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Sony VPL-VW90ES Projector - Image Quality

Posted on October 21, 2013 by Art Feierman

VPL-VW90ES "Out of the Box" Picture Quality

Once again, and somewhat surprisingly, the Sony's picture is a little disappointing, right out of the box. Many other projectors start with slightly more faithful color, even a number that are a small fraction the price. Basically, even the warmest out-of-the-box color temp, starts too warm. Don't sweat it though, once calibrated...

Check out our recommended settings for items like Brightness, Color, etc. on the Calibration page of this review.


VPL-VW90ES Projector - Flesh Tones

I'd truly be raving about the skin tones of the VPL-VW90ES projector (post calibration), but for having just spent many dozens of hours bathing in the brilliance of the Runco LS-10d home cinema projector (that's still here)! That projector combines almost triple the brightness with truly stunning skin tones.

This Sony VW90ES, almost pales by comparison, but it really is excellent. What has been particularly interesting is how the Sony handles skin tones in darker scenes. The colors end up rich and saturated. They look natural with a touch of intense. The Sony reminds me of may DLP's in that regard. Not sure why, but most impressive.

This is a $10,000 projector so you figure you should get some great looking fleshtones, when viewing. The VPL-VW90ES delivers on that. I like the skin tones right now, better than my JVC RS20 (though in fairness, the lamp is old and it could use a tweaking). This year Epson's THX mode proved excellent out of the box. First time I've described that projector as being very natural, and fairly film like. I mention that, so that I can say, yep, but this Sony is still better. This first image of Gandalf, gives you a good idea of the Sony's abilities, although the reproduction could be a tad more accurate.

Above and below are images from the Blu-ray release of Lord of the Rings, and skin tones of both Gandalf and Arwen appear very natural. The blue caste you see in the walls above, accurately reflect what I saw on the screen (except, the image above is more staturated looking).

Below, Arwen looks rather pale. This is pretty correct. The scene is in a forest, and it lends a slight green caste to the image, which gives it that pale look. You might even notice, that it's a bit more pale around her forehead, than lower on her face - as it was on the screen.


Below are our usual images of Daniel Craig, as Bond, in Casino Royale. These were taken under different lighting conditions (on the set, not my theater). As I always point out, skin tones should look different under different lighting conditions. You can expect significantly different looking skin tones, when switching from bright sunlight, to nighttime, fluorescent lighting, incandescent lighting, or even lighting in the shade, or a cloudy day. Consider these three images, the first, in direct sunlight, the second is a scene with fluorescent lighting, and the third, a sunny day, but Bond is sitting in the shade - indirect lighting.

Immediately below are some additional images we typically use in reviews, that should give you a good feel for overall skin tone handling:


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