Originally Posted by GrandPixel
...edit: I'm reading the ProjectorCentral comparison again. Some of the phrases they use make me think the 5040 is really that much better for dark scenes.
"the 5040's advantage was not only noticeable but staggering at times"...
1) In addition to Rob Sabin's recent comparison review, another comparison appeared on a German website - projectiondream.com - in September 2016. The older comparison was between the European versions of the 5040 and the 4000 under their respective names, the 9300 and 7300.
2) If you are a planning to use your projector mostly for movie watching in a fully darkened room - or better yet, a fully darkened room with dark ceiling, floor and walls - the better contrast machine is likely worth the extra cost. If you are less of a movie buff, and will be using the machine in some ambient light for gaming, sporting events, streaming television and the like (in addition to movie watching), the 4010 may be the better choice. For most of us, $500 saved is significant.
3) If I was in your shoes, and was leaning towards the 5040, I would wait for the 5040 replacement. I read reports that it is already available in Europe. If that is true, it should be selling here in the US soon. It will have the 18 gbps chipset allowing it to play nice with 4K UHD games and 4K UHD streaming services. No add-on devices needed. It should also have the HDR tone mapping and pixel-shifting tweaks distinguishing the 4010 from the 4000. My guess
is that the power supply problems some 5040 users have had will be eliminated. If you poke around this site you will find more than a few reports of power supply failures from 5040 users, with some people repeatedly getting lemon replacement projectors from Epson.
4) I have been very happily watching movies with a 5040 since March 2017, with zero buyer's remorse. I sometimes wish I could use the pixel shifting and frame interpolation features at the same time, but it is not possible. And I sometimes worry about my power supply going belly up. Other than those two qualms, it has been great.
Good luck with your choice, and happy viewing,
The harder it is to tell the difference, the less difference it makes.