Sony VPL-VW95ES Projector - Performance
12/11/2011 - Art Feierman
On this page we take a look at the VPL-VW95ES projector's brightness, sharpness, and image noise. We'll discuss brightness in conjunction with 3D usage, as well. Also considered here are the physical attributes of light leakage and audible noise.
Sony VPL-VW95ES Brightness
Sony rates the VPL-VW95ES projector as a 1000 lumen projector. As it turns out, they are right. Mike's highest measurement was 1031 lumens. The next few screens will deal with pre-calibration information, including photos of how each of the modes look. Further down you'll find the post calibration information including the measured brightness for D65 and for an improved "brightest mode". This is how it plays out:
First are the lumen measurements for each of the preset and user modes. Also included was the measured color temp for white, for each mode.
Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):
Dynamic= 859 @ 10495, 954 lumens @ 8508 with Color Temp on Custom 5
Standard= 804 @ 8824
Cinema 1= 718 @ 6908
Cinema 2= 646 @ 5719
Cinema 3= 722 @ 6917
Game= 721 @ 6923
Photo= 523 @ 5663
User 1= 723 @ 6923
User 2= 715 @ 6921
Cinema 3 was the best looking image before Mike calibrated. All measurements were all taken with the zoom set to mid-point unless noted.
All the images below were taken with the same exposure so you can get a hint at the relative differences:
The last two, are post calibration. First below, is User 1, the result of Mike sacrificing a limited amount of lumens to improve the overall color of the brightest mode. And below it, User 2, which is the D65 calibrated Cinema 3.
Above, note that User 1 is actually a touch brighter than the default Dynamic mode (above it), but without the very cool (too blue) whites. It shows that you don't have to choose when you need brightness between something nicely calibrated, and something way off.
Below - D65 calibrated. You'll see the numbers below. Very tight -Believe me, any color shifts you see in the posted images, aren't the fault of the Sony.
Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode):
Zoom out: 928, (1031 using Custom 5 Color Temp)
Zoom in: 701
That translates into a roughly 25% drop in brightness going from the closest placement to the furthest placement allowed by the 1.6:1 zoom lens. Closest position is only about 8% brighter than mid-point, while furthest position is almost 20% less bright than mid-point.
Lumen Output (Low Lamp, Dynamic mode): 497
That works out to a surpisingly large drop of 42%. Most projectors drop 20 - 30% when switched into low lamp mode.
Below: sample color temperature snapshot, pre-calibration - not quite as good as last year's projector, as default is a bit too cool.
Color Temp over IRE Range (Best Mode, Pre calibration): Cinema 3
30 IRE 7453
50 IRE 7275
80 IRE 7121
100 IRE 6917
Interestingly, the various iris settings of the Sony projector do affect measured output. For example, the projector is almost 10% brighter with the iris turned off or on Auto modes (dynamic) than when in manual use:
Effect of Iris settings on lumen output (Dynamic mode):
Iris on Manual (maximum opening) = 786
Iris on Manual (50% open) = 653
Iris on Manual (minimum opening) = 392
Iris Off or on Auto 1 or 2 = 859
As you can see, in manual mode, the maximum you can close it down is 50% in terms of brightness.
That should give you a pretty good idea of the relevant settings and how they affect the projector's picture.
Sony VPL-VW95ES Projector - Post Calibration
VPL-VW95ES Best mode- User 2: 725 lumens @ 6552
based on Cinema 3
VPL-VW95ES Brightest mode- User 1:
877 lumens @ 7830
based on Dynamic
Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration) User 2:
20 IRE 6490
30 IRE 6557
40 IRE 6554
50 IRE 6550
60 IRE 6510
70 IRE 6489
80 IRE 6460
90 IRE 6422
100 IRE 6602
Average gamma= 2.22
Mike's NOTES: Quite a bit brighter than the VW90. Excellent grayscale and gamma (without using custom gamma) results. As usual, Sony provides a range of color spaces that make using a CMS unnecessary. If you look at the CIE charts, Normal color space is very close to the Rec. 709 standard. Wide 1, 2 and 3 expand the gamut to varying degrees, with Wide 3 being the largest gamut.
The Calibration page provides the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset.
Sony VPL-VW95ES Sharpness
The Sony VPL-VW95 projector looks pretty sharp. A quick panel alignment and it looked a little better. Overall, the VW95 is very sharp for an LCoS or 3LCD or even a 3 chip DLP projector. A really good single chip DLP can prove to be a touch sharper, but that's about it.
For your consideration, our usual close up images:
Top left: Sony VPL-VW95ES, Top Left Center: Runco LS-5, Top Right Center: JVC RS25, Top right: Epson Home Cinema 5010
Below: Panasonic PT-AE7000, left, Optoma HD8300 on the right
Sony VPL-VW95ES: Bottom Line Sharpness
Very good clarity overall. Both 3D and 2D modes produce an image that is likely only to be bested by some of the better single chip DLP projectors.
VW95 Light Leakage
Previous VW series Sonys had no significant light leakage. Though we did report a minimal amount coming out through the lens and hitting outside the image last year. If anything the VPL-VW95 is even cleaner. Any leakage through the lens is truly minimal, and there's no issues through the intake or exhaust vents either.
VPL-VW95ES Image Noise
Last year we noticed some motion artifacts on certain scenes when the camera pans at a specific speed. Viewing the same segment from the movie Red, shows the problem is no longer there on the VPL-VW95ES. While not image noise per se, I note that the pure backbround of the Sony has a dark red cast to it, which can be detected on some very dark scenes.
I'm being rather picky. Overall, in a great many hours of watching (dozens), nothing jumped out to alert me to an issue.
Sony VPL-VW95ES Audible Noise
Medium quiet, but low pitched, the VPL-VW95ES should be fine for all but the really noise adverse, and even fine with most of them.. Low power definitely brings the noise down to quiet levels. Even at full power, it's significantly quieter than some rather excellent lower cost projectors like the Epson Home Cinema 5010, which probably has to be in eco-mode to be as quiet as the VW95 at full power.