Posted on October 19, 2017 By Nikki Zelinger
Casio XJ-L8300HN Projector Review – Picture Quality: Brightness, Contrast, Audible Noise, The Rainbow Effect
Casio claims 5,000 lumens for the XJ-L8300HN. It didn’t quite make it, but was relatively close at 4,711 lumens in its brightest mode (full wide angle on the zoom). At mid-zoom, it’s still within 100 lumens of that number (the table above shows the lumen count when measured at mid-zoom). Most projectors will measure lower than their claim, up to 25-30% in some cases. It’s less important whether or not a projector hits its specs than if it is bright enough to meet your needs. 4,711 is very bright and will be able to handle most instances of ambient light except on really large screens. Remember, though, the bigger your screen, the more lumens you need. If you’ve got a really large screen (this projector can do up to 200” diagonally) and not a lot of control over lighting conditions, then the Casio’s roughly 5000 lumens may not cut it.
All the modes were bright enough to handle a moderate amount of ambient light on my 92” screen. Vivid clocked in at 3,807 lumens, while Natural came in at 2,834. Natural still looked good when in the face of ambient light, but Natural is designed to be less dynamic than some other modes, so it washes out a little quicker. This shouldn’t be a problem for text and presentations (where Vivid will be just fine), nor should it be an issue when watching educational films. Natural would be best for more cinematic films, though this is not a typical use for this class of projector.
Measurements for the color modes in ECO were roughly 30% less than they were when taken at full power. Bright Mode in ECO was 3,287 lumens. Vivid Mode measured in at 2,717 lumens, and Natural, at 1,811. If you need the higher lumen output, I would forego the ECO mode during the day. It helps with lamp life and has a quieter fan noise level, but you’ll be replacing this projector for being outdated in roughly half the number of years it would take for that light engine to go out.
The contrast ratio of the Casio XJ-L8300HN is stated at 20,000:1. We do not measure contrast to confirm. This isn’t the highest I’ve seen on business and education projectors – in fact, most have a higher rating than this. However, this number is not something we focus on. We tend to be concerned with black levels, but on a business/education projector, we don’t really pay attention to that. Where black levels matter is in the home theater, and that’s a whole different ball game.
The black levels on this projector are so-so. I did the “hand test,” as our calibrator, Eric, calls it. That’s where you raise your hand in front of the lens to block out the light, then see how the black levels (parts of an image that are supposed to be black) compare to the shadows cast by your hand. Primitive, but it works. Blacks are not true black, but they’re still recognizable as such.
The Casio should be fine for most applications, but once again, if a primary usage is to show high quality photography, or cinematic videos with dark scenes, then there are better solutions.
From a practical standpoint, for probably 98% of applications this Casio’s contrast should serve you well.
Casio did not provide information on fan noise levels, but I’ve reviewed enough of these to be able to tell you that the XJ-L8300HN’s audible noise is acceptable. I barely noticed the fans, even when standing two feet away from the projector. My air conditioning is louder than the Casio is at full power. Eco Mode cuts down on the fan noise considerably, but even at full power, when ceiling mounted, it’s doubtful that the audible noise will be distracting, especially when you consider that a projector this bright rarely goes into smaller rooms.
It’s a real thing. Art always talks about how he’s rainbow sensitive, but even after seeing dozens of DLP projectors in action (reviewing and filming Art’s videos), I had yet to see for myself what that meant. I had tried, to be sure, but still had seen no rainbows. And I love rainbows – just not those caused by a projector.
In my own, previous reviews, I’ve stated that I am not rainbow sensitive. Perhaps I’m not – usually. But then a lot of the DLP projectors I review are for the home, where color wheels tend to be faster, because, RBE tends to be most visible on video, and will rarely be an issue with text or photos.
The Casio XJ-L8300HN made me rainbow sensitive, so it’s probably a basic 2X color wheel, the slowest (waiting on confirmation from Casio). RBE (rainbow effect) is caused by using a color wheel in the projector, which single chip DLP projectors do, but not other projectors. If rainbow sensitivity is an issue, you may want to go with a 3LCD or other non-DLP projector. Projectors using 3LCD, 3 chip DLP, or LCoS designs get their color from three separate RGB panels rather than using a rotating wheel, and as such, do not create the possibility of rainbows.
Now, our best guess is something like 5% of people are rainbow sensitive, so this shouldn’t be too big of an issue, and rarely is it anything but a minor nuisance. Even though only a small percent of people are rainbow effect sensitive, chances are some folks viewing this projector in action will see the rainbows. Good thing it is only a minor issue. Count it as only a minor negative strike against the Casio, and only worth more thought if your requirements include a lot of video, especially video with dark scenes. Rainbows do show up mostly when white objects move quickly across a dark background.
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