Sony VPL-VW1000ES Projector Review
VPL-VW1000ES Black Levels & Shadow Detail
Below, our usual Starship set of images from The 5th Element. To see how good blacks are, just note how light the letterbox area is, compared to the starship. If the letterbox area is very dim, and the starship totally overexposed, that shows more range, than if the letterbox is brighter, or the starship less overexposed. Many of these images have been converted to grayscale, so the shifts in color don’t make it harder to judge them.
Note, that the VW1000ES (above) is substantially better than even their VPL-VW95ES below:
Mitsubishi HC9000D (uses Sony LCoS panels) – Similar to the VW95ES (just the image is a bit more overexposed) – both the letterbox and the starship are slightly larger.
Sharp XV-Z17000, This Sharp was the first single chip 1080p DLP projector to hit the market under $5000. Being replaced by a XV-Z30000
Epson Home Cinema 5010:
Epson has reigned for years as the “black level champ” in the under $3500 price range, and can compete in blacks, rather easily with most projectors up to $10,000 projectors.
Finally, an interesting shot, but not of the VW1000ES. Remember, the Sony VW1000ES has better blacks than their VW95ES. Yet, in the image below, we have the VW95ES (right) vs. the $20K SIM2 Nero 3D2 (left). The less expensive Sony easily does better blacks than the Nero. Along comes this VW1000ES, which is even better still. Neither the SIM2 nor the $28K Runco LS10d, really come close to the blacks of the Sony (nor are they 4K, and only the Nero of those two has 3D):
Shadow Detail Performance
Dark shadow detail is good, but relative to all the strengths of this Sony projector, it has to be considered one of the Sony’s least impressive levels of performance. It’s not hard to find other good projectors that will reveal a touch more dark shadow detail, but, as I often point out, the better the black levels, the darker the darkest shadow details are, and therefore hardest to spot. Look, I can get a touch more dark shadow detail out of a number of projectors some as inexpensive as the $2700 Epson 5010 (you’ll find that image below) – for a comparison look at the line of shrubs behind the tracks, on the middle-right and far right of the image. Let’s not worry about that however. As I have often stated in reviews, a slight loss of dark shadow detail is a very minor thing, compared to even a slight increase in black level performance. In other words, don’t worry about it!
Our major comparison uses the night train scene from Casino Royale. Look to the trees and shrubs on the right, especially just above the tracks. The first image is the Sony VPL-1000ES, followed by the 95ES. Then the Mitsubishi HC9000D, followed by the less expensive Sony HW30ES. Fifth is the Epson Home Cinema 5010, followed by the JVC RS25, and the last one is from the Runco LS-10d projector.
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