Optoma HD8200 - Performance
3/29/09 - Art Feierman
Optoma HD8200 Brightness
The HD8200 measured as the second brightest projector- in "best" mode, of the projectors in this price class. Only the Sony VPL-HW10 was brighter, and only by 77 lumens. In fairness, while the Optoma's 525 lumens are second of the eleven projectors, five other models are very close, all with at least 482 lumens.
Here are the uncalibrated measurements for the HD8200 in the different preset modes, both lumens, and the measured color temperature for white (100 IRE). 6500K is the ideal temperature Unless otherwise noted, all measurements are taken with the projector lens at mid-point:
Cinema: 645 lumens @ 7247K
Bright: 553 lumens @ 8483K
Photo: 439 lumens @ 9318K
Reference: 691 lumens @ 7335K
User (uncalibrated): 568 lumens @ 7201K
Post calibration, User mode (set up for best viewing), measured 525 lumens @6481K.
Switching to low lamp, brightness drops approximately 27%. That reduced 525 lumens to 415 lumens.
The HD8200's weakness is in terms of being one of the dimmest projectors when you select a bright mode for dealing with ambient light. It's adjusted 660 lumens in its brightest mode, is only notable for being just half of Optoma's 1300 lumen claim. More to the point, in brightness it ranked it 9th out of 11 projectors in the mid-priced Class, in our recent Comparison Report.
Of course, brightness varies depending on the position of the zoom lens. All the measurements quoted above and below, except for these, are based on the zoom lens being in the middle (mid-point) of the zoom range. These were taken, pre-calibration (user mode):
Wide-angle: 655 lumens
Mid-point: 568 lumens
Telephoto: 409 lumens
For your consideration. If you are comparing the HD8200 against some of the 3LCD projectors with 2:1 zoom lenses, and plan to place the projector about 16 feet back from a 100 inch screen, that puts you at just about full telephoto. For the 3LCD projectors most of those will be just slightly beyond the mid-point of their lenses.
In a case like that, the Optoma is doing about 409 lumens, but, to pick one of the brighter 3LCD projectors as an example, the Epson 6500UB would be just past mid-point, so approximately 490 lumens - in that situation, about 18% brighter than the HD8200.
Pre-calibration we measured these color temperatures (target is 6500K) over the grayscale range, for User mode:
30 IRE (dark gray) – 7277K
50 IRE – (medium gray) - 7310K
80 IRE – (light gray) - 7196K
100 IRE – (white) - 7201K
Now that's an extremely tight range, but it is about 700K too cool - too much blue, not enough red.
Optoma HD8200 Sharpness
The HD8200 definitely projects one of the sharper images out there. In this regard, of the two categories we've defined for sharpness in this report - "average", and "sharper still", the HD8200 definitely fits into "sharper still".
Top left: Optoma HD8200, Top Center, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, Top right: Mitsubishi HC6500
2nd row left: Panasonic PT-AE3000, middle: Sanyo PLV-Z700, right: InFocus IN82
Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right HD8200, Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, Sanyo PLV-Z700, and Mitsubishi HC5500. Only the BenQ does a visibly better job. The HD8200 is one of the sharper 1080p projectors out there.
Optoma HD8200: Bottom Line Sharpness
Content is often a key determining factor, rather than the HD8200 itself, when it comes to having a sharp image. The better the source material, the sharper the HD8200 looks. Feed a standard DVD, standard TV, or even a 720p HDTV broadcast, and any differences in sharpness will be compromised by the lower resolution source material. Feed it a Blu-ray disc (1080p) or a 1080i source, though, and you can really appreciate the HD8200's crisp image.
All considered, I consider sharpness differences between most 1080p projectors to definitely be at the most, a secondary consideration. Still it should be at least a small factor in your decision process. In fairness, I do get emails from folks that have owned DLP projectors who have bought 3LCD or LCoS projectors, and if they have a complaint, it is that they consider their old projector to be sharper, even though they may be getting better black levels, and other improvements.
The HD8200 isn't bad. It does, however leak light through the lens. That can be seen around the image. It's pretty faint, but enough that in will be visible on your walls if light colored, when viewing a very, very, dark scene. Definitely not enough light leaks out to be considered a problem. In fact, I'd say that the level of light leakage out the lens is roughly the same as the JVC RS10, a definitely more expensive projector.
The HD8200's image noise performance is very good, based on our using the HQV test disk. The Optoma did well on all the standard jaggie and standard motion artifacts tests. There is definitely a bit of background image noise, but at levels typical of DLP projectors. Overall, performance would have to be considered very good.
The HD8200 is one of the quieter DLP home theater projectors. Overall, it would have to be considered about average when compared to projectors using the various technologies. Optoma claims 22db and 26db respectively for low and high power modes. That seems believable if perhaps a little optimistic with the full power number. Considering the noisiest home theater projectors, at full power, tend to be in the 31 - 34 db range, the Optoma is definitely, significantly quieter. If you have the dynamic iris engaged you can here its soft clicking sound, but it too, is quiet enough, most just won't notice it at all.