Canon Shows Possibilities at I/ITSEC 2016

Canon focused on a few applications for its LCOS-based projectors at I/ITSEC 2016. In one area, they partnered with Cobra Simulation to show a single projector domed solution. This featured Canon’s 5000 lumen, 4K (4096 x 2400) resolution projector (4K501ST) mounted in the ceiling, projecting onto an elliptically-shaped reflective mirror and then onto an angled dome screen. The domed screen offered a 160º horizontal and 80º vertical field of view.

The advantage of this solution is that only a single projector and IG channel is needed, greatly reducing costs and maintenance. Canon projectors also feature REALiS lenses that are designed to reduce distortions at the edges of the image – a critical need when using a single projector. These work in combination with the AISYS (Aspectual Illumination System) Optical Engine to deliver high contrast ratio as well (typically 2500:1). This solution can cost $100K compared to alternative multi-projector approaches that can cost $250K.

The downside was the low on-screen luminance levels so it may only be suitable for limited applications. In 2017, Canon will offer a 6000 lumen version of this projector (4K6000STZ), but that won’t help that much. Higher lumen models are offered by Canon as well, but these are DLP based, lower resolution models and may not have the image quality features of the LCOS ones.

On the other side of the booth, Canon highlighted their projector integrated with a gun application from LaserShot. Another station showed the DLP projector with a portrait mode orientation and the final slot was devoted to next year’s 6000 lumen LCOS 4K model with a laser phosphor light source that will ship in 2017 for around $60K. It is not NVG capable either. 6000 lumens seems to be the upper limit for the LCOS engine design. – CC