Mitsubishi HC7000 Projector Review

Brightness

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:
WarmWarm 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.

HC7000 modes warm
HC7000 modes highbrightness
HC7000 modes warm
+HC7000 modes highbrightness

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.

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