Epson Home Cinema 8350 Projector Review

Black Level Performance - C2Fine LCD Panels

Epson gave the 8350 the newer LCD panels. These are the panels that originally went into the UB series. This is the first time Epson has put them in the entry level 1080p projector in their lineup. These panels are dark in their native state, whereas older panels are almost clear until voltage is applied, and then get dark, with these, they are dark until “opened”.

There is more going on, however in the more expensive UB projectors, especially as related to black level performance. As such, this Epson has improved black level performance, in part thanks to these panels, but still can’t touch the almost double the price 8700UB.

Home Cinema 8350 Lamp Life

Lamp life isn’t a fun spec, but it is fun knowing that your projector gets more life out of a lamp – costs you less – than pretty much any other projectors out there… Epson claims 4000 hours regardless of standard or eco mode. Epson manufacturers its own lamps which they call E-TORL. The combination of the Epson lamp, and inherent advantage of LCD vs single chip DLP projectors also makes the Epson more eco friendly that most projectors, but especially the DLP models. The Epson with a 200 watt lamp, delivers brightness normally only obtainable in comparable DLP projectors with 250 to 300 watt lamps.

Most lamps are rated 2000 hours at full power, and 3000 in low, or “eco-mode” power. That’s been getting longer over the last couple of years, but 2000 hours is still the most common at full power. The Epson’s claimed life is almost double that of most of its competitors.

Zoom Lens

Same old Fujinon 2.1:1 zoom lens that Epson’s been using for 3 generations. This lens has more range than any competitor, although there are a number of projectors (Panasonic, JVC mostly) with 2:1 zooms, which come very close. Bottom line is you get maximum front to back flexibility, short of having interchangeable lenses. In addition the Epson has extensive lens shift for height placement flexibility.

As with all lenses with this much zoom range, there’s a big difference in brightness. The mounted at its furthest from a screen, it’s only about as bright as mounting at the closest point in its range. (We do our measurements with the lens at the mid-point.)

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