BenQ W1200 Brightness
With an eighteen hundred lumen claim, we expected the BenQ W1200 to be one of the brighter low cost projectors we've reviewed. By comparison, we reviewed the older W1000 more a year ago, which was exceptionally bright. In that regard, the W1200 projectors was a bit disappointing, but we still, at maximum, managed to find 1418 lumens, a little more than 20% below claim. Note, of course, that most projectors come up short of claim. Almost all manufacturers can no doubt find settings to produce their claim, the problem is that usually, those aren't very watchable settings, and of little practical use, and such settings may not even be user accessible.
Around 1400 lumens is still well brighter than average, but that's pushing contrast (to 5), so crushing whites. (Mike reports that at 5, 90 IRE material very light gray, is crushed and therefore white, without detail). On the other hand, the projector can produce about 1100 lumens with pretty good looking color, and no crushing, at brightness levels where most are starting to look ugly, if they can even get that bright.
Let's look at the W1200's numbers:
Remember: We do all measurements at the mid-point of the lens unless otherwise noted. Therefore, as you can see above, zooming out (largest image) wide-angle gives you an 11.2% increase in brightness. At full telephoto, brightness is 21% less bright than at full wide angle. Your decision on where to place, or mount the projector, has a noticeable, (though not great) affect on brightness. Figure that into your decisions.
Mike recommends we use User 2 as a brightest mode for the W1200 home theater projector. It's not as bright as User 1/Dynamic, but he reports its only 70 lumens less bright, but has much better color, and I can attest to the colors. The Dynamic mode has strong greens (very typical) not pretty, but able to cut through ambient light. There are times when you might need every lumen. Otherwise, we like to start with that "brightest" mode, and improve color a bit, but without giving up significant brightness.
Of course "best" mode for the W1200, is no slouch: User 3 starts out about the same as Cinema, and is our "best" mode. Mike is able to calibrate the User modes but not the Cinema, Dynamic, etc.
User 3 starts out at 824 lumens (Brilliant Color off), jumps to 975 if you turn it on. (Brilliant Color, as always, does increase dynamics, and degrade the picture slightly - you can see that in skin tones.)