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BenQ W1500 Projector: Picture Quality 2

Posted on December 25, 2013 by Art Feierman
BENQ W1500 PROJECTOR PICTURE QUALITY PAGE 2: Black Level Performance, Comparisons

W1500 Projector - Black Level Performance

Now, it's time to circle back to projectors:  Take a projector like the W1500 - it's black level performance is nothing to write home about.  Why?  Well for openers, there's no dynamic iris to help, but it really comes down to BenQ's intent.  After all, they offer you their W7000 for only slightly more (street price), which is designed for a home theater, and has far better black level performance!

So from the standpoint of a serious enthusiast spending $1500 to $2500 or so, know that there are projectors with dramatically better black levels, that when you have lighting under control, will make for far better dark scenes in your movies and other content.

I have yet to shoot side by side images, but will shortly drop them in this section.  The side by side image there now, is just a place holder.  Based on what projectors I have here, I'll shoot against the Epson 5030UB (too bad the more directly price competitive Epson 4030 isn't here any more.  I'll also shoot vs. the Optoma HD131Xe, a far less expensive projector but one with surprisingly good black levels (but many other issues for serious enthusiasts).

Black Level Comparison Photos - W1500 Projector vs. Competition

BenQ W1500 Projector
BenQ W1070
BenQ W7000
Epson Pro Cinema 4030
Epson Home Cinema 3020e (also has wireless hdmi)
Panasonic PT-AE8000U
Epson Home Cinema 5030UB
Acer H9500BD
Optoma HD25-LV
Panasonic PT-AR100U (2D only)
Sharp XV-Z30000

In the section above, I put the BenQ W1070 starship image second, to illustrate the issue of exposure.  The W1500 and the W1070 for all practical purposes should have the same black level performance, but the blacks look very different because of the slightly different exposure.  For these purposes, the 1/3 f-stop minimum adjustment of my camera, is truly a very coarse amount.

Look to the letterbox areas to see which are the darkest - if the starships are similarly bright.  In some cases, the pause icon in the lower left can give you a good idea as to which image is the more overexposed.    And remember, all of these images are extremely overexposed, to elevate the black levels so you can see differences.

Note that when I do side by side images in my testing , I can do things to get the brightness almost identical, making comparisons easier to "read".

Much tougher here with separate images, but I will say that I find black levels also easier to compare with the Bond night train scene, which you'll find on the next page in the Dark Shadow Detail section.

I've also included a few generally dark scenes here from the W1500, that are more normally exposed.

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