Greetings Projector Reviews subscribers, below find a pair of videos just for you comparing the Sony VPL-HW40ES and the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB. In addition, I've tossed in a couple of extra side by side images at the bottom, as well. These projector comparison video clips sometimes can really show some good information, but other times might be too dark (on black levels for example). Primarily though, these clips just for you, are more of a chance for me to ramble a bit, sharing with you my impressions while I'm doing the actual side by side comparisons. Thus, what I'm saying may be more important than what you can see.
Video: Comparing Black Levels
In this video, we play through some scenes of The Fifth Element to give you a sense of overall picture quality. Then, we pause on our "Starship" image we often use, and we talk black level performance.
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Video: Comparing Detail Enhancement
Here, we compare detail enhancement solutions for both projectors, using an image from The Fifth Element.
The first image here, shows the Sony and the Epson doing battle on a typically bright scene from Catching Fire.
Again, Epson is on the left, and the image is smaller so that the brightness of the two are close enough for comparison.
Skin tones are very similar.
You may notice that blacks in her hair look similarly black, because on a bright scene like this, the Epson's dynamic iris would be wide open, and not be able to lower blacks (or anything else).
In the usual starship image above, unlike the similar image in the "open to the public" part of this comparison, both projector's images in this side by side are the same size. I accomplished this by using the Epson's Living Room mode, instead of calibrated best mode. The Epson in Living Room is almost as bright as the Sony (calibrated). If I owned an 5030UB, I would calibrate both "best" mode - THX, and Living Room so I have highly accurate calibrated color that's not exceptionally bright, and a not quite as accurate calibrated mode that's every bright.
The difference in black levels isn't exceptionally great here, because the starship scene itself isn't exceptionally dark. The Epson's iris can't shut fully down on this image. That's why the black level difference isn't as great on this image as on the bond night train image which is very dark.
The next image in rotation is the secretary from The Fifth Element. The important point here, is that the Epson is in Living Room mode, not calibrated, the Sony is calibrated. Now be aware, the Epson isn't using default settings, the CMS changes we did to calibrate the projector (fine tuning each primary and secondary color RGBCMY), affect all modes. When it comes to the grayscale adjustment of RGB, that I did by eyeball. I just adjusted a bit here and there until it started looking pretty darn good. A proper calibration of Living Room would be even better.
Finally, I leave you with one more comparison image, this one is from Catching Fire.
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