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Epson Pro Cinema 6900 WU Projector - Performance 1

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Art Feierman
POWERLITE PRO G6900WU PERFORMANCE PAGE 1:  MEASURED BRIGHTNESS, ECO MODE, EFFECT OF ZOOM LENS For the measurements on this page: Auto Iris is Off for all measurements.All other settings at default (untouched) Zoom at mid range and Lamp mode on Normal (full power) unless noted otherwise.
G6900WU Measured with standard lens at mid-zoom, lamp at full power
Color Mode Lumens Color Temp
Dynamic  4744 6139
Presentation  3615 7749
Theatre  3808 6686
Sports  4207 6455
sRGB  3162 6711
Multi-Projection  3795 6685

A quick reminder - we do all measurements with the standard lens set at the mid-point of it's zoom range.  The exception is when we measure the differences between wide angle, mid-point, and telephoto, which is shown below.  The other lenses all have their own characteristics, and as is typical, most will pass less light through, thus measure less bright.  We do not have other lenses to compare in terms of brightness, however.

Also note that the measured brightness and color temp differences between Theatre and Multi-projection are insignificant.  Within the range of measurement error.  Please figure that they have the  same for color and brightness characteristics.

Zoom Lens Positioning vs. Brightness (based on Dynamic mode)
Position Lumens Percentage Drop In Brightness
Wide-angle 5288 0%
Middle 4744 10.3%
Telephoto 3402 35.7%

As you can see in the table, the difference between wide angle - placing the projector as close to a given sized screen as the lens will allow, and the mid-point on the zoom only causes a modest 10% and change drop in brightness.

That's actually very good.  That is, the drop of 10% is modest for a projector/lens with a nice long 1.8:1 zoom ratio.

As expected, (as it seems to be typical), the drop from mid-point on the zoom to full telephoto (placing the projector at the back of its range) is significantly greater.

Going from closest positioning (wide-angle/zoom in) to furthest placement (telephoto/zoom out) yields a reduction of 36% in brightness.  That's pretty good for a 1.8:1 zoom lens.

If you want maximum brightness, mount or place the projector near the closest possible positioning.    It is true, though, that at the short end of the range (wide-angle) there's going to be a bit more optical distortion (such as barreling).  Also, if you are working with screens that have significant gain, and a narrow viewing cone, the audience will see  more roll off in brightness in the corners and sides, compared to the impage center, due to the steeper angles between lens and those edges.  So, closer placement does narrow the ideal viewing cone.

Fortunately, if you need to mount around the mid-point, the loss in brightness is minor.  At the full telephoto end of the range, brightness is down (about the same amount as switching to Eco mode), which is significant, but not drastic.  Of course, this Epson has a lot of horsepower, so that it shouldn't be much of an issue.

A few extra thoughts:  First, we wait a good 20 minutes before measuring (brightness or color) so that the projectors are stable.  (An interesting tidbit is that when we first started measuring Casio led/laser projectors, they got dimmer, not brighter, as they warmed up!)

I learned at Infocomm Shootouts going back almost two decades ago, that you can equip two teams with the same exact gear, send them out to measure a series of projectors, and they will typically be off, often with one team typically being 5% below the other, but on some projectors, it may be flipped the team that measured low typically might be 5 or even 10% above the other team, on a couple of projectors.

And finally, I remind you that we do not measure brightness in an attempt to figure out the maximum brightness a projector is capable of.  We really don't care!   We care about the brightest a projector can do, while still having a reasonable picture!   For that reason, our numbers are often lower than in other reviews.

To better understand the trade-offs:  With some projectors, boosting contrast might add 10% more lumens.  Doing that, however might also result in badly crushing all the highlight detail.  So, for that reason, we never go hunting for the maximum brightness a projector can do. In fact our "Quick-Cal" of a brightest mode typically results in our publishing a brightness that' 10% or so below what the projector measures right out of the box.  The goal of that "quick-cal" is not to fully calibrate the projector, but to improve the color accuracy as much as possible without sacrificing more tthan a modest amount of lumens. Thus a projector like this one, might measure 5200 lumens, but after some minor adjusting by Mike (our calibrator), might result in a picture that looks better but still manages to put out 4700 lumens, only a very modest drop in brightness.

G6900 Projector - Full Lamp Power vs. Eco-mode

Dropping the Pro Cinema 6900 WU out of Full Power on the Lamp, into Eco-mode - (aka low power), will reduce power consumption, brightness, and fan noise.  It will also cause a slight shift in color balance (as it does on all lamp based projectors).

Mike measured a drop in brightness of about 37% going to Eco-mode.  He measured that in one mode, but all modes should be consistent.  BTW figure most of our measurements have a margin of error of about 5%.

Eco Mode affect on Brightness (based on Dynamic mode)
Power Mode Lumens Percentage Drop In Brightness
Full 4744 0%
Eco 2998 36.8%


As you can see, the G6900,  when running in eco mode, has fan noise levels that are about the same as many of the "noisier" projectors designed for a dedicated home theaters.  That list would include Epson's own Pro Cinema 6030UB and Home Cinema 5030UB projectors running at full lamp power.

If you need every last lumen, fine, run at full power, but many folks will find this G series Epson projector to be more than bright enough to save on the noise, and the electric bill, while still having a very bright image.


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