I hope to have my X9900 in a couple weeks and will be doing an in depth shootout
between it and my X9500.
EDIT - I have my unit now, so here are my thoughts all collated... My unit is not a good sample, I will be replacing it and will update my thoughts on that unit, most of this was shot from the center of the screen though so for the most part its still going to be a very relevanty comparison, since both my lenses are sharp in the very center. Its the outer edges I have issues with with regards to this lens.
I am disappointed overall, and its mainly a gut feeling though, a few things stand out, but it seems to gain a couple steps in one area we give up one or two steps in another area.. I am torn on weather I will keep this projector.
There, got that out of the way.
Here is what my shelf looks like right now...
Eshift buzz is definitely reduced since when I first turned it on, it sounded dead set like an electric razor at first, by the end of the night, 4 hours later it was about the same volume as my old unit, unless you put your ear right up to the 9900 and then the frequency was a bit different. No big deal here.
The 5 seconds improve sync time in Low Lag mode is very nice. 11.8s in low lag mode ON, 16.8s Low Lag mode off for a 4k Desktop to appear.
Turns out this lens is not as sharp as my 9500, once I studied all the corners of the lens it was clear it wasn't quite as sharp. My 9500 lens is pretty much pin sharp in all the corners, this 9900 lens appeared to be, but when I had both projectors stacked, they were both super sharp in the center, but the 9900 slightly less so, and was a couple clicks less sharp on the corners and this could not exactly be brought in line with the sharpness of the center. Both of these lenses though are still far out sharper than my X7000 lens ever was, so I would still say both these lenses are excellent and would quality for hand selection for the 9XXX series projectors, its just that my old one is better than the other.
However because the left side has perfect convergence, the pixel delineation appears
to be stronger, however the focus grid is
sharper on the X9500 in person, no doubt about it..
The chromatic aberration on the right side of the lens I have come to decide is unacceptable. I think this will be the basis of at least exchanging this unit to try another sample. While the 2/3rds of the left hand side are perfect, I would actually prefer if the panel alignment was out, that it be out by a consistent amount across the whole screen, my last two JVC's were both exactly 1 pixel blur out vertically, which is easy fix, this would require zone alignment and I am not doing that with an MSRP $10k projector.
EShift 5 with text is better than EShift 4, but in real data in video, I am not sure it can be seen at all.
My X9900 is DIMMER than my X9500 is right now at 700 hours. I'll let that sink in for a moment.
I have to run the X9900 on iris -9 and contrast -2 to brightness match the X9500 currently at iris -10 contrast -1. This is a shame, because my X9500 was at least 10% brighter than this when it was new and has dimmed itself since new. So the 9900 starting out where it is, its not looking good here.
There is some ugly super warm colour temp cast over just the menu screen, the X9500 menu screen looks like a correct calibrated almost 18% grey menu, I don't know how else to say that. I did calibrate both grey-scales on the projectors, there still seems to be a slight colour difference on screen however despite very quick cal, the menu doesn't seem to be affected by calibration at all, so that ugly red bias grey menu seems there to stay...
HDMI SYNC TIMES:
When Low Latency mode is on, my projector was syncing in 11.8 seconds for a 4k desktop image to appear, and 16.8 seconds when Low Latency mode is off. Thats also a repeatable 5 seconds quicker than the 9500 was generally. All modes seem to be between 2-3 seconds quicker syncing vs the 9500 when low latency mode is off.
LOW LATENCY MODE: This seems like it needs to be left ON at all times, at least on my unit, its sharper with it, there is some effed up blur ghosting artefact with Low Latency off, yes you read that right, Low Latency needs to be on for sharpest image. Its totally odd but the pics don't lie.
Perhaps my unit is misbehaving? It did come at default switched to On OOTB. EDIT - This has actually be corroborated by other owners, this may be a bug, but for best quality Low Latency must be off, oddly, cycling CMD on then off again removed the ghosting... but how long does that stick for? Perhaps on next power up the ghosting will be back, best to leave it ON.
LOW LATENCY ON:
LOW LATENCY OFF:
Low Latency Roll over comparisons On / Off
ESHIFT 5 DOES NOT HAVE LESS MOSQUITO NOISE THAN ESHIFT 4.
It just doesn't. The fine buzzing noise with your face to the screen is identical on both models. Sorry to see this, it was one of the things I was hoping to see improved, for a calmer image, but no.
Windows Desktop at 4k/ Still not native on either machine but no doubt the 9900 is getting closer to where it should be.
Now for this, lets look at Eshift 5 vs 4. At first your eyes may be drawn to the vertical lines being far sharper with actual gaps between then on eshift 4 and you would be right, but look at the letters and words... eshift 5 kills it with high density 4k text. But it seems to give up something all the same while doing it... which is a lesser evil? I really don't know, I am truly torn here...
I have begun the process of RMAing the projector, hopefully the next sample is better, if its lackluster again, I will either try get a refund or sell it on, if the lens is excellent and convergence is at least consistent, meaning if it required adjustment I can do the whole screen at once, not only one side, then I will keep it.
I did spend a lot of time calibrating, and Autocaling the new unit today and kind of general trouble shooting, I didn't touch the calibration on the old unit, there was a tiny bit of colour shift, but I have slightly kicked the colour in Lightroom around a tiny bit to make these comparisons closer.
Good news is Autocal works great! Arve tool works too, just need to hit ignore a couple times on some errors but works.
Oh the Low Latency shadow wierdness bug for me seems to have gone away, as far as I can see now both Low Latency on and off look the same.
Here is one you can definitely see more fine detail in, again this is text only, but hey its real content as it were!
BT2020 Mode. This is covering pretty much the entire P3 gamut. HDR mode without the filter for added brightness at the cost of coverage...
OK here are pics of my lackluster lens and convergence! Yay!!
I literally dont even have to tell you guys which is which!
Left side of screen:
Right side of screen:
Left side of screen, both projectors at the same time.
What happens when I correct the convergence with zone alignment... This is a single 1080p pixel horizontal line pattern, gee this artefact looks SUPER familiar.
X9500 with normal panel alignment:
Obviously the 9900 can show that screen as clear grey too, but if I want panel alignment to be correct, I get artefacts, yay!
Oh and here is real content, top corner of screen: