Our last comparison uses the night train scene from Casino Royale. Look to the trees and shrubs on the right, especially just above the tracks. The first image is the Epson, followed by the Mitsubishi HC3800, BenQ W6000, then the Sony VPL-HW15, followed by the Sharp XV-Z15000, fifth is the Sanyo PLV-Z3000, and the last one is from the Panasonic PT-AE3000.
In the image below, the Epson doesn't show quite as much dark detail (as most of the other projectors shown) in the shrubs and trees on the right, behind the railroad tracks.
(Please note, the Panasonic image above is a little blurry, must have bumped the tripod. Sorry! That shouldn't affect your ability to see the shadow details. -art)
Epson Home Cinema 8100 - Overall Color & Picture Quality
Generally, the Home Cinema 8100 looks really good. It really has not a single significant weakness, at least not compared to other, similarly priced projectors. Color and skin tones really are extremely good, better than all the images in this review would suggest. Black levels are really very respectable for lower cost, non "ultra-high contrast" projectors. Shadow detail is good, though not great. The Epson image might be described as being dynamic looking - has that "pop and wow" factor I have attributed to other Epsons and some other projectors in the past. The Epson 8100 is not a purist's projector, but a good overall projector in terms of picture, that will please most regular folks, and enthusiasts.
Here's the "crew" image from Space Cowboys - first one is the Home Cinema 8100, followed by the Mitsubishi, and the BenQ W6000.
And here are a few assorted, additional images, some of which can be found on other recent reviews:
Epson Home Cinema 8100 Projector: HDTV and Sports
I love this Epson for my HDTV sports viewing. It's bright, it's reasonably sharp, and the picture pops. My college and pro football games last weekend all impressed me and my friends. I primarily watched in our calibrated Dynamic mode, which is putting out about 1300 lumens on this pre-production projector. That's a good four hundred more than my JVC projector in the same room, and, wow, watching on the Epson was far better, with the modest ambient light in the room.
Simply stated, for HDTV sports, this projector is going to be really tough to beat, especially since it's about the brightest around.
Epson Home Cinema 8100 Projector: Bottom Line on HDTV Sports
With Dynamic nicely calibrated, and the gamma a little lower than I would use for movies (2.1 on the Epson for sports), the image looked bright, and well balanced. Black levels and shadow detail are not really a factor for this type of viewing, so the 8100 essentially should do about as well as the more expensive and soon to be reviewed, Home Cinema 8500UB.
I should note, though, on some HDTV content that's dark, including a number of music videos, one could appreciate better black levels, but few will really care.
All in all, the Epson Home Cinema 8100 proves to be a really, really, good projector for the bucks when it comes to HDTV viewing!
Also, keep in mind, that those of us heavy into sports viewing (or for that matter TV), put a lot more hours on our projectors (and the lamps) than movie only folks. Epson's 4000 hour lamp (at full power), further makes this a great HDTV viewing solution, even if that's not an image quality issue.