Maximum Brightness measured was Bright Cinema, Bright TV and TV modes, zoom at wide angle. That worked out to 1383 lumens, about 6% above the the 1300 lumens claimed. In reality these modes all measured within a few lumens - well within the margin of error, which is several percent.
Reference mode, per Mike, was the best mode over all, and his basis from which he performed his calibration of the VW350ES. Reference, which post calibration, ends up as User, starts out with great color balance, but a little cool - a touch more blues than reds. His comments are on the Advanced calibration page for our subscribers.
This Sony comes up short of being what I like to call a "light canon" - my cut off for that is 1500 respectable looking lumens (not some really ugly Dynamic mode that is unwatchable but 1600 lumens). This is a bit surprising, and looks to be a marketing decision, as manufacturers tend to do. Normally, as is the case with the iris free Sony VPL-HW40ES and the iris equipped step up VPL-HW55ES, the lesser projector is the brighter of the two, for without the iris for better black level performance, it becomes a projector that's a better fit for less than ideal rooms - the proverbial family / living / bonus / media rooms. Since those rooms typically can't be completely darkened, and usually don't have dark surfaces, they can't take full advantage of the better darker blacks of the higher end projectors. Instead, manufacturers usually give those projectors more lumens, not less. The VW350ES uses a different, lower wattage lamp than the VW600ES. With Sony's HW 1080p projectors, then it's the lower cost, HW40ES that's the brighter.
Still, it is what it is. 1200+ great looking lumens is enough for 130" screens under ideal conditions and will do just fine with say 100 to 120 inch screens with minor ambient light. While the VW350ES can't take as much advantage as the VW600ES in a more perfect room, I suspect the bulk of the ones sold will still end up in those dedicated theater/caves. Owners will be settling for less features, and a few less lumens, but the overall picture quality - other than black levels, fully rivals the VW350ES's $5000 more expensive sibling!