Another promised update for you!
I received another BenQ W6000 which I picked up at BenQ a few days ago. Similar comments about the BenQ W6000 projector have already been placed in the full review, noted in italics or italics/bold.
I just finished staring at it's dynamic iris behavior for the last hour or so, side by side with the original pre-production W6000 I used for the review. I, (and I'm sure others) pointed out that while, overall, the W6000's dynamic iris wasn't bad, there were a few circumstances where it was too noticeable. The solution was for BenQ to take a look, and improve the iris's performance.
Well, they did. And they really did improve the W6000's dynamic iris. The iris issue that was significant was when dark scenes change brightness very slowly. As I stated in the orginal review, it's like the iris didn't want to make an adjustment until there is a significant change but slow changes often had it waiting, and waiting, and by the time it decides to react, it has to snap open or closed a good deal. And often it would seem to overshoot, and then maybe a second later (under the same slow changes to the dark image), come back part way.
Not so, the new firmware. The double snap I was seeing often in slow changing darker scenes, was absent from the same Red October underwater scenes with the new W6000. You can definitely spot the iris opening and closing, if you are paying attention, as the scene brightness changes. That, however is inherently true of all dynamic irises.
Iris - Bottom line, BenQ has much improved the W6000's dynamic iris. I'm not sure it's any better, or worse, than dynamic irises on the Epson's, Panasonic, and Sony HW15, but it's not in the same overall class. (And, they all will behave slightly differently). No longer is there that occasional, extremely visible snap, though, as I had to deal with on the pre-production unit.
To the engineers at BenQ - to quote Hancock: "Good Job! Good Job!"
I no longer have any doubt that of the under $3K DLP projectors I've seen so far, the W6000 now has to be considered the best. Some of the others include the Samsung SP-A600, and the Optoma HD8200, and the Sharp XV-Z15000. The BenQ also got a minor price drop to $2499 from $2799. That, of course, always helps in terms of price/performance.
The BenQ W6000's recent price drop, however, was probably a direct reaction to the launch of the Panasonic at $1999. That would be a good move on BenQ's part, and good for the consumer, although, of the ultra-high contrast projectors they are very different, with the BenQ being exceptionally bright in "best mode" and the Panasonic being slightly below average. As a result, the BenQ has about twice the "best mode" lumens even with Brilliant Color off, and about 2.5x with Brilliant color on.
Keep the BenQ on your short list if the price is right, you like the rich, saturated look and feel of a good DLP projector, and will appreciate and know what to do with all those lumens!
OK, back to work for me. I've also got a production Mitsubishi HC3800 here, and will be posting a blog (and review update). That update will discuss the final color tables. Our original review unit was an engineering sample, and while it calibrated very well, it's not uncommon to see some changes by the time of full production. I'll have our new recommended calibration settings added to the review, for those owning or considering the HC3800