Optoma ML550 LED Projector Review
Optoma ML550 - Picture Quality
The Optoma ML550 had really exceptional picture quality when you consider how small and tiny the projector is. It has a native resolution of 1280×800 and can perform also at 1680×1050. Both resolutions looked very presentable. The text was very readable. Considering you would more than likely use this projector for short presentations, you should have no issues with eye strain. I might even suggest that it would work for longer presentations, assuming you used some just slightly larger type size like 13pt and above. Even 12pt type would look terrific. As you can see from the pictures below the image quality is clean and the menu system is also very readable as well. The first image represents the projector in its native resolution and the second is the Optoma ML550 performing at a compressed resolution of 1680×1050.
Optoma ML550 - Color
The color quality of the Optoma ML500 is pretty good out of the box. LED projectors typically can do a pretty good job at color reproduction. Reds are generally accurate and yellows, although not perfect, are pretty close to what you would expect from a LCD projector. Different presentation modes produce different results. The ML550 required a bit of tuning in the menu system to get the yellows and the whites to be more accurate.
The first image int he gallery is the projector in bright mode. The colors are pretty accurate but the whites are not as true white as they should be and the yellow and reds are a bit off as well. Some projectors need a little tweaking to make the image look correct and I was able to get more accurate color by dropping the white intensity to 5 in the menu system. Keep in mind that this is a review and we are picking the projector apart a lot more than your typical user would. Overall I found the image quality to quite good.
In the other colors modes like Cinema Mode which represents the second image in the gallery, you will notice that the colors are pretty innacurate, however, Cinema Mode is for exactly what it says it is. So you might find this mode to excellent depending on the movie content you plan to show. The color wheel really isn’t the best judge of picture quality when it comes to the Cinema Mode.
PC Mode which is image 3 in the gallery was pretty good, but yellow has sort of a greenish look to it. Personally would probably avoid this mode. Photo Mode represents the last image in the gallery and its colors were a bit washed out. The black would be a good example of this. Ultimate I would recommend running this projector in Bright Mode all the time and dropping the white intensity to 5. Is it necessary to drop the white intensity? Not at all, but if you want just a slightly better image, it helps.
Optoma ML550 - Video Performance
One thing that surprised me about the ML550 was its video performance. Quite good for a projector of this size. The image doesn’t compare to a dedicated home theater projector, but it kind of competes well with business projectors of the same resolution. The sharpness isn’t nearly as good, still not to bad. Brightness and contrast aren’t going to be as good your typical portable projector, because this unit is just 500 lumens compared to the average 2500 lumen unit used today, but even with a little daylight coming in from an adjacent window, the image was still acceptable. The pictures in the gallery show a pretty accurate look at the video performance. A movie night with the family, with lights low, would make for a nice movie experience.
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