Projector Reviews

Shadow Detail Performance

When it comes to dark shadow detail, the Mitsubishi HC 7800 does an impressive job.

In this case, it’s one of the better projectors around the price range.  It certainly holds its own with the Epson, which we now consider to be pretty good, beating out the Panasonic just slightly.  Overall, I am more concerned with black level performance than dark shadow detail; however, with that said, having great performance in both categories is where you really want to be.  If however, you can only have one, be aware that the “lighter” your blacks are, the easier it is to make out the darkest shadow detail.  As a result, it’s not surprising that the HC7800D, which has only average blacks, would have particularly good dark shadow detail.  As usual, we have lots of images for your consideration, including the standard night train scene from Casino Royale and the starship image above (that was used for black levels), which works very nicely for looking at dark shadow detail as well.

Our primary comparison image is the night train scene from Casino Royale. Look to the trees and shrubs on the right, especially just above the tracks. Don’t worry about the great deal of color shift. This seems to be the result of the very long time exposures I use on this shot.

The HC7800D comes across a little better than average in terms of revealing dark shadow detail. We make this determination based on viewing, after contrast and brightness has been adjusted as part of our calibration.

hc7800d bond train
hd8300 bond train
hd33 bond train
hc5010 bond train
hd250 bond train
hc4000 bond train
W6000 bond train
VPL-VWPro1 bond train2
XV-Z17000 bond

The JVC HD250 below is a bit more overexposed than most of the others. Consider its dark shadow detail to be about average, comparable to the Mitsubishi HC7800D. In terms of blacks, on really dark scenes, the two seem about comparable. On mixed brightness scenes, the JVC (as expected), which doesn’t use a dynamic iris, will show blacker blacks. Of course you appreciate great blacks most on those overall very dark scenes without any bright areas. (That folks is why we use this night train scene, as one of our most critical test images.)