Epson Powerlite Pro G5350NL Projector - Performance
3-31-09 -Mike Rollett
While the image quality of the Epson G5350 is equal to or better than any of its competitors, its brightness and features really make it stand out in its class. Let’s get into some of these details.
The G5350 is rated at 5000 lumens. While this will likely vary greatly depending on the lens used, I wasn’t able to achieve that level even at full wide zoom with the standard lens. This is somewhat unusual for Epson projectors, as they usually meet or exceed their rated output. In Game mode (the brightest), I measured 4069 lumens at mid-zoom range. At full wide zoom, this increased to 4471 lumens. While not close to its 5000 lumen rating, it was still very bright. Even in a large room with a fair amount of ambient light, I don’t see where the G5350 would have any problem displaying an image that was not washed out.
Using Presentation mode, the output dropped from 4069 to 3508 lumens. While most situations won’t call for more lumens that that, Gaming mode is a viable option if you’re not displaying photos or video and therefore not overly concerned with color accuracy. Photo mode, another mode that might be popular, resulted in a drop to 3025 lumens. Other modes were as follows: Theater – 2936 lumens, sRGB – 2986 lumens, Text – 2688 lumens, Sports (which takes the place of Photo with a video input) – 3454, Customized (which allows for individual adjustment of primary and secondary colors) – 2986 lumens and Blackboard (specifically designed with a color balance to work with school blackboards) the lowest at 2656 lumens.
Dropping the lamp into Low brightness mode resulted in a 24% drop in lumen output. With Game mode, this still gives you a possible 3400 lumens which is more than enough with some ambient light control.
The Powerlite Pro G5350NL is bright enough for larger venues, including small auditoriums, hotel ballrooms and meeting rooms of all sizes. To give you some idea of the Epson projector's brightness consider these images.
The projector was set up in the room above, with windows open (but no sun coming directly in), and the ceiling lights at full brightness. That includes the front halogen spot lamp which points right at the screen (to illuminate a painting when the screen is up).
You can see the lighting configuration in the smaller image. Despite the daylight and full lights the screen is by far the brightest part of the picture. In other words the lighting is barely noticeable, and looks dark, despite the room being fairly bright.
The image below was taken with the lighting conditions shown in these two photos. The screen size was 106 inche diagonal, a nice sized screen for an audience of up to about 100+ people, depending on the type of presentation.
You can see in the image that it is washing out just a little, mostly top center (where that spot light hits. Overall, even with photos, the G5350NL does a great job with all that lighting.
Wired and Wireless Networking
The G5350, with the addition of an optional wireless module, allows for wireless connection to any desktop or laptop with 802.11 a/b/g capability. While we were not able to test the wireless capability of the G5350, it uses the same wireless module and software as the previously reviewed Epson 1735W, so any comments about wireless connectively, other than the quick connect USB key feature of the 1735W, apply to the G5350 as well. In particular, this means that if you display video regularly, you’ll have to use the software’s video player to display videos over the wireless connection and you are limited to certain file types and resolutions (only .mpg, .wmv and .asf files will work and they can’t be greater than a 30 fps frame rate or 720 x 576 resolution). Basically, as we noted with the 1735W, if you display video on a regular basis, plan on using a wired connection. The wireless connection can be obtained in an Ad Hoc point-to-point mode or with a wireless access point (WAP) to allow others on the network to access it.
When you do use a wired connection, you get a host of features and control options. In addition to the usual remote monitoring (including email notification) and admin features, you get the ability to have multiple projectors on the network contribute to the presentation. The EasyMP software allows the user to switch between other computers on the network, allowing display of Powerpoint or Keynote slides or other images from remote computer locations. All in all, the G5350’s networking capabilities will fill just about any company’s needs.
The Epson G5350NL has a typical amount of noise for a projector of this type in high brightness mode (38 dB). While that’s not particularly quiet, it’s not likely to be an issue in almost any presenting environment you’d find the G5350, and certainly not when presenting in the larger rooms that the G5350's 4000+ lumens allows. In low brightness mode, the noise level drops to 30dB, which would be imperceptible in any environment you’d likely find the G5350. By comparison, many home theater projectors have this level of noise in their bright modes and noise is the bane of home theater enthusiasts. Basically, for a projector this bright that is intended to be permanently installed away from viewers, the noise level is not an issue.