Very interesting! Although according to Epson and their specs, the Home Cinema 5020 UB is the same brightness as the older HC5010, there was a nice surprise. When measuring the Dynamic mode it proved to be brighter, but by less than 5%. Still, that's nice.
More impressive, however, Mike reported that after his calibration, the HC5020 measured 10% brighter than last year.
A side note for those of you considering this Epson projector or its closest competitor, the Panasonic PT-AE8000: In the recent PT-AE8000 review I commended Panasonic for increasing brightness, and said (anticipating no increase in calibrated brightness for this Epson), that Panasonic, has finally caught up to Epson in terms of calibrated lumens. Well, it turns out that Epson has managed to stay ahead of them, by 7-8% That's not huge but, it does mean you can fill a roughly 5" larger diagonal screen with the same amount of brightness (compared to the PT-AE8000).
As always, I ask Mike to also "tweak" the brightest mode, to improve color as much as possible, at the least cost in brightness (we call his "tweaking" a "quick-cal"). We consider this important, as most often, a projector has a brightest mode that just is not pretty to watch.
Note that THX and the other similar highest quality modes really look good, if just a touch cool. They measure 800 lumens, a significant increase of more than 20% "out of the box" compared to Mike's measurements last year for the older HC5010.
Comparing "out of the box" brightness of best modes with the Panasonic, the Epson sports just over 800 lumens to the Panasonic's 650ish lumens. That makes this Epson HC5020 UB more than 20% brighter. I'll discuss more in the inevitable Panasonic vs. Epson shoot-out.