Mitsubishi HC7000 - Performance
10/19/2008 - Art Feierman
Brightness, or rather, the lack of lumens has to be considered a weakness of the HC7000, compared to much of the competition. The HC7000 (link to specs) has enough lumens for smaller screens, up to 110" diagonal, depending on what your watch, and room conditions. This will be talked about more, in the projector screen recommendation section. This projector is on the low send of average for 1080p projectors in their best mode, and definitely well below average. That's not to say the HC7000 is alone. We haven't reviewed the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 yet, but if typical of Sanyo entries, it will be in the same general range as the HC7000, perhaps less bright in best mode, and a little brighter at its brightest.
Our measurements are taken with the zoom lens very close to dead center of its zoom range.
Out of the box (pre-adjustment) measurements:
Warm: 393 lumens @ 6209K (Warm is used as our basis for calibrating the HC7000)
Medium: 444 @ 7363K
Cool: 513 @ 9735K
High Brightness: 745 @ 8401
Afer calibration Warm dropped slightly to 386 (we arbitrarily consider "average brightness" to be 400 to 550 lumens)
More details and information can be found in the calibration page of this review.
The Medium setting gives you about a 12% increase in brightness, and it's color temp is still pretty good, and works well for sports. High Brightness is not great, in that colors are too cool, reds are down, but it does cut through ambient light nicely. I really didn't have a problem watching sports in this mode, but, I've been able to calibrate other projectors' "brightest" modes for better color than the Mitsubishi's High Brightness mode, (which resists calibration). For example, in brightest mode, I can get about twice the lumens out of the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB in it's dynamic mode, and still have slightly better color performance. The Panasonic PTAE3000 about 40% brighter, in its dynamic mode, then the Mitsubishi at its brightest.
The two images below demonstrate the differences in brightness between the calibrated "best" mode, and brightest mode. Both images were taken with the same exposure, so you can see the difference, and also the different (cooler) colors of the High Brightness mode.
Bottom line: The lack of lots of lumens, especially in brightest mode makes the HC7000 projector a projector that best serves those with smaller screens and those who really care about movie viewing but are not concerned about the extra lumens needed for watching other things with some ambient light.
Dropping the lamp to eco-mode (low power), we measured a 26% drop in lumens. We tested in Medium mode, but that percentage drop should be about the same regardless of mode.
The HC7000 measures 11 percent brighter in full wide angle zoom, and 16 percent dimmer when in full tele-photo zoom. These differences are smaller than you may have read about from other competing 3LCD projectors. That is due to the more modest, 1.6.1 zoom range of the HC7000.
The HC7000 is sharp. Very sharp. We pretty much see 1080p projectors fit into two groups; those I call average, and those I refer to as sharper and crisper. The HC7000 fits into the later category. In this regard, other projectors with similar sharpness (and there is not enough difference to quibble over, between them), include the InFocus IN83, and IN82, the Optoma HD81-LV, and most other Optoma's, the BenQ W5000 and W20000, and we presume, the Sanyo PLV-Z3000, along with their PLV-Z700. Also, of course, the Mitsubishi HC6500.
In the average category, you'll find the Panasonic PT-AE3000U, the old Epson 1080 projectors, plus the JVC and the Sony projectors. The new Epson projectors will probably still be in the average group, but, they are claiming it is a "little sharper" so, maybe they will move into the sharper category.
Top left: Mitsubishi HC7000, Top Center, Sony VPL-VW60, Top right: Mitsubishi HC6500
2nd row left: Sanyo PLV-2000, middle: Optoma HD8000, right: InFocus IN82
Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right HC7000, Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, Sanyo PLV-Z700, and BenQ W20000. Only the BenQ does a visibly better job. The HC7000 is one of the sharper 1080p projectors out there.
Mitsubishi HC7000: Bottom Line Sharpness
One of the best! Enough said.
Excellent! There is the usual very tiny amount coming out of the lens. That amount is probably greater, with the more lens shift you use. When I'm viewing, the projector is normally at maximum lens shift, so it wouldn't get worse than what I observe. I never noticed the stray light once during watching.
Mitsubishi uses the Silicon Optics Reon-VX image processing, which is very highly regarded. I found no issues of any significance at all, on normal processing (I don't check some of the more oddball frame cadences.) I do, however, useWe are in a world where very few projectors have any real issues anymore. That's not to say that there can't be further improvement, or some specific scenes that they can still screw up a little, but everything needs to stay in perspective: Is the difference between very good image noise handling, and great image noise handling, a significant consideration, compared to things like having sufficient brightness, better black levels, and so on.
You just can't beat Mitsubishi in terms of audible noise. Their 3LCD projectors are probably the quietest out there. This projector claims 17 db in low power mode, and is probably about 5-6 db noisier at full power. When you consider that the average DLP home theater projector is probably still 5 db noiser in low power, than the HC7000 is at full power, you must realize that audible noise is not an issue for this projector. If the HC7000 noise levels are, for you, too lould, then there probably isn't a projector on the market that will satisfy you.