InFocus X9 Out of the Box Picture Quality
Really very good! the InFocus X9 projector is one of the few, that provides a very good picture without calibration. The best color accuracy, however comes with Brilliant Color turned on (it's on the Default menu). Brightness, Contrast and some other basic controls can use a little adjustment, but we do provide those settings in the Calibration section. Beyond those adjustments, the X9 does not need a formal calibration (and it doesn't have all the controls to do one).
This is a great low cost projector for the "no fuss" plug it in and enjoy it, non-techie crowd thanks in large part to the good image right out of the box. Skin tones look very good, as do most scenes projected with the X9.
As noted above, I was very pleased with the skin (flesh) tones. With Brilliant Color off, they were a little too redish, but with Brilliant Color on, as we recommend, they are pretty much dead on.
Time to take a look at some images. The first two are the only ones from standard DVD. All the rest are from either Blu-ray, or HDTV sources:
Keep in mind, that there are a number of factors which affect how skin tones look. Not the least of them, are the lighting of the scene, and the director's intent. The director's intent? Sometimes a director wants an affect. Consider - the Matrix movies have a very heavy green caste to everything (an extreme example). In Lord of the Rings, it seems each land (The Shire, Mordor, Gondor, Rivendale, etc.) has a different color balance, for example the Shire has strong greens, Rivendale almost a pastel type of feel..)
The other aspect is the lighting. You would expect someone's face to have a different look when they are in bright sunlight, compared to indoors with incandescent lighting, or a night scene, flourescent lights, cloudy day, etc. We will provide some examples below.
From Lord of the Rings - images of Gandalf, and Arwen (SD-DVD). Almost all screen images in this review can be clicked on for a much larger version.
The Arwen photo above was a scene deep in a forest with lots of green, which softens the skin tones. The X9 handles this image beautifully.
Moving to Blu-ray source material:
First, Daniel Craig as Bond, in Casino Royale, under three different lighting situations. The first image is full sunlight on his face, the second is in an airport, with flourescent lighting, and the last of the three, is filtered sunlight (shade).
Pretty impressive, especially since all we did was turn brilliant color on, and do minor adjustments to brightness and contrast, in order to get this quality of skin tones.
Nothing like a a rock concert image with all that stage lighting, to confuse the eye, and change the colors, yet this image of Justin Hayward and John Lodge illuminated by a lot of purple and blue light, from the Moody Blues, looks very believable: