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Author Topic: Basic slide show 101 questions  (Read 9160 times)


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Basic slide show 101 questions
« on: February 15, 2009, 09:11:35 am »

I'll be giving some digital slide shows at a few different locations, and I don't know the specs of the projectors that will be used at every location. I have a laptop with a resolution of 1280 x 800.
Since working with digital projectors is new to me, I'm not sure how to size my photographs.
To fit within my screen resolution on my laptop (about 1000 x 700)?
Or to size them to fit the lowest anticipated projector resolution (640 x 480)?
If I project my 1280 x 800 laptop on a lower res projector, what happens, does the entire screen get shrunk to the new resolution, or does the screen get cropped? How does image quality suffer?
I want my photos to look as good as possible, so how do I approach the image size issue?


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Basic slide show 101 questions
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 10:08:16 pm »

If you really want your images to look as good as possible you're best bet is to get your own projector and calibrate/profile it for use with your own laptop. Plugging your laptop into an unknown projector will likely result in a display ranging from somewhat acceptable to gawd awful. Of course screens vary as well, so unless you bring your own screen or are able to create a profile for the screen you'll be using you might still get a surprise.

On the resolution side, the smallest common portable projector resolution is 800x600 and most of these will accept images up to about 1280x1024 or larger and scale the image to fit it's native size, no cropping. The most common size portables these days are 1024x768 so I would suggest sizing to 1024x768 for portables.
I'm not sure what the projector will do to your image quality when it scales it down to it's native size? Shouldn't do too much damage but resizing in Photoshop would be a better bet.  Images sized smaller than the projectors resolution will appear smaller on the screen with a black border.

If you're going to be using large conference room projectors the native resolution could be as much as 4096x2400 (which your laptops video card probably won't handle anyway) so you would be best to find out what the resolution is and resize your images accordingly especially if you're expecting a large audience.

A good place to find projector specs is

Good luck. Steve.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 10:12:00 pm by sposch »


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Basic slide show 101 questions
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2009, 07:14:04 am »

Do check that the video card on your laptop can drive various resolutons for the external monitor /projector. This can be quite a headache, most current projectors used in camera clubs are XGA with some now being sXGA other places may be using projectors in wide screen format in a variety of resolutions.

David Allen


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Basic slide show 101 questions
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2009, 08:44:35 pm »

I bought an Epson EX100 projector a couple of weeks ago and hooked it up to a $300 Acer laptop with 1024 x 600 screen. I've been to photo venues in three different places since and did direct comparisons to the resident projectors. No big surprises. Everything was easily sizeable to the resident screens, regardless of whose laptop or projector was used. My guess is that unless you're in a huge auditorium with a $100,000 projector, there won't be an issue. And even then, what source could they be feeding into those projectors anyway? Nothing bigger or better than yours I'd bet.

One thing you could do is use a viewer that auto-sizes images to your screen, but I don't know if slideshows with music etc. can be made to auto-size the individual frames that way.
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