Projector Reviews

Runco LS-5 Projector – Image Quality

LS-5 Out of the Box Picture Quality

Runco LS-5 images below, are from either Blu-ray, or HDTV These images are not overly accurate representations of the image the Runco LS-5 projects on the screen. There are slight color shifts, saturation differences, etc. Still, in this case, I’m very pleased with how the images came out. We made no effort to affect the LS-5 projector image in terms of color, although we did dial down contrast slightly, to better match what we saw on the screen, but that is all.

These images are provided to support the commentary. In reality, the projectors always look better than the images in our reviews, even the LS-5 projector, whose images came out better than most.

For all the measurements and settings, visit the calibration page.

The LS-5 was not quite as perfect out of the box as the more expensive Runcos. Actually Cinema was a little warm – a touch too much red. Native lamp was best, and very close. In Native lamp, the projector looked about as good as most other projectors – after we calibrate them. That is to say, the Native Lamp mode, starts out a lot better than any mode, in most projectors.

If a calibrator never touched this projector, most folks would still be extremely happy with the color, but… This is a Runco, and it’s almost certainly going to be delivered, setup, and calibrated before the dealer lets you sit down and enjoy.

The image is an all digital image from the DVE test disc.

Click Image to Enlarge

Skin Tones

Let’s look at Leeloo’s below (The Fifth Element) Your display will be different, no doubt. The images on this page are all post-calibration.

Sure skin tones look great, and that’s not all that hard on brighter scenes, but maintaining that natural skin look in darker scenes is often a real challenge.

Of all the movies I watched using this LS-5 after it was calibrated, the only ones where I wasn’t happy with the color, were those movies that never look right on anything. The movie Red is one of those, and I’ve scattered several shots thoughout this review. Most things in Red, tend to look almost right, but not quite. (OK, somehow Morgan Freeman tends to always look about right.) Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, and John Malkovich, though, always seem to be a touch off on skin tones.

That’s not the case with Lord of the Rings. Gandalf above, at night, with the threatening red glow of Mordor on his face, looks great, as does Arwen, below, in a shaded green forest (that caste is detectable in her image (slightly more towards green at the top of her head).

Next are three images of Daniel Craig, as Bond, in Casino Royale, under different lighting conditions, shot with the LS5 projector, using my recently aquired Canon 60D, dSLR. It does a better job than the old Olympus, making comparisons with images shot in older reviews more difficult.

Again, as noted, the new Canon camera seems to be adding a touch of reddish purple, to all the images. Just a touch. Still learning the new camera.

Skin Tones Change with Lighting

It’s not the Runco LS-5, or any other display. Light sources in the real world, and Hollywood vary dramatically, from natural to stage lighting, and everything from night to a fire in the hearth, to bright sunlight, will mean a different color temp and with it, skin tones will be affected dramatically. Correct skin tone appearance varies, depending on the lighting. Consider these four images, the first in direct sunlight, the second is an airport scene with fluorescent lighting, the third, a sunny day, but Bond is sitting in the shade – indirect lighting, and finally, a night scene!

Some additional excellent examples of skin tones.

Three from Quantum of Solace.

Not bad!