Light output. The Pro Cinema 4030's brightest mode is Dynamic, which on our test sample measured 1625 lumens with the lens at its widest angle setting. Dynamic's default settings give it a green tinge, but it is useful whenever you need the maximum possible light output and don't mind sacrificing color accuracy to get it. On our projector, we were able to reduce the green tint to a more reasonable level using the RGB Gain/Bias controls. We ended up with a better balanced image that measured around 1400 lumens.
Living Room mode measured 1203 lumens on our projector. Living Room mode is biased towards blue with an average color temperature around 8000K. If you have significant ambient light, the blue bias can help to correct the typically yellow bias of ambient light contamination.
The 4030's Natural and Cinema modes clock in at 655 and 650 lumens and are quite similar, with only some minor differences in gamma and color gamut separating them from each other. Both Natural and Cinema default to low power lamp mode, though the measurements above were taken with the lamp at full power.
When it came time to calibrate the 4030, we used Cinema mode as our baseline. Our calibrations led to a 12% reduction in brightness, leaving Cinema at 573 lumens with the lamp at full power.
If you need to reduce light output, switching the 4030 from Normal to ECO lamp mode reduces light output in any mode by 28% while increasing lamp life from 4,000 to 5,000 hours.
The projector's 2.1:1 zoom lens allows different amounts of light to pass depending on zoom position. The lens's wide angle position passes the maximum amount of light, which is reflected in our lumen readings above. But the maximum telephoto setting, which produces the smallest image size at a given throw distance, restricts light output by 18%. This is a much smaller reduction than other projectors with a 2.1:1 lens like the 5030UB and 6030UB, but those projectors also have higher light output overall.
Contrast. An automatic iris cannot improve dynamic range in any single frame of video, but it can improve black levels in dark scenes and highlight brightness in brighter scenes. The 4030's iris system is quiet, nearly unnoticeable, and very effective at controlling light output. When combined with the projector's sparkling highlights and well-defined shadow detail, the result is a projector that can handle the most difficult Blu-ray content without breaking a sweat. The image's impressive dynamic range gives it a three-dimensional quality that makes it a real pleasure to watch.
Color. The Pro Cinema 4030 does not have THX mode, so it instead defaults to Cinema. On our test unit, Cinema has a consistent grayscale that measures around 7200K, which is visibly bluish.
Pre-calibration grayscale tracking
The easy fix for this is to reduce the color temperature slider by a point or two; one point brings the grayscale to 6700K average while two points overshoots and lands around 6100K. A more accurate 6500K average was obtained by taking the color temperature control to -1 and then reducing blue offset by 2, reducing blue gain by 3, and increasing green gain by 1. The final result is smooth, consistent, and dead-on accurate.
Post-calibration grayscale tracking
The 4030 has a full color management system, allowing you to adjust the projector's primary and secondary colors directly. The adjustment system was a touch more fidgety than that of the 5030UB or 6030UB, and the default color gamut was less accurate, but we still obtained a great calibration after a half hour or so of tweaking until everything looked good.
Color gamut, cinema mode, calibrated
Input lag. The key setting for controlling input lag on the Pro Cinema 4030 is called Image Processing. When response time matters, switch the control from the default "Fine" to "Fast." The Fast setting is designed specifically to reduce input lag, and resulted in only 56.5 milliseconds of lag. Note that "Fast" processing has a softening effect on the picture that reduces the appearance of fine detail, and this reduction in apparent resolution is most visible when there is a lot of small text or other detail on the screen. Depending on what kind of game you're playing, that softness could be invisible, obvious, or anywhere in between.
If you use the "Fine" setting, the 4030 measures 100.9 milliseconds of input lag, equivalent to six frames of a 60fps signal. In other words, if you're gaming on the 4030, Fast processing is the way to go.