Ok, I have spent some time with this projector today, and it is very nice. For me, it is necessary to have the Iris open to get the brightness I desire, but medium is also a decent setting. I actually wish there was a setting between the two.
My comparison is to my old Sharp 12K, and my current Sim2 C3X, which the Sharp held up to very well. It is significantly better than the 12K, with a much smoother, detailed image that has significantly less noise.
Against the C3X there are pro's and cons. On the Pro side, there is a bit more detail in bright scenes than the C3X, probably just from the resolution increase. The colors are nicely saturated, and the picture is smooth like the C3x.
On the con side, it is not as bright, and at max brightness it is comparable to my C3X with 600 hrs on the bulb, and an ND filter in front of it. There is also less shadow detail on the Sharp than the Sim2, and the contrast seems slightly better on the Sim than the Sharp at the same brightness level. The Sim is also a bit easier on the eyes, with a slightly more stable and smooth image, and no rainbows.
Overall, this is a very nice projector, and I am enjoying playing with it.
Tom, curious what Gamma setting you are using. I am wondering if I can get more shadow detail out of it??