BenQ W1000 Projector - Image Quality
The BenQ W1000 images below are all from either Blu-ray or HDTV, with the exception of Lord of the Rings (standard DVD). Note: By the time these BenQ W1000 projector images get to your eyeball, through digital camera, software, browsers, and monitor, there is definitely color shifting, saturation differences, etc. The images are to support the commentary, but keep in mind the limitations when trying to compare images from the W1000 with other home theater projectors. None are faithful reproductions of the colors that you see when projecting on a screen.
Remember also, that the projectors themselves look far better than what you see in these photos. Intentionally overexposed images to show shadow detail and black level performance, on the other hand, are very good at showing differences between the BenQ W1000 and other home theater projectors.
3/14/10 - Art Feierman
W1000 Out of the Box Picture Quality
The "out of the box" color is very good, but a touch too much red, which is a very good thing, since the BenQ lacks the tradtional R,G,B brightness and contrast controls for doing a grayscale balance. (There is a color management system, however.)
Of note, the projector's brightest mode, aptly named Bright mode exhibits a bit too much green. This is common because it will help cut through ambient light.
Then, a good deal less bright is Standard mode, which has even better color. Cinema is the best mode for our discussion purposes. Overall, very watchable, right out of the box, in all three modes.
The image below (digital image from the DVE-HD test disk) with the BenQ W1000 projector was taken post calibration:
BenQ W1000 Projector - Flesh Tones
Skin tones are very good. There is a very slight, touch too much red to faces like Gandalf's below, due to the touch less red than there should be. When viewing, the projector doesn't really feel like it's a little thin on red, as the image has a good bit of contrast, and a lot of punch.
Above, Gandalf, from Lord of the Rings, Below Arwen, same movie.
Men In Black:
From the DVE-HD calibration disc (digital source material, not film):
and finally one from Quantum of Solace (Bond)
These images all look very good. I spent a lot of time watching movies and sports on the BenQ W1000, and found the picture pleasing, overall, with my only serious complaint being the black level performance, which we'll tackle next.
W1000 Black Levels & Shadow Detail
Black Level Performance:
Ahh, we come to the Achilles heel of the W1000 projector. The blacks are just not that black. Even the Optoma HD20, the other $999 projector, does visibly (though not greatly), better. I can do a decent job on very dark scenes, but never a great one. Still on scenes that are primarily dark but with some bright spots, such as the night cityscape below, the projector looks pretty darn good.
Immediately below, from The Dark Knight:
The pair of photos below, have the BenQ W1000 projector first, and the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB (best blacks under $3500 street price) below it. This is about as big a difference as you will find, yet, you can see that the W1000 can handle a nice dark scene with some bright areas, rather decently.
Here's three: W1000 first, Optoma HD20 second, Epson third - this is an intentionally well overexposed image, from Space Cowboys. Here you can see the significant difference between the BenQ or the Optoma, compared to the Epson, (but do you have an extra $1200?):
First image is a placeholder. Image coming.
OK back to our collection of comparative images:
The next image is "our" Starship image from The Fifth Element.
Same image, overexposed, and with letterbox to better see black level performance, which even without overexposing significantly, you can now see the "gray" of the letterbox area:
Epson Home Cinema 8100:
Finally, the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB:
Consider two additional (digital) images which are good ones for observing black levels.
Shadow Detail Performance
As is the case with most projectors that don't have really dark black levels, the BenQ W1000 has very good shadow detail, as you can see in the assorted images below. You may not get the pop of those great blacks that more expensive ultra high contrast projectors offer, but you won't go lacking for the subtle details in those darker areas.
From LOTR: Left: W1000, Middle: Optoma HD20, Right: Mitsubishi HC3800:
Below our usual sequence of images of Clint Eastwood in a very dark room/scene. Look to the blinds and, in general, the upper right, for shadow detail differences between these many projectors. The first image, of course, is the BenQ W1000 projector. It is followed, in order by: Vivitek H1080FD, Optoma HD20, Epson Home Cinema 8100, Mitsubishi HC3800, Sanyo PLV-Z700, Sharp XV-Z15000, Optoma HD8200, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, BenQ W6000, and Panasonic PT-AE4000.
Again, from Space Cowboys, this is a cropped image. The right side is very bright (so dynamic irises would not be effective). The W1000 (top left) has good shadow detail in the dark areas of the satellite, note though, that those areas look darker than on some others. Next to it on the first row, is the Epson Home Cinema 8100, Those images are followed by the Sharp XV-Z15000 and the PT-AE4000U (second row). The third row is the Mitsubishi HC3800 (left), and the Optoma HD20 on the right.
The following images are both the same frame, from Space Cowboys. The first one is slightly overexposed, and the second one, dramatically so. Look in the brown area of the satellite on the left (and elsewhere). The W1000 does a very good job in terms of the detail, even if the blacks are a bit weak. The W1000's shadow detail is very good.
Below is a heavily overexposed scene from Lord of the Rings. The overexposure lets you see all the details in the shed on the right, the structure on the left, and the plants and ground along the lower right. The W1000 performs extremely well!
Click on left thumbnail image for the BenQ W1000, Sanyo PLV-Z700 in the center, and the right for the HD20.
Our last comparison uses the night train scene (again) from Casino Royale. Look to the trees and shrubs on the right, especially just above the tracks. The first image is the BenQ W1000, second, the Vivitek, third is the Optoma HD20, the fourth is the Mitsubishi HC3800, the 5th one is from the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB. Compare the Epson to the BenQ W1000. Here you'll get a good idea of the difference between an entry level projector on a really dark scene, compared to one of the better ultra-high contrast projectors. Also note how similar the BenQ and Vivitek are, on this scene.
A few more images for looking at black levels and shadow details:
W1000 - Overall Color & Picture Quality
Bottom Line for Overall Picture Quality and Color Handling:
We'll finish our look at comparative images of entry level 1080p projectors with the crew image from Space Cowboys. First is the BenQ W1000, followed by the Vivitek, Optoma, then the Epson Home Cinema 8100, followed by the Sharp XV-Z15000:
A mix of additional images to show off the W1000:
From the DVE-HD test disc:
And here are a few assorted, additional images, some of which can be found on other recent reviews:
BenQ W1000 Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports
Wow! All those lumens, combined with a nice very sharp image, and pretty good color even when at maximum brightness, the W1000 is just great at sports.
I played catch-up on some of the Olympics I recorded. Wow, the skating was incredible, thanks to being so bright. And, still, the color is pretty good. I switched to my JVC, which is outputing maybe 1/3 the lumens. Since I had a fair amount of light in the room watching with the BenQ, the JVC was just pathetic. I had to grab the remote and close down all my shades that were open.
It's a great projector for sports!