Projector Reviews

Epson Powerlite Pro Cinema G6550WU Projector – Performance

POWERLITE PRO / CINEMA G6550WU PERFORMANCE:  MEASURED BRIGHTNESS, ECO MODE, EFFECT OF ZOOM LENS

For our G6550WU brightness measurements on this page:
Auto Iris is Off for all measurements. Brightness and Contrast adjusted to correct settings (minor changes)
Zoom at mid range and Lamp mode on Normal (full power) unless noted otherwise.

The only differences between these two versions of the same projector relate to the Color Modes. Most of the modes are identical, but the Pro Cinema has a Sports mode, while the Powerlite Pro has a  Photo mode.  Also the Powerlite Pro adds a DICOM mode for working with medical images for training – such as MRIs, CAT-scans, and X-rays.

G6550WU Brightness Measurements at Mid-Zoom, Full Lamp

G6550WU Measured Lumens – full power – mid-zoom
Color Mode Lumens
Dynamic  4227
Presentation  3615
Theatre, Multi-Projection  3371
Photo  2879
sRGB  3000
DICOM  2991

Again, these measurements above were taken with the zoom lens at mid-point.  The chart below shows you how much brighter the projector is at full wide angle (largest image from a given distance) and how much less bright with full tele-photo setting on the lens – the projector placed as far back as possible and not overshoot the screen.  Each of Epson’s other interchangeable lenses have their own characteristics relative to brightness.  Most will pass less light through, thus measure less bright.  We do not have other lenses to compare, however.  This is typical though when multiple lenses are offered.  This standard zoom lens has a 1.8:1 zoom ratio.

Also note that we measured brightness (and color temp) between Theatre and Multi-projection and found them to be essentially identical, measuring virtually identically with differences far below the margin of error.

Effect of Zoom Lens Position on Brightness

Zoom Lens Positioning vs. Brightness (based on Dynamic mode)
Position Lumens % Drop In Brightness
Wide-angle 4723 0%
Middle 4227 10.5%
Telephoto 3032 35.8%

The provided lens remains very bright from full wide angle past mid-point on the zoom, dropping barely over 10%.  Moving the projector further back than that, though, brightness roles off more quickly so that just a fraction over 1/3 of full brightness is lost going from full wide angle to full telephoto on this lens.

A drop of only 10% is better than most for a projector/lens sporting a greater range than most 1.8:1 zoom ratio.

All considered, the total drop of only about 36% is pretty reasonable, likely a bit better than most, although not exceptional.

Where you mount this Epson projector will make a real difference.
Trade-offs:When at the short end of the range (wide-angle) there’s going to be a bit more optical distortions including barreling).  Further if you are using a screen with positive gain, the audience will see a little more roll off in brightness in the corners and sides, than the center, because of the steeper angles between lens and those edges.

Typically, most installations will work out best if they stay between wide angle and mid-point, for the extra up to about 50% more brightness, than full telephoto.

G6550WU Eco Mode

Epson’s Eco mode, of course, draws less power, puts up a less bright image, saves the environment, and reduces fan and overall projector noise.  One could say it not only saves energy, but also reduces noise pollution (by 8 decibels).

The same roughly 37% measured power drop would be consistent, regardless of color mode.

That is, expect the same 35-40% drop in Theatre, in Presentation, etc.  BTW, figure most of our readings are within +/- 5% when we take our measurements.  We do not measure drop off from center to corners, but most projectors lose 10-15%.

 

Eco Mode affect on Brightness (based on Dynamic mode)
Power Mode Lumens Percentage Drop In Brightness
Full 4723 0%
Eco 2962 37.3%

 

When all is considered, the G6550 – whether the Powerlite Pro version or the Pro Cinema version (again, note the only real difference is the labeling of the modes), is one powerful projector, suitable for larger venues in a business/education environment.  If you have installed one in your home as I have in my living room, it’s a projector capable of handling some ridiculous amounts of ambient light relative to typical home entertainment viewing.

In addition to the images shown throughout this review, be sure to check out the video we have produced.  It covers the installation of the projector (and the Screen Innovations Slate motorized screen), but also shows you how well the combination performs under a wide variety of lighting conditions!  True I was only able to squeeze in an 86″ diagonal screen, but even moving to 100″ diagonal wouldn’t have any serious affect on brightness.  That’s less than the difference between Eco and Full power, so I would have a slightly brighter image using this Epson on a 100″ screen at full power, compared to Eco mode on my 86 inch.

For typical use in my bright living room, I’ve been running the projector in Theatre mode, and with the lamp in Eco.  Only during the most challenging hour or so of the day in terms of viewing (sunlight pouring in), do I have to go to full power, or even contemplate a brighter mode.

G6550_install_football_distance
Epson G6550U easily handles our very bright media room on a sunny day.

Alternately, this is a projector that in a controlled, but nothing near dark room, in a commercial environment, or possibly a large university classroom, this projector can tackle some pretty large screens such as a nice 10 foot wide screen that would be common in that large classroom.