Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector – Image Quality 2

Epson Home Cinema 5010 Black Levels & Shadow Detail

In 2D, this Epson Home Cinema 5010, has the best black levels we’ve seen, short of some JVC projectors that start not far below $8000! That’s pretty impressive considering it’s about 1/3 the price. (That’s like a Toyota Camry performing rivaling a BMW 7 series). The dynamic iris, which has two modes, is one of the best ones out there, in terms of not being noticeable, except rarely. Further, Epson really pushes the range of the iris, part of their trick to unmatched blacks using a dynamic iris.


The other aspect is that the Epson LCD panels C2Fine, D9 – their newest, inherently have rather impressive black level/contrast, even without using the iris.

We start with the usual starship image from The Fifth Element. (we are converting most of them to grayscale for easier comparison) going forward, so some of the others are in color, some in greyscale. All are intentially overexposed so you can see the “black levels” as dark grey backgrounds, and in the letterbox area. If two projectors have similar brightness letterboxes, then the one where the projector looks the most overexposed is the one with the best blacks…

Black Levels & Shadow Detail - Comparison

Epson Home Cinema 5010
Epson Home Cinema 5010
Panasonic PT-AE7000
Sony HW-30ES
Optoma HD8300
Epson Home Cinema 8700UB
Optoma HD33
Runco LS10d projector
Sharp XV-Z17000
BenQ W6000





This one is included to make the point, that a lot more money doesn’t mean any significant improvement in black levels. Think, instead that other things become more important.