Epson Pro Cinema 4030 Projector – Review

PRO CINEMA 4030 PERFORMANCE

Pro Cinema 4030 Brightness in Different Image Preset modes

Below find the brightness of each of the Epson’s Preset Image modes. Dynamic is the brightest.  Living Room is next, but is very cool (try lowering the Color Temp one or two numbers.  The color temps shown are measured for white (100 IRE).

The measurements below are all with the 2.1:1 zoom at midpoint.  There’s a significant boost in brightness changing the zoom to wide-angle (which is where most people measure brightness, but not where most people set their zoom lenses.)

Please note that we did not attempt to find the maximum measurable brightness of this Epson projector, or others for that matter.   One can do things like turn up contrast, adjust color temp, etc. to find more lumens.  For that reason, in our reviews, virtually all projectors measured come in well below manufacturer’s claim.  But, the picture looks better than when you hunt for lumens, thereby messing up the picture.

Pro Cinema 4030 By Mode:        Brightness               Color Temp
Dynamic 1379 7149
Living Room 1070 9335
Natural 585/425 eco 7575
Cinema 522/405 eco 8384
B&W Cinema 543/397 eco 5881

In the table above, note that we provide measured brightness for the three “best modes” for both full power and eco mode here, because those three default to eco mode.

 

From a competitive standpoint to the more expensive Epson 5030 UB and 6030 UB, the Pro Cinema 4030 is about 15% less bright based on our measurements.  That’s a little better than the almost 17% drop expected (the difference between 2400 lumens claimed for the UB’s and 2000 for the 4030!)

Full Power vs. Eco Mode

Dynamic Full Power                    Dynamic Eco                                  % Drop
1379 Lumens 1003 Lumens 28%

Expect the same drop of about 28-30% (limits of accuracy) for all modes.  In fact a quick measure of the other modes in the first chart, where we show both full and eco brightness measure almost identically.  Remember, the inherent brightness numbers are at mid-point on zoom.

Affect of Zoom Lens position on Brightness

Effect of Placement (Zoom Lens settings) on Brightness
Wide Angle (largest image from that distance) 1495 lumens
Mid-Point (average image size from that distance) 1379 lumens
Telephoto (smallest image size from that distance) 1154 lumens

Most folks who will mount this projector, will do so between the closest position (wide-angle) and mid-point on the zoom.  Those placing on a rear shelf in most rooms, are likely to have the zoom near the full telephoto range with the least lumens.  If your room isn’t very deep, or your screen is very large for that room, then shelf mounting may be close to mid-point, or even closer.

The point here is your positioning has an affect on brightness that’s significant.  In this case, measuring closest and furthest placement shows a loss of 23% of brightness.  Or the other way of looking at it, is, moving from furthest back to closest positioning buys you an extra 30% more brightness.

Epson claims that this year’s Fujinon 2.1:1 zoom lens, is improved over previous versions.  If you look back at older Epson UB reviews you’ll find that in the past, the drop of brightness from  wide-angle to zoom was greater with the old lens version!

Epson Pro Cinema 4030 Projector - Calibrated

Pro Cinema 4030 Calibrated
Natural Mode 543 Lumens

Mike’s calibration did improve the picture quality – although not greatly as it started out well balanced.  However, the original image was definitely cool, with color temps in the mid 7000′s about 1000K too high.  With this calibration, brightness only dropped about 7%, but the color accuracy improves, and the picture warms up a bit, with reds no longer being a little thin.  The many images in this review demonstrate the great skin tones and handling of other aspects of color accuracy.

Brightest Mode - Quick-Cal For better Viewing Experience

With virtually all Home Theater and Home Entertainment Projectors, I have Mike do what we call a “Quick-Cal” that is a tweaking of the settings to improve the overall color and picture.  The goal here is in no way to rival the full calibration of a “Best” mode, but to take a “Brightest” mode, which invariably is not as accurate as the lower brightness modes, and make it more watchable.  If we did a full calibration on our brightest mode, in this case Dynamic, in theory we’d end up with the same number of lumens as calibrating Natural. That isn’t our goal.

Instead, we look at that default Brightest mode, and figure out how to make it better, without costing very many lumens.   In other words, when I watch my NFL football, Mike’s “quick-cal” looks a good deal better than the default, but the image is almost as bright.

Quick-Cal of Dynamic Mode: Measurements

Dynamic Mode Brightness:   Before/After
1379 lumens 1270 lumens

In this case Mike’s “quick-cal” resulted in a brightness drop of 8%.  His adjustment to accomplish the better picture quality consisted of simply lowering the green gain significantly (see the settings on the Calibration page)  All other settings remain the same.

As most projectors – and 3LCD projectors in particular, tend to have too much green at their brightest, the improvement in this case, is rather dramatic!  Turning on the default dynamic, is immediately way too green/yellow, but after Mike’s adjustment, most folks wouldn’t even notice!

You May Also Like

News And Comments