Leica Pradovit D-1200

With all the buzz about the Leica S2 their booth was busy at Photokina. As I wandered around the various displays there was a strange looking 15 foot long rectangular box in the middle of the floor. One end was about 2 feet square and the other end was about 4 feet. it was all black — this was the Leica booth after all.

I walked up to it and realized that you could look into it. Sitting there was a small video projector that was displaying images down at the other end of the box. The pictures looked great. Then as I looked around I saw this same projector on the counter, it had a rather disproportionately large lens sticking out the front.

This was the new Leica Pradovit D-1200 projector. It is equipped with a new DLP engine from Texas Instruments, and has a custom engineered color wheel specifically designed for Leica.

Usually when talking about projectors you are soon mired into deep discussions of contrast ratio, lumens or nits. But what is often neglected is the optics that are delivering the image to the screen. I soon got to experience the D-1200 out of the box in the Leica Kino theater that they had set up.

The image quality was great (it doesn’t hurt that they were showing images from some great photographers as opposed to obligatory projector footage of over-enhanced bowls of fruit or flowers). The brightness was great, but what struck me the most was how flat the illumination was across the screen.

While noise is one thing in images, in projectors it is actually heard. Unless rear projected many projectors end up being in the same room as the viewer. Leica’s projector is very quiet.