The 8350 will be closer to the black levels of the higher priced 5020/10 line.
Need to interject here:
- 8350 and 3020 similar. 3020 can put out more light that can wash out the picture a bit more if you have reflective surfaces in your room. Since 8350 is a little on the dim side in cinema mode on a big screen, blacks may look darker.
- 5020 in another galaxy of black levels.
Lets look at Epson contrast ratings:
Mind you, all above are greatly exaggerated round numbers. Since they rely on the dynamic-iris (especially in the 3020/8350) to dim a dark picture, they can only reach these levels in a carefully constructed test scenarios to obtain these max numbers. Since most scenes will have dark and light (and the iris will have to open up for the light portions) you will rarely enjoy these published numbers.
Now lets see what reviewers on credible sites such as projectorreviews.com say:
"While Epson's $1000 more HC5020UB has the best (blackest) blacks we've ever seen in an under $3000 projector, the Home Cinema 3020 is not remotely in its league. In reality black level performance for under $2000 projectors is just average."
"3020: As a family room projector most owners will find the black levels to be acceptable, and the shadow detail to be rather excellent. Black levels performance though, is not likely to inspire serious enthusiasts looking to put the HC3020 in a dedicated theater / cave type of room. On everything but the darkest scenes where black level performance starts making a real difference, this Epson excels in terms of picture quality"
"8350: I must confess to be a little disappointed with the black level performance of this Epson. Please understand, that's not really a criticism of the Epson, but perhaps more about their contrast claims. As most of you know, once upon a time, contrast ratio gave a good indication of black level capabilities of a projector. Then, however, along came dynamic irises, and other "dynamic" features, including dynamic contrast."