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InFocus IN83 Darkchip4 Home Theater Projector Review: Image Quality - 2

Posted on July 8, 2008 by Art Feierman

Additionally, after using my "new" Olympus dSLR (E-Volt 510), for about six months, I have finally, with this review, come up with camera settings that solve most of the minor issues, including oversaturated images. As a result of that, consider that when comparing these images to some other recent review images, that they are less saturated, but more faithfully reproducing the color and saturation seen on the projected image.

InFocus IN83 Projector: Out of the Box Picture Quality

Click to Enlarge. So close.

Pretty darn good, but still not as good as it could be. Nonetheless, most would be impressed with even the default Cinema settings. Skin Tones need a little work, as they are a bit low on red content, and a bit high on yellows and greens. The result is somewhat pale looking skin tones, with a very slight grayish yellow-green caste. Like the old Sony VW50, the IN83 has managed to avoid most manufacturers' tendencies to provide an oversaturated image as the default. I guess manufacturers do that based on the idea that the more color saturation, the more Pop, and Wow, even if it means less natural looking. InFocus has avoided that sin, with the IN83's defaults.

Click Image to Enlarge

Gamma is extremely good out of the box, so, combined with superior brightness, you end up with an image that in some ways looks more like a Plasma than most projectors. To clarify that, projectors, being less than bright devices, tend to make mid-range and darker scenes (and areas in scenes) rather dark, without the brightness one would expect. With the IN83, though, everything seems naturally lit, and not darker than real life.

Please note: Images provided cannot capture the full dynamics and abilities of projectors due to limitiations of your computer monitor, my digital SLR, and other factors - so take them with a grain (or pound) of salt. Click here for more info on the limitations.

InFocus IN83 Projector: Skin Tone Handling

I just spoke about skin tones (before calibration) in the paragraphs above. Not bad, but not exceptional either. After calibration however, is a different story.

I'll keep this simple. Skin tones on the IN83 (which I'm watching right now - National Treasure (the first one), are superb. I haven't seen better to date. Even my adjusted JVC DLA-RS1 can't match them. I imagine a first class calibrator can get the newer JVC RS2, with its extra color management controls, to rival the InFocus, but I would find it hard to believe that anything under $10,000 (US) can do better, and it may be that even far more expensive projectors will come up short.

The first images are from standard DVD - Lord of the Rings, shots of Arwen and Gandalf.

Moving to Blu-ray HD, here are images of Leeloo, and Bruce Willis:

Skin tones found in Aeon Flux, are very typical, and very good:

The movie House of the Flying Daggers, is known for spectacular colors, and the IN83 handles the challenge without effort:

When considering skin tones, remember that in addition to a projector's ability to present the data accurately, there are other aspects that need to be considered, including the type of lighting. An image of a person standing outside in bright sunlight is going to have different skin tones than one in filtered light, incandescent light or fluorescent light (and so on). Further, some directors apply a caste to an entire movie, or just certain scenes. We all remember the green caste throughout the Matrix movies, and most may have noticed, that in Lord of the Rings, each part of Middle Earth, seems to have a different caste, with The Shire being overly green, Gondor being fairly neutral, the lands of the elves, with still other castes.

Here are several images of James Bond, in Casino Royale - Blu-ray disc, of course. Each represents different lighting.

Above - direct sunlight

Above - fluorescents (airport)

Above - Bond outdoors, but shaded (filtered sunlight)

Above - Bond, in an extremely dark room

As you can see, each of the Bond images produce skin tones that reflect the lighting intended, and each is significantly different. All looked extremely good, and faithful.

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