Gamma is another interesting area that separates projectors. Not only do you need colors to be correctly balanced, but you need colors to be in the correct proportion relative to how bright they are. Imagine breaking down the brightness of a color (or gray) into 10 sections from darkest to brightest. Ideally the difference between each should be the same. But if one projector's first step up from black is less than another's, then near black areas will be almost indistinguishable from the black, and you lose the detail. Projectors that pack the lower ranges too close together, and do the same for the whites and near whites, tend to look contrasty and lose details.
Now we get into InFocus's choice of DLP chips, and something called Brilliant Color which are "preset" balances of attributes that Texas Instruments provides at least with their new Darkchip2 that is 1280x768 resolution, that I mentioned in the overview. With Brilliant Color, a user can quickly change the setting from 1 - 10 each more intense (for lack of a more precise term) than the one before. I really liked this feature in the Optoma projector. Mind you, nothing Brilliant Color offers, can't be accomplished by adjusting contrast, brightness, saturation and other settings, and the InFocus IN76 has all the controls, its just that Brilliant Color makes things so easy! (No it will not cure something like the Optoma's tendency to produce a slightly greenish cast image.)
Just to clarify, the InFocus has its own set of presets - more in the General Performance section when we look at menus, but they call theirs CRT, Film, Video, BrightRoom, etc. It's simply that machines with Brilliant color also have those, plus these extra adjustments you can dial in.
Quicktip: A purist would want a perfectly calibrated machine, and no matter with what presets they start with, the end result would be one final group of settings, producing the "perfect" image. Having dozens of presets would mean nothing. For most people though, its nice to be able do decide that this preset, or that one, provides richer colors that they like better, and I like that.
So, while Brilliant Color is a nice convenience which I really like, ultimately, in my opinion it doesn't improve a projectors best performance, it just makes personal preferences easier to fine tune.
Here's another side by side (Starship explosion from Starship Troopers), against the Optoma, with the InFocus on the left, You may also click on the image for a much larger version:
Here are a number of additional images. For as well as my digital camera is able to capture, and your computer, to reproduce them, you should still be able to tell that the images from the IN76 look good, and right!
Overall, the IN76 provides a well balanced image between dark and light areas, and in the image above, you get that feel of a bright sunny day, something that many projectors tend to mute giving you more the feel that the image was filmed on more of a hazy day.
In summary, image quality of the IN76 projector is most impressive!