Epson Pro Cinema LS10500 Projector Review - Performance

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Art Feierman
PRO CINEMA LS10500 LASER PROJECTOR - Performance:  Brightness, Effect of Lens Position on Brightness, Pre-Calibration Color, Post Calibration Color

Pro Cinema LS10500 Brightness

Note:  These brightness measurements were taken with the laser brightness at Medium.  At full brightness, combined with wide angle on the zoom lens, the projector is 41% brighter!  For example, Dynamic mode at wide angle and full power measured 1811 lumens, and Digital Cinema comes in at 1005 lumens.

Lumen Output, Color Temp: 100 IRE - Medium Brightness Mid-Zoom
Mode Output
Dynamic 1283 @ 6232K
Bright Cinema 703 @ 8440K
Natural 809 @ 7281K
Cinema 712 @ 8319K
B&W Cinema 743 @ 6142K
Digital Cinema 712 @ 8929K
Adobe RGB 1050 @ 6692

Minor confusion on our end.  I should have asked Eric to give the above numbers, for full power, rather than Medium.  We often do medium if the projector is fairly loud at full power, but that's not an issue with the LS10500.  The good news is that the color accuracy should not change as one varies the laser's brightness.  By comparison there are always noticeable color shifts when going from full power to an eco mode on lamp based projectors.

For most viewing, the LS10500 is bright.  These tables, show the lumen measurements from Eric's calibration for each mode, along with the color temp of white for that mode.

Those measurements above are  with the zoom lens set  at mid-point.  That means there are a some extra lumens "under the hood", if you can mount your projector at or near its closest point to the screen what we call full wide angle.

The LS10500 is primarily a home theater  projector.  While it has about 1500 max lumens (it's claim), which is easily enough for a large screen (130" diagonal), for normal 1080 content viewing.  But for 3D you need more, and for HDR, also more.  As I mentioned on the previous page, this LS10000 is best at 100" diagonal or less for doing HDR, but you can push a little higher, but mid-tones will start getting a bit dim.

Unless you don't care about 4K with HDR, I'd stay out of the brighter than theater type rooms, or place the projector in them only with the understanding that serious 4K HDR content, even with the right "light rejecting ALR type screen, will need a darker, not day lit room.    But still, even with a great screen designed for the job, you won't be able to tackle a lot of ambient light, but modest to moderate amounts.  Now my living room is unusually light with lots of windows and doors on three walls.  At night, this projector will do fine on my SI Slate screen, even with 4K HDR content, as long as I control my indoor lighting appropriately.

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Effect of the Zoom Lens position on Brightness

Effect of Zoom on Lumen Output (Dynamic Mode)
Zoom Effect Lumen Output
Zoom out 1811
Mid-zoom 1683
Zoom in 1294

It's interesting that this Epson lens has the same  zoom range of 2.1:1 as many other Epsons (including the UBs), but the specs are otherwise different, no doubt due to the LS10500 having better "glass."

Per the specs, there is slightly less drop in brightness between wide angle, and telephoto, than we're used to on previous Epsons.    It is clearly marked as a Fujinon lens, which is what Epson's been using for years on their UB and some other projectors.  Since we primarily use mid-zoom brightness in most discussions, and there's often a 10-25+ percent drop from closest to mid-zoom, then in this case if you can use the closest placement you won't see as big a jump in lumens.  In this case, not even 10%, and about 28% drop to full telephoto, while most previous Epson projectors dropped over 35%.

For those mounting further back in their rooms, that also means that the projector hasn't lost near as much brightness, say on a rear shelf, compared to up front, as most projectors with zooms that also have a lot of zoom range.

LS10500 Color Accuracy - Pre Calibration

Color Temp over IRE Range (Pre-calibration, Cinema, Digital Cinema)
Brightness Cinema Digital Cinema
30 IRE 8025K 9387K
50 IRE 8146K 8881K
80 IRE 8293K 8614K
100 IRE 8319K 8601K

The table here shows the usual four measurements we show from pre-calibration testing.

Most surprising was that Eric found Cinema and Digital Cinema to be so cool/blue. I noted that most of the defaults were averaging over 7000K, and as you can see, some well over 8K, when ideal is 6500K.  Folks, that's why we calibrate projectors.  I will say this, the THX mode (gone on this model) from the LS10000 did have more accurate color out of the box than any of the LS10500's modes.

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Post Calibration Brightness and Color Accuracy

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post-calibration, Cinema, Dig. Cinema
Brightness Cinema Digital Cinema
20 IRE 6376K 6701K
30 IRE 6442K 6559K
40 IRE 6478K 6586K
50 IRE 6588K 6525K
60 IRE 6636K 6646K
70 IRE 6570K 6505K
80 IRE 6525K 6422K
90 IRE 6575K 6422K
100 IRE 6557K 6401K

Eric's calibration the color accuracy has (depending on the mode) improved from ok and already pretty darn good, to excellent.  Calibrated the IRE color temp is not the tightest range around 6500K, but by any measure a 320K range from 20 to 100 IRE really is excellent.   While the color temp is overall really good, there's some slight variation in terms of green output over the full range.  Green has relatively little effect on the color temp, more on the picture.  I just wish the photos looked as good as what was on the screen - a camera meets laser projector thing!

Brightness is impressive for a projector primarily geared for your dedicated home theater or cave.

The LS10500's max calibrated Brightness it is 804 lumens at mid zoom, Digital Cinema mode (which we use for 4K HDR viewing)

Folks, that's just enough lumens  for movie theater brightness on a good 150" screen, if you've got the room for it! That would be in terms of non-HDR content.

Gamma:  Average gamma =   2.15 for Cinema mode, just a little lower than the targeted 2.2.  Not relevant for 4K w/HDR

We also did a "quick Cal" of Dynamic mode - the goal being to improve color performance as much as possible, but without sacrificing a lot of brightness.  We ended up with surprisingly good results and still 1200+ lumens.  And that is definitely enough to provide good color, good picture with ambient light present for most sports, hdtv type viewing.

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