Author: Javier Guerra
Like every year, a new edition of the ISE show was held in Amsterdam at the beginning of February. Seeing how the show has grown in recent years, there is no doubt that it has become a must for any professional related to the audiovisual world. It is, therefore, not surprising, to see the Japanese manufacturer Casio at its large stand in a prominent position of the main pavilion of the exhibition, exhibiting its catalogue of products in general and its range of projectors in particular, to those present. From all the equipment on display, there was one impressive piece of equipment that attracted the most attention. It was the machine that we were lucky enough to try in this edition, the Casio XJ-L8300HN. I was able to spend some time on it there and then to check its characteristics and performance. It was more than enough time to earn itself the right to pass through our laboratory, despite having had to show its virtues in a place so unsuitable for a projector, such as an audiovisual show as the one held in the Dutch capital.
As soon as I had the opportunity to speak with the editor of our publication, I conveyed my interest in analysing this model in depth. I had no problem in offering a convincing answer when asked about my special affection for this device. From my humble point of view, we are faced with one of those devices that only appear from time to time, capable of marking a turning point in certain technologies. I don’t want to come across as a fanboy in the description of this Casio, but I think it has deservedly earned the right to be recognised as the first -and so far, the only- projector on the market, which offers a 4K resolution, a laser lighting system and the ability to offer 5000 ANSI Lumens on the screen at a retail price of less than €6,700 plus taxes.
But before delving into the analysis and assessment of our guest device, let me tell you some interesting facts about the maker of this dazzling device and its projectors. The Japanese giant, Casio -super-committed to its leading role in the imaging industry- embarked on a journey of no return towards making greener products that contributed towards preserving the environment several years ago. This journey was aimed at wiping out mercury vapour lamps as a light source from its entire range of projectors and today, all we have to do is take a look at its product catalogue to see that all of its projector models -more than 20 grouped in six different series- have dispensed with lighting systems based on lamps. Thanks to this strategic decision, Casio has become the world’s leading manufacturer of spotlights for the seventh year running, serving the sales of more than 2,500 ANSI Lumens with solid-state lighting systems (LampFree) devices.
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“Made in Japan” is always synonymous with quality. Knowing that Casio projectors are manufactured in a premium factory located in Yamagata is always an exciting advance into what follows. The XJ-L8300HN occupies the highest rank in the LARGE VENUE category while representing the highest step in the Japanese manufacturer’s entire range. This striking feature could probably lead us to believe that it is a huge device, difficult to transport but, in spite of not being a portable equipment, we can safely say that it will not be difficult to find a set-up place for it. In spite of its almost 57 centimetres long and 47 centimetres wide and 19.8 kg on the scales, it is relatively simple to set up, thanks to its more than generous lens-moving system, both in the vertical (+-60%) and horizontal (+-25%) axes and the correct choice of the lens focal length range. This will allow us to obtain a screen size in 16:9 wide format with a base of 3 metres -about 136-inch diagonal- with a projector delay of between 4 and 6 metres from the screen depending on the zoom position we use. If given a choice, I would have liked both the zoom drive and the lens focus and lens shift mechanism (Lens Shift) to have been motorised, but among all the manufacturers that use this chassis made by the Taiwanese Coretronic as the basis of their products, I don’t remember any of them equipping these functions with a remote control.
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