Epson Home Cinema 3010e Home Theater Projector Review

In this section, we consider the brightness (including full measurements), sharpness, and image noise of Epson’s new, and least expensive 3D capable projector, the Home Cinema 3010. Also covered on this page, are the physical attributes of light leakage and audible noise of the Home Cinema 3010.

Epson Home Cinema 3010 Brightness

 

Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE:
Dynamic
1925 @ 6852
Living Room
1602 @ 7633
Natural
1402 @ 6155, 923 @ 6912 in Eco lamp mode (default)
Cinema
1402 @ 6166, 923 @ 6849 in Eco lamp mode (default)
Auto
923 @ 6704

Those numbers are all “right out of the box”, without any adjustments, to settings like contrast, which can affect overall brightness.

Post Calibration: User 1 “best” mode = 1424 lumens

A true light canon, this Epson gets started when other projectors are already out of lumens. This means you have enough power to maintain a respectable image even with modest ambient light when watching a movie. Oh a really dark scene will take a big hit, but most viewing will be just fine. Post Calibration – User 2 set as “brightest” mode: 1758 lumens (about 10% below uncalibrated dynamic mode). Our “quick-cal” is nothing more than Mike adjusting the colors for improvement, without costing too much in brightness. That is, for example, can oversaturated greens being reduced, to improve the picture, without doing the type of full calibration that would essentially give the same results as our User 1 calibration.
Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode):
Zoom out
1972
Mid-zoom
1925
Zoom in
1864
Realizing that a 1.5:1 zoom lens should lose less lumens going from wide angle to telephoto, than the 2.1:1 lens on some other Epson projectors, I was still impressed by the minimal drop in brightness across its range. The Home Cinema 3010 measured only about 7% lower at maximum distance, compared to the closest placement.

Home Cinema 3010 Eco-Mode vs. Full Power

Measuring Dynamic mode (all modes will behave the same), brightness dropped 35% (a bit more than most), to 1235 lumens, from 1925 lumens.

Uncalibrated Cinema 1 mode (our basis for “best”) still manages 923 lumens (we didn’t calibrate Eco-mode, which we noted already looked very good)! There is still plenty of brightness for movie viewing on even extremely large screens (over 130″ diagonal) or significant ambient light on a smaller screen. This lower 923 lumen number may also make some folks happy who don’t like their movies too bright.

Note, you do get a claimed increase in lamp life, from 4000 hours, to 5000 hours, when using Eco-mode.

 

Epson Home Cinema 3010 Pre-Calibration Color temp, Cinema Mode:

Header Content
Cinema
 Cinema (in Eco lamp)
30 IRE –             5873
6741
50 IRE –             6036
6836
80 IRE –             6128
6815
100 IRE –           6166
6849
Overall, with lamp at full power, the Home Cinema 3010, in Cinema, is warm – too much red. This corrects very nicely with calibration. Note, however, if you lower the lamp to low power – ECO mode, The color temp jumps dramatically and produces better color to begin with It’s unlikely you’ll need Cinema mode (or the calibrated version, dropped into User 1) on high lamp, in most cases, for movies. Eco-mode should be more than bright enough for movie viewing. Therefore, if you aren’t going to calibrate your projector we strongly recommend Eco-mode for your quality movie viewing, for the slightly better color, and still be extremely bright. Mike calibrated the User mode, and came up with the results below.

Home Cinema 3010, Post Calibration, Best Mode (User 1)

Calibrated color temps, 20 – 100 IRE:
20 IRE =
6506
30 IRE =
6421
40 IRE =
6436
50 IRE =
6508
60 IRE =
6536
70 IRE =
6570
80 IRE =
6551
90 IRE =
6578
100 IRE =
6271
Average gamma =
2.27
That’s a very tight range, but with a slight dip at white (100 IRE), that will add an almost insignificant shift to red, just a touch of extra warmth. Mike adds this note:  Using a gamma setting less than 2.4 results in gamma being too low for most viewing.  There is a CMS, but it’s not really necessary as the CIE chart shows very good color balance. Below, the same frame taken with the same exposure so you can get a handle on the relative brightness and color aspects of most of the major modes. Of course, since the exposures are the same, the darker modes like Cinema (“best”) would look better properly exposed

Epson Home Cinema 3010 Sharpness

The Home Cinema 3010 performs very well for a lower cost home projector. Optics seem better than on many less expensive projectors, and convergence of the panels seems to be typical for an Epson 3LCD projector, regardless of the price. In addition to our playstation logo image below, I’ve left some menus on a number of images we took, and those menus also help get a close look at sharpness, when you click for the larger version.

I don’t believe anyone will have any issues regarding the sharpness. I also note, that I didn’t notice any defocusing as the projector warms up.

Comparison images:

Top left: Epson Home Cinema 3010, Top Center – Optoma HD33, Top Right – Mitsubishi HC4000.

2nd row left: Panasonic PT-AE4000, center: Viewsonic Pro8200, Right: BenQ W1200

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