Projector Reviews

Epson Pro Cinema LS10500 Laser Home Theater Projector – Calibration Settings

Epson Pro Cinema LS10500 Laser Home Theater Projector Review – Calibration Settings: Calibration Presets Notes, Best Mode Calibration, Brightest Mode Calibration & 4K Calibration

Epson Pro Cinema LS10500 Calibration Notes

My overall impressions on the performance of the LS10500 are very good. I discovered a few niggling issues during calibration but nothing that really hindered its best performance. The LS10500 has 7 presets (Dynamic, Bright Cinema, Natural, Cinema, B&W Cinema, Digital Cinema & Adobe RGB) plus 2 for 3D.

Note: The terminology used in this calibration page, Brightest Mode and Best Mode, refer to two modes of this projector. “Brightest Mode” refers to the brightest (calibrated) mode the projector has, while “Best Mode” refers to the mode with the best calibrated color offered by the projector. These modes will often not be named “Brightest” or “Best” in the projector’s menu – these are merely terms we use to describe the brightest mode and the mode with the best color.

Best Mode Calibration for 1080p and REC.709 – Cinema Mode

LS10500 Cinema Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
LS10500 Cinema Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

For my Best Mode (1080p) calibration, I used Cinema Mode with the light engine set to Bright. With Color Space set to Auto the projector produced a color gamut a little bigger than BT.709. After calibration, using the RGBCMY (CMS) controls the color gamut fell into a near perfect BT.709 across all luminance levels, resulting in very pleasing, natural colors. See the Advanced Calibration page for more details/charts and CMS settings.

The one area that bothered me a little was the fact that with the Contrast set to its default value of 0 the whites would clip quite a bit. This means you would lose detail in any content that’s close to peak white. There are 2 ways to fix this. Lower contrast to about -10 with Super White off or leave Contrast at 0 and turn on Super White, which is what I did. The default grayscale (white balance) in most of the modes including Cinema is a bit blue. I had to turn the Color Temp from 2 to -2 and Skin Tone from 2 to 0. This got me the closest to D65 before doing a 2-point RGB calibration. The end results are excellent with a DeltaE (error) less than 1.

Related to over driving the white level is the overly bright gamma curve (1.97 average) even with Gamma set to -1. A brighter gamma curve does not make the peak whites any higher but the low to mid tones are brighter giving the impression of a brighter picture. Through my 2-point white balance calibration I was able to get the gamma closer to my 2.20 target coming in at a 2.15 average.

LS10500 Dynamic Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.15 Average Gamma (target 2.10)
LS10500 Dynamic Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.15 Average Gamma (target 2.10)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 8143K 6342K
20 IRE 8010K 6376K
30 IRE 8025K 6442K
40 IRE 8232K 6478K
50 IRE 8146K 6588K
60 IRE 8093K 6636K
70 IRE 8160K 6570K
80 IRE 8293K 6525K
90 IRE 8292K 6575K
100 IRE 8319K 6557K

Measurements taken at Mid Zoom with Bright Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 1.97

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 215 @ 650 Lumens

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 0 0
Brightness 0 0
Color 0 3
Tint 0 0
Color Temp 2 -2
Skin Tone 2 0
Gamma 0 -1
Super White Off Off
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Dynamic Contrast High High
Lens Iris 0 0
Sharpness 5 5
Super Resolution 4K-3 4K-1
Noise Reduction Off Off
Detail Enhancement: Strength 15 7
Detail Enhancement: Range 40 25
RGB Gain Offset
Red -4 25
Green -5 25
Blue 0 19

White Balance calibration settings for Cinema mode.

Cinema Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
LS10500 Cinema Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

Delta E is a metric for understanding how the human eye perceives color difference. The term delta comes from mathematics, meaning change in a variable or function. The suffix E references the German word Empfindung, which broadly means sensation. Simply put, look at Delta E as a measure of grayscale/color accuracy. 3 and under is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye.

Brightest Mode Calibration for 1080P and REC.709 – Dynamic Mode

For my Brightest Mode (1080p) calibration I first tried Bright Cinema Mode. Problem is after calibration it’s only a tiny bit brighter with a larger than BT.709 color gamut. The gamma is also excessively bright at an average of 1.57 and could only be brought down to 1.80 with my calibration (target 2.10).

I next tried (and used) Dynamic Mode and was able to achieve a 40% higher peak luminance than Cinema Mode (1068 vs 650). The downside was the color locking into larger P3 gamut used for 4K HDR. I was able to calibrate it down, closer to BT.709 and the gamma curve was better than Bright Cinema Mode at a calibrated average of 2.15.

LS10500 Dynamic Post-Calibration RGB Balance Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
LS10500 Dynamic Post-Calibration RGB Balance Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

The grayscale however is not as flat as I like. Blue takes a big nose dive starting at about 80 to 100 IRE. This causes the brighter whites to error towards a green tint. Even with these issues I would choose a calibrated Dynamic mode for my Brightest Mode viewing, especially when watching less accuracy conscience content like sports and news.

LS10500 Dynamic Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.15 Average Gamma (target 2.10)
LS10500 Dynamic Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.15 Average Gamma (target 2.10)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 7487K 6023K
20 IRE 7337K 6517K
30 IRE 7485K 6665K
40 IRE 7439K 6878K
50 IRE 7333K 6838K
60 IRE 7304K 6863K
70 IRE 7042K 6843K
80 IRE 6727K 6545K
90 IRE 6464K 6323K
100 IRE 6237K 6060K

Measurements taken at Mid Zoom with Bright Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.32

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 2.15 (target 2.10) @ 1078 Lumens

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 0 -7
Brightness 0 0
Color 0 0
Tint 0 0
Color Temp 0 -2
Skin Tone 4 0
Gamma 0 0
Super White Off Off
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Dynamic Contrast High High
Lens Iris 0 0
Sharpness 5 5
Super Resolution 4K-3 4K-1
Noise Reduction Off Off
Detail Enhancement: Strenght 22 7
Detail Enhancement: Range 40 25
RGB Gain Offset
Red -4 20
Green -5 28
Blue 4 11

White Balance calibration settings for Dynamic mode.

Dynamic Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
LS10500 Dynamic Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

4K with HDR – Digital Cinema Mode

Last but not lease I performed a 4K/HDR calibration. I used Digital Cinema Mode for this calibration. Like Cinema Mode I used for my Best Mode, the color gamut performance is excellent with it adhering very close to the DCI/P3 spec, which is where most current 4K/HDR displays are aiming for.

Epson’s first stab at HDR with their 6040/5040 models offered 4 HDR presets along with Auto. When the projector was set to Auto, it defaulted to number 2. Problem was number 2 was a little dark (crushed blacks). Now with the LS10500 they have added an Auto Bright mode which defaults to the preferred number 1 HDR preset.

Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 1 / Auto Bright) Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)
LS10500 Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 1 / Auto Bright) Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

Default white balance was pushing blue into the 8600K – 9000K range. DeltaE was running from 0 on the low end to 12+ from 60 to 100IRE. After white balance calibration it improved a bit but not to the same accuracy I got with my Best Mode calibration. White balance was averaging between 6400K to 6500K and EOTF (gamma) was very good when set to Auto Bright (HDR mode 1).

Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 1 / Auto Bright) Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function) aka gamma
LS10500 Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 1 / Auto Bright) Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function) aka gamma

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 8966K 6962K
20 IRE 11257K 6701K
30 IRE 9387K 6559K
40 IRE 8935K 6586K
50 IRE 8881K 6525K
60 IRE 8709K 6646K
70 IRE 8710K 6505K
80 IRE 8614K 6422K
90 IRE 8614K 6422K
100 IRE 8601K 6401K

Measurements taken at Mid Zoom Bright Lamp.

ETOF (gamma) Post-Calibration: HDR Auto Bright (HDR 1) tracked very flat across the entire lumenence range @ 804 Lumens.

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 0 0
Brightness 0 0
Color 0 0
Tint 0 0
Color Temp 2 -2
Skin Tone 2 0
Gamma 0 0
Super White Off Off
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Dynamic Contrast High High
Lens Iris 0 0
Sharpness 5 5
Super Resolution n/a n/a
Noise Reduction Off Off
Detail Enhancement: Strength n/a n/a
Detail Enhancement: Range n/a n/a
RGB Gain Offset
Red 2 0
Green -2 -1
Blue 4 0

White Balance calibration settings for Digital Cinema mode.

Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 1 / Auto Bright) Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)
LS10500 Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 1 / Auto Bright) Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

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