The VW285ES's place in the world
Less than two years ago, Sony brought out the VW365ES which you should consider this projector's predecessor, even if Sony also announced a $7999 VW385ES at the same time as this VW285ES.
You see, the old 365ES was also true 4K, at $7999, had motorized lens features although no lens memory, and it had no dynamic iris.
For those curious about the rest of the Sony line-up they have two 1080p projectors, starting at $1999 for their VPL-HW45ES - a nice projector with excellent color. I've already mentioned the VW385ES. Above that, the VW685ES for $14,999.
Then we get into their home theater laser projectors with the regular VW885ES (recently reviewed), and their ultra short throw VZ1000ES (reviews a few months back). Both have list prices of $24999.
It gets better too, with the flagship of the line-up being Sony's VPL-VW5000ES, which tips the scales at 5000 lumens and $59,999.
Well, the VPL-VW285ES, also has a motorized zoom lens (improved, btw), without lens memory, and also lacks a dynamic iris. By comparison the step up 385ES has Lens Memory and dynamic iris.
So, I was expecting a projector perhaps a slightly improved compared than that older, $3K more, VW365ES. What I encountered, however was a significantly more capable, and noticeably superior projector. All while being $3000 less money than what came before. Nice!
I do know that Sony says the lens (and I assume the light engine itself) are improved, but, I wasn't expecting the VW285ES lacking a dynamic iris, to perform as well as it does on dark scenes - in other words, I was surprised by how good black level performance turns out to me.
Enough on that for now, I'll go into much greater depth, of course, in the review.