Runco Lightstyle LS-10d Projector Review

Runco LS-10d images below are from either Blu-ray, or HDTV, with Lord of the Rings now available on Blu-ray, we no longer show standard DVD images. These images are not overly accurate representations of the image the LS-10d projects on the screen. There are slight color shifts, saturation differences, etc.

These images are provided to support the commentary. In reality, the projectors always look better than the images in our reviews.

In the specific case of the Runco LS-10d, the images look generally rather accurate, but a touch oversaturated looking (actually a touch too contrasty) on some computer monitors like my MacBook Pro. Of course how it looks on your system is highly dependent on your computer, graphics card, and display, as well as browser. While we can demonstrate differences in black levels and shadow details of the LS-10d rather well, the photos are only decent representations of skin tone and color accuracy.

LS-10d Out of the Box Picture Quality

Stunning! While with most projectors, hooking them up and turning them on, I’m sometimes impressed, but mostly I’m settling in, getting my take on the picture quality. Not so with this Runco LS-10d. First time I set it up it just knocked my socks off. Why? The differences between the “out of the box” Cinema and Mike’s calibration of Custom 1, are small.

Well, actually Mike calibrated the projector before I looked at it. I placed the scene in The Fifth Element featuring Zork’s secretary, first, on the front page of this review, because, like with the LS-7, the LS-10 projector just blew me away on that scene. The richness of the colors of her hair, and her complexion, outfit, background, truly got my attention.

Color Temp over IRE Range, Best mode, (6500 Color Temp)
30 IRE 6496
50 IRE 6425
80 IRE 6422
100 IRE 6423

What’s interesting, is that Runco’s “out of the box” performance in terms of color is roughly the equal to must other projectors post-calibration. Here are some quick measurements – remember, ideal is D65, that is a color temperature of 6500K. A very well calibrated projector will probably measure the whole range +/- 150K of the 6500K.

And that, again, is pre-calibration

Post calibration
20 IRE 6713
30 IRE 6552
40 IRE 6539
50 IRE 6545
60 IRE 6532
70 IRE 6529
80 IRE 6527
90 IRE 6505
100 IRE 6556

Post calibration…Wow:

Note that all brightness levels are within 60K of D65, except 20 IRE, which is very, very dark gray. Most projectors tend to shift toward red or blue in the very low ranges, but even the “wide” deviation of 6713 from the rest of the numbers, is only the slightest inaccuracy. That all the other grayscales fall between 6505K and 6556K, probably is amazingly tight.

Bottom line – for this LS-10d, the color temp is excellent. And it shows. For all the measurements and settings, visit the calibration page.

The image at right is an all digital image from the DVE test disc.

Click Image to Enlarge

Skin Tones

Let’s look at Zork’s secretary’s skin tones again. If you can imagine it looking a whole lot better than this, it’s because of the loss of quality getting the image to your display – no fault of the Runco LS10-d projector. The image looks pretty great on my MacBook Pro display, but with a touch of reddish-purple cast that I can see in the background, that isn’t in the projected image. Your display will be different, no doubt.

The Fifth Element image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Sure skin tones look great, and that’s not all that hard on brighter scenes, but maintaining that natural skin look in darker scenes is often a real challenge.

Here’s the things that really worked for me:
The brightness combined with color accuracy on the admittedly only average sized 106″ (16:9) screen, a Carada Brilliant White with claimed 1.4 gain, on darker scenes, to still render skin tones with clarity and without a feel of them being too dark. You’ll see some images that should give you a good indication such as the darker scene Bond images of Daniel Craig.

Gandalf image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

A great image is more than color accuracy, color tables and brightness, it’s gamma, and and other technical stuff. Maybe, if we fully understand all of it, we can define terms such as “film-like” and “natural”, or “forgiving” scientifically enough that there won’t be any subjectivity to judging projectors anymore. That time has not yet come. Much as vastly superior blacks will make a dark image really pop, it would seem that having an overall brighter picture will help the eye deliver what seems to me, to be more natural skin tones with darker scene lighting, than, for example, my JVC RS20 can deliver.

Arwen image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Next are three images of Daniel Craig, as Bond, in Casino Royale, under different lighting conditions, shot with the LS10d projector, using my recently aquired Canon 60D, dSLR. It does a better job than the old Olympus, making comparisons with images shot in older reviews more difficult.

Again, as noted, the new Canon camera seems to be adding a touch of reddish purple, to all the images. Just a touch. Still learning the new camera.

Skin Tones Change with Lighting

It’s not the Runco LS-10, or any other display. Light sources in the real world, and Hollywood vary dramatically, from natural to stage lighting, and everything from night to a fire in the hearth, to bright sunlight, will mean a different color temp and with it, skin tones will be affected dramatically. Correct skin tone appearance varies, depending on the lighting. Consider these four images, the first in direct sunlight, the second is an airport scene with fluorescent lighting, the third, a sunny day, but Bond is sitting in the shade – indirect lighting, and finally, a night scene!

Some additional excellent examples of skin tones, starting with Nicole Kidman – and Hugh Jackman, in Australia.

Skin Tones

The Fifth Element image from the Runco LS-10 projector

Skin Tones

Gandalf image from the Runco LS-10 projector

Skin Tones

Arwen image from the Runco LS-10 projector

Skin Tones

James Bond image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Skin Tones

Casino Royale image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Skin Tones

Shot of Bond from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Skin Tones

Bond image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Skin Tones

Nicole Kidman image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Skin Tones

Leeloo image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Skin Tones

Priest image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Skin Tones

From Quantum of Solace:

Skin Tones

Image of a woman from the Runco LS-10 projector.

Skin Tones

Another Quantum of Solace image from the Runco LS-10 projector.

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