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In fact, we’re so confident in our suspicions that our biggest beef with the removal of an adjustable iris from the Uno isn’t that it has heavily dented picture quality but rather that it has taken away a potentially handy brightness fine-tuning installation tool for custom installers.
One final relatively minor difference between the C3X Lumis Uno and the original Lumis can be seen in their brightness figures, with the Uno clocking a maximum output of 2,600 Lumens from its 280W lamp while the ‘full’ Lumis hits the magic 3,000 Lumens.
Next we come to things the Uno still has that the original Lumis does too. And happily, this list is still hugely impressive.
For starters, the Uno features exactly the same awesome colour calibration toolset, whereby you - or rather, your installer - can hook the projector up to a PC, boot up a LiveColour calibration package, and basically tweak the living crap out of the colour palette until it’s as near perfection as you’re likely to find outside a professional digital cinema installation. We honestly suggest you watch your installer at work when he gets to this stage, as it’s both a revelation and an education to see just what the colour management tools are capable of.
The Uno also features 10-bit video processing and SIM2’s ultra-efficient ALPHAPATH light engine, and can be fitted with one of three separate lens options. For large throw distances there’s the 2.6-3.9:1 T3, for medium throw distances there’s the 1.82-2.48:1 T2, and for short throw distances there’s the 1.37-1.66:1 T1.
It’s also a big relief to note that the Uno holds on to the really useful facility for adjusting the output of the lamp. A number of different output levels are provided, giving you at least a degree of control over the projector’s light output, despite the lack of any separate iris controls for more fine-tuning.
Since it’s the aspect of the Uno that’s causing us the most alarm based on the projector’s relatively low contrast ratio claim, let’s start by assessing how deep its black colours get, and how dynamic its images are when showing a mixture of light and dark content.
The answer in both cases is ‘very’! Dark scenes look superb, especially if you go for one of the lower lamp output options, thanks to the way totally convincing black colours underpin everything while betraying barely a trace of low-contrast greyness. The fact that this is a three-chip DLP projector also means that there’s no significant trouble from the greenish dot crawl noise over dark picture areas always present to some extent with single-chip models.
The clearly impressive native black level response of the Uno means it can reproduce the light parts of predominantly dark images with excellent punch and brightness, giving images the outstanding dynamism noted before. In fact, it’s the ability of the Uno to combine its vast 2,600 Lumens output potential with such a superb native black level response that predominantly explains why it costs £19,000.