Overall color handling and dynamics of the Planar 7060

October 17, 2013

Overall color handling and dynamics of the Planar 7060

With white peaking set to 10, here is a good cross section to show how the Planar 7060 performed overall. Generally images were richly saturated, and offer nice dark blacks for a feel of good depth:

Planar 7060 Shadow Detail and Black Levels

Let's take a look at some images, and discuss black levels and shadow detail. Rather, I will focus on black levels, because I suspect that my conclusions on shadow details will not be accurate, relative to the production versions, as they will perform better.

Black levels are most impressive, as I would expect from any Darkchip3 DLP projector. Note, the two higher end Planar's claim even better, and use a dynamic iris.

On star scenes the Planar 7060 (white peaking at 10) performed admirably. Not only did it reveal lots and lots of stars (especially compared to lesser projectors), but the blacks had that "inky" black look to them, that really makes you think "pure black".

Starting first with standard DVD, here are two images from The Fifth Element, the first, the starship image found on almost all reviews done for the last year or more:

Despite the exposure being pretty much "right on" there are plenty of stars. Slightly overexposing the image brings out even more, and makes them look more spectacular, but oversaturates areas of the ship and flare on the left (the oversaturation comes from camera limitations).

This second image I have been using to demonstrate black levels, especially with projectors having dynamic irises (almost all are LCD projectors, which inherently can't match DLP's black level performance, so use irises to compensate. When a projector has a dynamic iris, I take a shot as you see it here, and again with menus open. The bright menus, effectively defeat the use of the iris, and you get to see the black level quality deteriorate. Since there is no iris, no need for the menu shot.

Good performance in terms of black levels and shadow detail is not just about counting stars, so here are a number of dark scenes, to give you a good idea of the Planar's abilities, starting with one of my favorite scenes to work with, from Aeon Flux. The near black table top, and bright lighting make this scene tough to reproduce well, yet the Planar 7060 does it just fine. Note, in particular, the shadows cast on the table on the lower center and right. I can't wait to see how a production 7060 handles this scene:

And, while we are back to Phantom, here is the cavern scene I use to reveal dark shadow details in all recent projector reviews: The first image is normally exposed, and the second one, significantly overexposed so that you can see details in the walls, ground, and the horse, that are lost by the limitations of my digital camera:

You can easily see the frescos on the wall behind the horse, and middle right, but the detail in the darkest areas on the right wall, and the left wall, lack any detail. Other projectors do better. However, this ties directly to the problem described above. I will reshoot this image when the production 7060 arrives.

In the same vein, here is the scene I use on regular DVD from Lord of the Rings. In this case, however, the details we are looking for are not as close to black as above, so you really can see the details in the shed and the grown.

Below are additional photos, frames from Sin City (standard DVD), that are inherently dark and good tests for a projectors ability to present shadow details: The first three, in a bar, show Nancy Dancing, a man drinking, and a closeup of Nancy. In this sequence the movie is basically shot in black and white (or rather sepia/white), with only occasional spot color. Note the details in the walls and objects on the right, in the first image.

Our last image is from Phantom again, but this time from the black and white section of the movie at the beginning. Shadow detail is good, but I plan to review this image with the replacement, production, 7060:

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