Originally Posted by timfrommass
Art, doesn't your review sample of the Sony have an issue? I would think that given how many people trust your opinion that you wouldn't be doing comparison posts, never mind a full review, until you were sure you'd seen a proper Sony model. It just seems a bit premature to me since you have a feeling your review sample may not perform the way others do. I've been wondering about this ever since you posted your original review
Yes, the Sony has a problem, and my life would have been simpler if Sony (to whom I reported the issue within a day or so of receiving the projector, said, "hold on, we'll ship another right out." Instead they told me something that translates to "in about a month, we should be able to get you a 2nd projector.
I do what I can, in that regard. I could simply not review any projector with an apparent QC flaw (that would be about 20%-30%), especially since about half the projectors I receive are pre-production units, and uneven backgrounds on review units are probably the case on about 50% of the 3LCD and LCoS projectors, for that reason.
More to the point, however, I have plenty of references, to make sure my opinion is the best possible under that circumstance. For one, I had a perfectly good VW60 just a couple months before the VW40 arrived. For the VW40 to match the Epson, the VW40 would have also had to pretty much match the VW60, something no one has accused it of doing, especially not Sony.
Secondly, the nature of background unevenness, is either color shift, or brightness, or both. Even the darker center of the image, dramatically darker than the upper right or lower left corners, still couldn't match the Epson. Hey, those two corners are so bad on my unit, that the black levels at those points probably are no better than a poor performing 720p projector, not a first class 1080p.
Third, I can work with the basic assumption that the VW40 at least matches the older VW50 in black levels, a concept that the black levels in the center of that image, would support, even though the corners would not.
Also, although I don't do side-by-side's with it, I use the RS1 as a reference, which further helps, clarify.
BTW, here is the image
, for those of you trying to follow this. The Epson is on the left, the Sony, the right. The image was taken with each projector in Cinema mode, Iris engaged, lamp on bright, each image about 45" diagonal, f stop at f5.6, time exposure of about 10 seconds (perhaps longer - I have the info stored in the original photo, but the exact exposure is not that important). The camera is a dSLR - Olympus'es top of the line E510 (for those who care).
BTW, as you guys can see of another similar image
, taken the same evening, the same "frame" just the projector on the left is the Optoma HD803, a typical $2500 DLP 1080p projector.
Despite the way the Epson clobbered the VW40 in the previous picture, the Sony is still good enough to easily outperform the Optoma (which claims 8000:1 contrast BTW), with it's iris engaged. With this shorter exposure (all that was needed to bring up the difference between these two, you can barely even see the same blue hotspots from the Sony, and the center of the Sony is still significantly darker than the Optoma.
Finally, again, for perspective, a last image
shot the same way, is a side by side, I never used in a review. Here is that Optoma HD803 on the left, and the Epson on the right, of the same black frame. Talk about night and day, and the Optoma is an average projector in terms of black levels.
So, all considered - how good is the Epson, in this regard? At its very best, it rivals my RS1 in terms of best possible black levels, something I don't think even the VW60 can do, although it's close.
OK enough fun for me for a while, got about another 20,000 words to right before I finish the comparison report, and if I spend more than an hour a day, having fun here, it will never get done. -art