Optoma HD8600 Projector Review

Optoma HD8600 images below are from either Blu-ray, or HDTV, with the exception of Lord of the Rings (standard DVD). These images are not overly accurate compared to the image the HD8600 projector projects on the screen. There are color shifts (too much yellow, in this case), saturation differences, etc.

These images are provided to support the commentary. In reality, the projectors always look better than the images in our reviews. From a color standpoint, my dSLR camera still adds a very slight green shift to some photo shoots that I have not been able to completely remove in most cases. I now visually attempt to adjust all the images to correct for major abberations in color between big screen and computer screen. In other words, while we can demonstrate differences in black levels and shadow details of the HD8600, the photos are only approximations of skin tone and color accuracy.

HD8600 Out of the Box Picture Quality

Right out of the box, the HD8600 really does look pretty good. Definitely not the best color performance but definitely watchable. Overall, the image in Cinema 2 mode (“best” for our purposes), is a bit warm – strong on reds, but not too much so. With the slight extra reds in mind, otherwise the skin tones looked pretty good.

Ultimately, folks, this is an $8000 projector, and in this price range, you will want to get the most out of it. I would definitely recommend a professional calibration. Failing that, try our settings. Our calibration doesn’t calibrate as much (no CMS calibration) as most pro calibrators will, and there is color variation from lampt to lamp. Still, our numbers should provide visible improvement.

Flesh Tones

Very nice. Post calibration the skin tones on this Optoma are expecially impressive. Some of the best I’ve seen. I still hold the InFocus IN83 in awe, in this regard, but the HD8600 comes close. In terms of skin tones, I do believe I favor the HD8600 over my RS20 (just by the slightest), and that’s a pretty high complement.

Below are a wide assortment of images to demontstrate skin tones. Remember, the same face will look markedly different under different lighting scenarios, such as full sunlight, filtered sunlight, gray overcast, nighttime, fluorescent lighting, and so on.

Lau, above, from The Dark Knight, looks just about perfect, up on the screen, when it comes to believable skin tones.

I am most enthused about the HD8600′s ability to reproduce excellent skin tones. After calibration, the HD8600 is one of the best I’ve seen.

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