In the overexposed version of the starship, above, you can see the differences in the black levels in the letterbox area, and also in the starfield. (again, note: Sharp on the right.) I should mention that with dynamic irises, different scenes behave differently, on the starship above, the black levels of the Epson are "more better" than on some other dark scenes. In some cases the Sharp matches the Epson.
For general black level performance examples we'll start with my favorite, the Starship image found The Fifth Element. The first is our Sharp XV-Z15000. Immediately below it, is the Optoma HD8200, the last competing DLP projector we reviewed. Unfortunately, brightness varies even more (than with the side by side images) on these photos, making accurate comparisons of black levels a little difficult.
And below is the Panasonic PT-AE3000:
Next is the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB:
Finally, here's the BenQ W5000 (it's an old image and, unforutnately, much darker than the others):
Consider two additional (digital) images which are good ones for observing black levels.
The image immediately below is from The Dark Knight. I've intentionally overexposed it to make a point. This is the type of scene where the difference in black level performance makes a huge difference. Because the outside areas of the scene, and for that matter the men's jackets are pretty black, with little detail at all, projectors with just "good" black levels look very flat - I've achieved that effect here. The XV-Z15000 actually does very nicely on this image, but the difference between the XV-Z15000, and say, the more expensive JVC RS10 and especially the RS20 is stunning. Even the less expensive Epson Home Cinema 6500UB , looks significantly better on this scene. Because the bright area of the image is of moderate brightness, projectors like the XV-Z15000 or the Epson, can't even get to their blackest blacks, whereas the JVCs, which do incredible blacks without an iris, would look drastically better. Right below it is an image from Quantum of Solace (but not overexposed), which is a very different scene type, but another where black level differences are almost "night and day". (I can't believe I'm getting away with that line! -art) The rocks on the left and right would be where the differences are.