Projector Reviews

Shadow Detail Performance

The SP-A600 does well in terms of shadow detail. It is in the same class as most of the better sub-$3000 projectors, and does reveal a touch more dark shadow detail, than say the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, which, while exceptional (for its price) in terms of black levels), comes up a little short on dark shadow detail. While dark shadow detail is pretty good, and slightly better than the Epson, it still isn’t quite as good as some oe of the competition.


In the night train scene (heavily overexposed) from Casino Royale, you can see that that the Samsung (left) is revealing a bit more shadow detail (than the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB) in the trees and bushes above the railroad tracks on the right side. That’s a good thing! On the other hand, you can also see that while the Epson image is at least as bright overall, it is producing much blacker blacks than the Samsung projector. The end result is a far more dramatic and better looking image. While one hates to lose any dark detail, let’s face it, generally the darkest detail is not what your eyes are focused on in a scene. I’d much rather have much better black levels than slightly better shadow detail. (And that, folks, is why the ultra-high contrast projectors are more expensive!

Below our usual sequence of images of Clint Eastwood in a very dark room/scene. Look to the blinds and, in general, the upper right, for shadow detail differences between these many projectors. The first image, of course, is the Samsung SP-A600 projector. It is followed, in order by: Epson Home Cinema 6100, Sanyo PLV-Z700, Sharp XV-Z15000, Optoma HD8200, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, Sony VPL-HW10, BenQ W5000, and Panasonic PT-AE3000

Samsung SP-A600
Epson Home Cinema 6100
Sanyo PLV-Z700
Sharp XV-Z15000
Optoma HD8200
Sanyo PLV-Z3000
Sony VPL-HW10
BenQ W5000
Panasonic PT-AE3000