Here's some initial impressions:HW30 vs HW50 - Image sharpness with RC=OFF
1. The HW30 and HW50 appear very similar when RC is turned off. The pixel structure is similar to last year. It's going to vary based on different samples, but very close nonetheless. Neither have the defined pixel structure as seen on the 5010, W7000 or current JVC's.
2. If folks were here with me looking at these side by side, I think most would agree on a 142" screen, that the Sony's would be the seen as optically softer (no software enhancements) than the other models from JVC, Epson and BQ. The RC helps reverse that perception. When used in moderation, it's a nice enhancement for this projector. With it set to the minimum in 2D, the positives out-weigh the negative since most folks eyes are going to be drawn to the perceived increase in sharpness.
However, we can't ignore though that it applies the effect across the entire image, so certain movies with strong film grain might be affected. I have to watch 'Road Warrior' later on BD which has strong grain, I'm curious to see how the RC performs here.Optical Sharpness Sony vs JVC
1. The current RS45/RS55 (no-eshift) are optically sharper than the HW30 and HW50 (without the RC) if we are inspecting each system at the pixel level. Even the entry JVC has a very good lens which resolves a well defined pixel grid from edge to edge. My particular RS55 is exceptional in this regard, A+ lens copy.HW30 vs. HW50 - 3D comparison
1. The HW50 is brighter. I should be able to get some 3D lumen measurements tonight while the lamp is still new.
2. Motion flow in 3D works as good as it did before in the HW30. Some will remember I was quite vocal in a positive way about the FI in 3D and the quality processing here continues to look good.
3. Crosstalk- Very similar, and possibly a hair better than the HW30. I have to get some 'through the glasses' screenshots later, I've been too busy playing around with 2D content. The majority of folks are going to be very happy with the overall 3D performance. The key ingredient is the RC in 3D. It's does a great job of sharpening up animations in 3D and combined with the FI, it's looks good. I wish the flicker was a bit more subdued (I can always detect it compared to the 3D DLP's) but it's not likely to bother unless you are conscious of flicker or have been tainted by 3D DLP's abilities to produce a rock solid image.HW50 Contrast performance
1. Definitely an improvement over the HW30. Not night and day, but the 142" 2.8HP is very unforgiving for the black floor. 1st ten minutes of Underworld Evolution are a benchmark, there isn't a whole lot the iris can do here. I would say it's similar to the 5010 now, but will need to stack the HW50 and upcoming 5020 to be fair here on the comment.
2. Bright and mixed contrast scenes look great overall, no concerns here. The DI works well and was generally undetectable.
3. HW50 vs.the RS55 with Dark sci-fi / Native contrast - None of the current models are quite the same as the RS55 @ -13 if were looking for that top level of black floor performance. We can't take everything away from JVC and the native contrast of this projector is still phenomenal and is in a class of it's own. Having said that, the majority of new owners should be quite happy with the performance of the HW50.RC vs. E-shift
1. The reality creative is a clever sharpening technique. I think they went too high with the default settings, but it's going to elicit big 'WOW's when it's first seen. It's quite dramatic. When turned down, it's a nice sharpening trick to fool the eye that the image is sharper than it really is. All the sharpening techniques have some artifacts, but to what degree? The RC can make rough-shot of any noise when used with the default settings, it has to be used in moderation to balance it's effect vs. bringing unwanted artifacts into the image
2. The RC and e-shift are very different, but attempting to achieve the same things. Make 1080P content look better than it really is on a large screen. The 142" is unforgiving. Sitting close makes an even tougher audience when comparing these processes.If we are praising the RC based on the initial impressions, we have to give equal accolades to JVC's E-shift technique. My first impression is that the e-shift does it with more finesse than the RC. It's more subtle and natural due to the increase in pixel density. Both have their appeal which we'll look at more closely soon. The RC is a good addition to the all-ready solid HW30 platform. It was something that was quite necessary to stay competitive.
We will continue to explore the RC vs. E-shift 1 vs. E-shift 2.Sony HW50 Overall
- This is a nice projector for the price point. I liked my HW30 and this HW50 is a good upgrade. Better brightness, Sharpness (due to the RC) and very good 3D. I do wish it had the power lens and native optical sharpness of the VW95 lens, but that might not be possible at this price point. We do need to investigate the buzzing in 3D mode as I can definitely hear it during the movie.
Of course there are still a number of upcoming models which can't be ignored, so we'll look at those as well when they are released.
Since this is the AV(Science) forum - we're going to continue to pick and prod at the new models and continue to compare because that is what people who are obsessed with front projectors do.
This is a running review discussion with no specific conclusions at the end of page 4 like the typical published reviews. I encourage anyone with actual firsthand experience of the old and new models to please join in on the conversation. This is what made the last shootout such a success, great input from the AVS enthusiasts.