantastic projectors on this list.
Each projector has a selling point that makes it unique whether it be their native resolution, brightness, or contrast ratio. Remember that these things all work together to bring you the best possible image.
Not only are these some of the best projectors for showing photographs, but all the projectors here could also qualify as being the best projector for dorm room usage as they are able to produce great images in a fairly confined space.
Whichever projector you go for; we are sure you are going to get years of enjoyment sharing your pictures with the world.