Overall, brightness of the HW45ES is measuring a few percent below the older HW40ES. Since they are supposed to be similarly bright, we attribute that more to variations in gear, as explained below.
No matter, this is your basic light canon - an expression I use for projectors capable of 1500 lumens with at least respectable color. Remember, our measurements are with the zoom at mid-point, so there are extra lumens when the lens is set to full wide angle (closest placement). The HW45ES pretty much just makes the cut, but that translates into:
- Plenty of brightness for larger screens (up to 150" diagonal) for standard 1080i, 1080p viewing
- Good brightness for 3D - 100" diagonal provides acceptable brightness, while 120" diagonal 3D with a typical screen is likely going to be on the dim side, but watchable by most.
Eric measured each of the modes, measuring lumens, and the color temperature at 100 IRE (white) as seen in the chart above. As mentioned, Eric is our new calibrator, replacing Mike who calibrated the home theater projectors we reviewed for almost a decade. I'm mentioning this, as that means the gear has changed. Seems every time that happens, we find our measurements changing as well. Last time Mike had replaced all his gear with newer gear, we found that the new stuff was measuring over 10% higher than the old gear (which in turn was bringing up results typically about 6% below other reviewers.
Now our first two passes with Eric's signal generator, etc., are measuring more than 13% below Mike's, so here's how we are handling: The numbers in this review started out with Eric's measurements, but have been increased by almost 11%. That 11% reflects the difference between his gear and my own light meter. My meter in turn is about 3% below what Mike's was. By adjusting to my meter (Ron uses the same meter), we're close enough to be pretty consistent. Eric is getting a new meter like mine, so we're "all on the same page." But that's not sorted out yet. These reported numbers are close enough - for relative comparisons with other projectors reviewed in the last 2-3 years. As you can see, most of the modes are similar in brightness, well, within about three hundred lumens - about 20%. We measure, as noted, with the zoom lens set to mid-point. Interestingly the Sony’s optics produce almost as many lumens at mid-point as in full wide angle. Most projectors with similar lenses get an extra 10 to 15% more brightness, an advantage if its convenient to mount your projector relatively close.
Here (below) is a sampling of the color temperature range across different brightness levels, pre calibration, for Reference mode, which we noted is essentially the same as Cinema Film 1 and User. It exhibits a slight shift from a touch of extra warmth in the darker ranges to a just about on the money in the brighter ranges.