SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X Lumis DLP Projector - SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X Lumis

John Archer

By John Archer


  • Editors choice
SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X Lumis DLP Projector


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

With so much effort focussed on brightness, you’re perhaps getting concerned that SIM2 has forgotten about that equally (if not more) important picture element, contrast. But fear not; the claimed contrast ratio for the C3X Lumis is an enormously healthy (for DLP) 35,000:1. And the lengths the projector goes to in terms of making contrast a priority are considerable.

For instance, as noted earlier there’s a 10-step manual iris adjustment that really does prove invaluable in fine-tuning the best image balance for your particular viewing room set up. Plus, impressively, there’s the option to adjust the lamp output in 10W steps between 230W and 280W, with the latter providing more than enough light to deliver a picture that’s still hugely watchable even with lots of ambient light around, while the lowest setting puts added emphasis on black levels for properly blacked out rooms.

The total array of light output adjustments at the C3X Lumis’ disposal actually allow you to adjust its brightness from the maximum 3,000 ANSI Lumens all the way down to just 1,200 - a level of flexibility which is, so far as I’m aware, unprecedented in the domestic projection marketplace.

At first glance, though, you might feel as if the C3X Lumis doesn’t look especially flexible for its money beyond the unusual, much-appreciated 'mechanical' adjustments already noted. The only other things of real note among the disappointingly drab onscreen menus are a series of rather obscurely labelled gamma presets plus a User setting with a 'sliding bar' adjustment; switchable Video and Graphic sharpness modes; a hugely flexible noise reduction system; and a colour management engine.

However, when you select the Colour Management option, the full potential of the C3X Lumis’ set-up flexibility suddenly becomes apparent. For you’re presented with a terrifyingly sophisticated array of adjustments, all tweakable with a precision unrivalled by any other projector I’ve seen to date bar, of course, SIM2’s earlier C3X 1080.

The key point is that the projector has the flexibility to hook up to a PC so that it can be fine-tuned to perfection - or as near to perfection as it’s currently possible to get in a home environment - via specialist Live Colors calibration software and a colour meter.

So sophisticated is the C3X 1080’s colour management, in fact, that it’s clearly beyond the capabilities of your average home cinema end user. But of course, it’s hard to imagine anyone spending £26k on a projector without that projector being professionally installed by a particularly eager-to-please expert. In fact, aside from the entirely laudable drive to get you perfect colours in your viewing room, the C3X Lumis’ near-obsession with colour management is clearly not going to do it any harm whatsoever when it comes to making the C3X Lumis one of the first projectors in the mind of any custom installer with a big budget to play with.

Another feature that won’t do this ambition any harm is the fact that the C3X 1080 can be bought with any of three different lens options: the short-throw T1 (1.37-1.66:1), the medium-throw T2 (1.75-2.45:1), and the long-throw T3 (2.6-3.9:1, adding £1,000 to the projector’s cost). Also handy are a large selection of built-in test patterns, vertical image shifting via allen key, and even keystone correction - though it’s unlikely that any professional installer will use this except as a matter of last resort.

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March 25, 2010, 7:31 pm

What really tweaks my nipples is that Francis Ford Coppola can afford to buy loads of SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X Lumises (Lumii?) but most likely got his for free AND being paid for his non-efforts.


March 25, 2010, 7:40 pm

ehm... please correct me if I'm wrong, but if the lamp has 2000 hours of life, and a movie is around 2 hours, you can still watch 1000 movies, and that would be 2,7 years of watching a movie - every day.

but apart from that, I like your review =D (oh, why do they make'em so expensive?? =( )

Lee Moorhouse

March 25, 2010, 7:59 pm

It's annoying isn't it, they've got boat loads of cash and they get free stuff. It's hotrageous.

Also, kudos for the line 'What really tweaks my nipples' a phrase which is disappointingly underused these days.

Awesome review John, but I must admit, my girlfriend wasn't to pleased with it. Not the review per se, I think it was the sentence 'Children will come and go, but a SIM2 projector is for life' that did it.

I'll miss her.


March 25, 2010, 8:51 pm

@Ripsnorter - They (D.L. & F.F.C.) probably think the SIM2's are at the cheap end of the market - given the access they must have to studio high end gear!

Never-the-less your point is well made. Though I am confident a celebrity endorsement would not waver me one iota if I were spending 'car money' on a pj....but then unlike many I am not celebrity obsessed.

@Penguin - my experience is that it is the act of firing up the bulb: striking an arc and hence shortening the electrodes that affects on 'bulb' life. This life is an estimate based on a certain switching rate. I am on 4000 hrs + for a manufacturer quoted 2000 for my brand of pj. If you cycle the pj more often then the life will tend to be far shorter

John Archer

March 25, 2010, 9:29 pm

@Penguin - unbelievable. I get to the last line of a six-page review I've slaved over for two full days, and in the euphoric rush to the finish line I type the wrong bloody numbers in. Even though I've put the correct figures for this sort of calculation in numerous reviews before. Sigh.

You'd never guess I had a Maths A Level to my name, would you? Mind you, that was around 20 years ago... Or should that be 200 years ago?!

Anyway, thanks for picking the typo up, as it's actually quite an important one. The review has been corrected to hide my humiliation from subsequent readers. Unless they read the comments as well, of course...


March 25, 2010, 11:44 pm

John obviously you don't have an A'Level in typing :-) - Do you?

Anyhow, now you must tell ALL what Maths - Pure, Applied or P & A? Importantly what grade?

F F Copola? We will be the judge of it! I think given the price it should have been 5/10.

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