InFocus IN83 Projector with 1080p Darkchip4, OMG! First Look Posted on July 1, 2008 By Lisa Feierman Greetings all, I can tell you right now, InFocus has released a first class projector. I already liked the IN82, and here comes it’s Darkchip4 “version”, called the IN83. So far, I’m pretty much “blown away”. Remember, please, this is a very preliminary “first look” based on a couple of hours of untouched, “out of the box” settings, and then some minor tweaking, and more watching but without calibrating the IN83. In fact, I’m normally not that good at “tweaking” by eye, without software or gear. I decided that while the “out of the box” color accuracy was pretty good, it was a bit strong on greens and yellow, relative to the reds. The skin tones therefore came out a little pasty, and pale, sort of just slightly grayish. So, what I did, was to eyeball the slight problems and correct the color balance of R,G,B gain and offset, by eye. As I said, I’m not great at that, (especially since each projector’s controls tend to be have differently, and the gain and offset controls affect one another). Turns out, in five minutes I had near perfect color, without using calibration gear. After a few more hours of watching, the projector went to Mike for the calibration (it saves me a ton of time, and besides, he helped me learn calibration a few years back, so I know I can trust his work). Mike brought it back, impressed that I had gotten all the gain settings virtually identical to what his formal calibration did (ok, 1 pat on the back, for me), although I didn’t do quite as well with the R,G, and B offsets. Here’s the point. In the last 48 hours, I have probably watched at least 10 hours of the IN83, post calibration. I have never encountered a projector with color accuracy, and skin tones as good as this InFocus IN83. Some projectors are easier to calibrate than others, so to some extent, it might be due to my calibration skills (and that Mike is better at it than I am), but whatever the reason, this IN83 is something to behold! I mean, it would hard to imagine further improvement. Whether skin tones, or the reds and blues of an american flag – getting a really perfect red on an American flag, is something, beyond the ability, for example, of my own JVC RS1. It gets better still: The InFocus IN83 is bright – 1100 lumens in best mode, after calibration, (with the manual iris wide open)! No doubt, all that horsepower, influences my enthusiasm, although I did knock the iris down to 55% for much of the viewing (still brighter than most of the competition, Optoma HD81-LV nothwithstanding). But, I’m not prepared to comment on black levels yet. Since the projector is so bright, in best mode, the blacks are also brighter than would be on a projector with comparable black level handling, but a dimmer projector. Based on recollection, the IN83’s black levels are almost certainly better than the IN82 (a good thing, although the IN82 is pretty good). The real question is whether the IN83 can match or beat the black levels of the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB I have here, or my JVC RS1. I don’t know yet, but this evening it will be Epson vs InFocus, side by side, on the Carada Brilliant white, and I’ll be shooting images. Remember this is a manual iris projector – no dynamic iris issues, although if InFocus had the foresight to put a first class dynamic iris on this projector, it might well be, overall, the best projector on the market (under $10K), and possibly by a noticeable margin. I’m figuring that already really good black levels, if enhanced with a dynamic iris, it should at least rival, and probably beat both the Sony VW60 and the JVC RS1x, and who knows – perhaps even the JVC RS2. Hey, it may be as good as those, as is, I just can’t be sure, yet. (I am pretty certain that its black levels are not as good as the JVC RS2. But, that’s all conjecture (aren’t blogs great)? I will know, soon enough. For those interested in the overall package of the IN83, but can’t wait, just read the bulk of the IN82 review and stay tuned for the IN83 full review. Out of the box color is slightly different, and it measured just slightly less bright, but physically, its basically the same projector with just about all the same controls (maybe all, haven’t gotten that far yet). Let me say this – if the black levels pan out to match the RS1, then, this is probably my new, favorite projector under $10K. Flawless color, and tons of lumens, (and I forgot to mention, a very sharp image) If the JVC RS2, my, to date, top rated projector, can only do slightly better black levels than the IN83, then the InFocus will likely be the preferred choice for most people, because of twice the available brightness. From my perspective so far, I would almost certainly consider replacing my RS1 with the IN83, but for my sensitivity to the Rainbow Effect. While I owned DLP’s for years, and consider RBE only a minor, occasional annoyance, it would be hard to go back to a DLP for that reason, after a year of no rainbows at all. Oh, and yes, it supports Deep Color and 24fps! That’s it until the review is posted. Friday the 4th, late, hopefully (but don’t count on it). Those of you who are regular readers, know I have a tendency to be optimistic. At worst case, next Tuesday evening (a lot going on this weekend). Everyone (in the US) have a great 4th of July weekend. And, the rest of you, have a great weekend as well. -art PS, one last thing – the Olympics are only 6 weeks out. Those of you just sitting around on the fence, trying to decide what to buy, just remember, the Olympics in hi-def should be something to behold. That makes the Olympics a great excuse to finally pull the trigger, and get your projector sooner, rather than later.