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Bill,

Thanks a million for your response, it's really appreciated. I always enjoy Projector Central's reviews, which are very informative, e.g. mentioning that the Epson was put in eco mode while the Panasonic stayed in high lamp mode to properly compare the two.

This bit of information made me realize just how much of a lumens advantage the Epson has, and how that advantage provides an extra 1000 hours of bulb life while still maintaining the same pop to its picture as the Panasonic in high lamp mode.

As far as the 5010's black level and contrast performance vs the AE7000's is concerned, I concluded "that the Epson has better midrange performance than the Panny" when you said the AE7000 had better blacks when the screen went totally black but lost that advantage when there was any light introduced to the scene. I took that as the Epson having better dynamic range.

After reading your review again, it appears your evaluation demonstrates that the Panasonic has the better auto-iris, where it can close down better than the Epson to produce better blacks, but also open enough to also have better dynamic range than the Epson 5010.

Past reviews made me realize that when a projector had blacker blacks and better contrast when there were moderate to high light content in scenes than in darker scenes, that projector had excellent dynamic range (i.e. midrange)or as I like to call it the best powerband for watching movies. That's what I want in a projector, because most content in movies are not dark scenes. A projector that does dark scenes really well with excellent black performance, but still demonstrate great dynamic range is hard to beat.

Also, I understand that "the performance of previous models in no way affects the performance of current models...). I mentioned the Epson 8700 vs the Panny AE4000 because the Epson had blacker blacks in darker scenes but the Panny had blacker blacks when light was introduced to a scene. I used this past review to simply demonstrate the contradiction in your review of the newer Epson and Panasonic when it came to dynamic range, but as I said, now I believe your review simply highlights the advantage the Panasonic has when it comes to its auto iris without specifically stating it.

I guess the Panny must have the better auto iris when you consider both projectors use the same generation D9 LCD panels. Otherwise, it would be hard for me to believe Panasonic can get better black level and contrast performance than the Epson, especially when you consider Epson created the D9 LCD panels.

Finally, a reviewer from another site posted pictures of the Epson and the Panasonic and in those pictures it was clear to me which projector had the best blacks and contrast....the Epson. I asked my wife which pictures looked the best (between the two projectors) from the posted pictures and she picked the Epson every time. Mind you that my wife had no clue why I was asking the questions about picture quality...i.e. contrast performance etc. Reading your review just confused me on how the Panasonic could have better contrast and black level performance after seeing the difference in posted pictures for myself.

I look forward to future PC reviews, especially that of the new Mits HC7800.