Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010
LCD 3D 1080p Projector
November 30, 2011
Light output. The Home Cinema 5010 is rated at 2400 ANSI lumens. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to find that our test unit produced 2798 lumens in Dynamic mode with the lamp at full power. Dynamic mode prioritizes lumen output at the expense of contrast and color performance, but it is a useful preset when watching sports or television in ambient light. If you have better control over ambient light, Living Room has better color accuracy and increased dynamic range at 1846 lumens. The next rung down the brightness ladder, Natural, puts out 886 lumens. The large divide between the brightness of the Living Room and Natural presets represents the difference between a viewing area with ambient light and one without it. In a darkened room, 886 lumens is enough to power a 140" diagonal 1.0 gain screen at 15 fL. Realistically, you probably don't have a perfectly darkened room, but then again, you probably aren't using a 1.0 gain screen, either.
Cinema mode is the most accurate preset from a color standpoint, especially after changing the color temperature setting from 6500K to 7000K. It also has the highest dynamic range that the 5010 is capable of. At 827 lumens, brightness is perceptually identical to Natural mode, while dynamic range and color improve.
If you have a smaller screen, say 120" or 100" diagonal, and want to reduce light output, there are two ways to accomplish this. The first is to use Eco lamp mode, which cuts light output by 24% in all image modes. The second would be to mount the projector farther back and use the telephoto end of the zoom lens, which reduces brightness by a maximum of 37%. The drop-off is approximately linear across the lens's range; in other words, using the halfway point of the zoom would reduce output by about 19%.
Contrast. The Home Cinema 5010 is rated at 200,000:1 on/off iris-assisted contrast, just like the earlier 8700 UB. This does not mean that the two projectors are the same, however. For one thing, with the irises turned off, the 5010 has a deeper black level than the 8700 UB. For another, the 5010 appears to have higher dynamic range than the earlier model. The iris on the 5010 seems more effective and responsive than that of the 8700 UB. All in all, the 5010 appears higher in contrast in the vast majority of scenes, though the effect is sometimes subtle.
Color. Even fresh out of the box, the Home Cinema 5010 is within spitting distance of 6500K. At its defaults, our test sample measured 6000K across the board, which is noticeably warm. Simply changing the color temperature preset from 6500K to 7000K, though, alleviated most of the problem, and color temperature then read between 6450K and 6480K. Some final fine-tuning with our CalMan calibration rig brought the projector in line with the 6500K standard. As far as gamut is concerned, the 5010 needs very little adjustment. While blue and yellow showed perceptible differences that required correction on our test sample, the other colors were already close to published specs.