Projector Reviews Images

Optoma HD803: 1080p Home Theater Projector Review - Image Quality - 2

Posted on February 20, 2008 by Art Feierman

Optoma HD803 Black Levels and Shadow Detail

A year ago, considering the price of the HD803, I would have said that the HD803 provided extremely good black levels, but the bar has been raised since then. As it stands, the HD803's performance in this regard still has to be considered very good, and easily rivals most of the 3LCD based projectors (except the Epson 1080 UB).

From a spec basis, the HD803 is not quite as good as the HD80 or HD8000, but the difference between the 8000:1 and 10,000:1 contrast ratios should represent a very, very slight difference. Since I am using a different camera this time, the images can't provide highly reliable proof of the differences.

Black Levels Comparison

Optoma HD803
Optoma HD8000





As is typical, the exposures are not identical, with the HD803 image obviously being a little brighter.

Click to enlarge. So close.The next image is the starship from The Fifth Element. This time, I have normally exposed the image below (but that means the camera is losing shadlow detail). Click on it for a large, slightly overexposed image that gives you a better idea of what it will look like on your screen:

Click Image to Enlarge

Click to enlarge. So close. Shadow Detail is definitely an important component of projector performance. Here you will see a number of images, a couple of comparisons, and images that can be compared with the same/similar image shot from other projectors.

Click Image to Enlarge

Please keep in mind, these images are not, in their own right, able to guide you to best performance. They are here to support my commentary, not the other way around. Most of today's projectors have contrast ratios 5 - 20x that of the monitor you are using to view them. Your display, if LCDTV, is drastically inferior to what these projectors produce, so much is lost. (It's like trying to get a feel for what a big 65" screen TV is like when you see a commercial for one, and you happen to be watching it on a nice little 21 inch TV.) So, take the images with the usual kilo of salt. All that said, you can compare images, and you should find these photos helpful.

One last point, if you look to compare the images with those from the HD80/HD8000 review, expect differences. The HD80/HD8000 photos were done with my old camera, and this with my new dSLR.

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