Ok, my turn...
I got my Epson 5010 home late Friday and really didn't get a chance to play with it until yesterday. I have no 3D source ready, so I was not able to watch any 3D what-so-ever. I wanted to try the 2D to 3D conversion, but I have a big-a$$ ISCO III anamorphic lens in front of the projector, so I assume that the emitter is being blocked. If I stand to the side of the projector and face the lens, I can get the glasses to sync up for a few seconds, but that's about it. I assume that I will need to buy an external emitter, right? Should I just buy Epson's own emitter or is there a better choice? I plan on mounting the emitter on top of my screen facing back at the audience. Being a complete 3D noob, am I doing the right thing?
Anyway, so back to 2D now, as that is all that I have seen so far. The first thing I noticed is that the 5010 lacks anamorphic support of any kind. As far as I can tell, with HDMI sources, I can't change the aspect ratio at all, as the projector locks onto the AR of the incoming signal. Lucky for me I use a DVDO Duo video processor, so this is not an issue at all, as the DVDO can handle the AR changes for me just fine, though I had been used to making the changes in the projector (rather than the DVDO) when I was using my JVC RS-35. So if you own an anamorphic lens or plan on getting one, you will absolutely NEED a video processor with this unit, OR you should buy the 6010, as I believe that anamorphic stretch is available in that unit (though I don't have a 6010 here to verify that belief). And if you plan on going CIH without an anamorphic lens, the zoom method will simply be too much of a pain, as the controls are manual for image shift, zoom, and focus.
I am using a 132" wide (144" diagonal) 2.8 High Power 2.35:1 screen and I sit at ~1.5 screen width away. SDE (screen door effect) is a total non issue at that distance, and I felt that it would only be noticed at about 1X or less at that size sceen, and even then it did not bother me personally
at that distance. But over 1X I could not see it at all.
Though I have not calibrated the unit yet, and I have taken NO measurements, I find the unit to be very bright even in Cinema mode, so much so that I have no reason to want any more brightness from this unit, and might even prefer it to be a little dimmer. In comparison to my RS-35 with ~700 hours on the lamp, I would say that the Epson is at least twice as bright, maybe more. I will have to calibrate and measure to provide you with actual numbers, and I won't have time to do that until NEXT weekend unfortunately. I know it is not fair to compare an RS-35 with 700+ hours on it to an Epson with a brand new lamp, so please keep these facts in mind when reading my comments.
It has been suggested a couple of times in this thread that the Epson has a more "digital" look. What the heck are you guys talking about? I have sampled a number of Blu-ray sources, some film, some video, and some digital (like animations) and the Epson does NOT have any quality that I would label "digital" in any way what-so-ever. Films look very "film like", video looks very "video like", and animations look very digital, just the way they are supposed to look.
I have owned a few LCD projectors in the past, back in the Panasonic 100 (not 1000) and Sanyo Z3/Z4 days and they definitely had a "digital" look to them. I was very surprised, and actually a bit disappointed to find that this new Epson did not have that digital look and in fact looks very smooth and analog like to me. I WANTED something more digital like, and the Epson is not it.
But just because the picture is smooth and analog like and not "digital" like, it does not mean that I do not like the picture. As a matter of fact, so far I prefer it over my RS-35's picture. Again, it is not fair to compare a JVC with 700+ hours on the lamp to a brand new Epson
, but without measuring, I would guess that the Epson's ANSI contrast is significantly higher than JVCs...this results in a more contrasty picture in mid to bright scenes, and the blacks actually appear DARKER in those scenes due to the fact that the higher ANSI washes out the blacks less under those conditions - OR maybe what I am seeing is simply the result of watching a picture that is much brighter than that of my JVC. Without putting a new lamp in my JVC I don't know for sure.
Dark scene performance is very similar. The black level of the Epson is higher, but take a minute and do the math - If the projector is twice as bright and had IDENTICAL on/off contrast, the black level would be twice as high (simple mathematics), so of course the RS-35's black level is lower because the lamp is so much dimmer. I would need to add an ND 2X filter (maybe even 3X) to the Epson in order to compare them fairly. As far as dark scene contrast, so far I have not seen any significant difference, but it has only been one night.
As far as animations are concerned, it is no contest - the Epson is MUCH better - better color, better contrast, more pop and "wow". Again, probably just due to the much brighter picture, but I suspect that higher ANSI is partly responsible as well.
The convergence of my Epson was spot on - every bit as good as my JVC, and my JVC is just about perfect.
The gamma tool of the JVC is head and shoulders better than Epson's. I have not played with the Epson CMS, but JVC's is wonderful.
I have not tried FI yet.
My original plan was to buy the Epson for 3D only, but unless my opinion changes over time (and I am just as susceptible to the "new car" excitement as the next guy), I see no reason NOT to use the Epson for 2D as well and sell my JVC. Regardless, I am absolutely amazed at how much performance can be gotten from a $3K MSRP projector as compared to a $10k MSRP projector from just 2 years ago.
BTW, until I calibrate, I am simply using the stock 2.4 gamma in Cinema mode and have adjusted brightness and contrast in my video processor, not in the projector. Everything else is at default as far as I remember.