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:


Unquestionably the biggest single appeal of the C3X Lumis to both custom installers and end users, though, is its truly stunning picture quality. Images look so good in so many ways, in fact, that I was initially bewildered as to where to start trying to dissect them.

A little reflection, however, made it pretty clear that the main thing that sets the C3X Lumis apart from the usual much cheaper projector fare we come across is the remarkable way it combines extreme brightness with superb black level response.

The extreme brightness finds pictures exploding off the screen with almost terrifying vibrancy, especially if you use the maximum 280W lamp output option. This brightness means the C3X Lumis is capable of driving a really large screen; being watchable in ambient light; and giving you an excuse for wearing sunglasses indoors! But far more important for me than the way the extreme lamp power makes bright scenes 'pop' is the way it joins forces with the projector’s remarkably inky black level response to produce an unprecedented (in my experience) level of insight, subtle detailing and image depth during dark scenes.

It might sound odd to be praising a projector’s brightness while talking about dark scenes. Especially against a backdrop where I’m often suspicious of really bright projectors, which at less elevated parts of the projector marketplace tend to deliver their brightness at the expense of black level response.

But here it’s the C3X Lumis’ ability to combine extreme brightness and gorgeously rich black levels within the same frame - with all the insight and extra detail this leads to - that most defines its position as a true premium projector. As well as making it significantly superior to SIM2’s also-outstanding MICO 50 LED projector.

The only word of caution I’d raise here is that the C3X Lumis’ brightness is so extreme that you need to accommodate it in other aspects of your viewing room. In other words, your installer needs to take care to match it with a screen that keeps the brightness focussed rather than bouncing it all over your room, otherwise you’ll end up watching films through ambient light created by the image itself. Following on from this, I’d recommend installing your C3X Lumis in a room that doesn’t feature bright white and thus reflective walls. Though if this isn’t possible, then the option of reducing the lamp output will prove helpful.

Running a close second to contrast in the C3X Lumis’ ‘reasons it’s worth £26k’ column is its colour response. Here again the key word is insight, as the projector unveils colour tone subtleties in favourite Blu-ray discs and even Sky HD movie recordings that I’ve seldom if ever noted before on any projectors other than, perhaps, SIM2’s old C3X 1080.

This colour insight seems partly down to the video processing engine and ALPHAPATH technology at the C3X Lumis’ heart, but also partly down to the efforts of the extreme colour management engine noted earlier. For after calibration, not only are colour blends and tonal shifts shown with immaculate finesse, the projector’s colour palette looks both expansive and totally, effortlessly natural too. To put this in more dramatic terms, the C3X Lumis gives me the strongest sense of image authenticity that I’ve ever experienced outside a commercial digital cinema installation.


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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