Probably its single strongest suit versus similarly priced opposition is its black level response. This can be seen, for instance, in the almost complete lack of greyness evident during the dark scene at the start of the HD DVD of ”The Prestige”, where Borden witnesses Angier drowning beneath the main stage.
Even more impressive is the seeming effortlessness with which the IN82 achieves its exemplary black levels. In other words, rather than looking slightly empty and unnatural as they can on some rival projectors, even the darkest corners of the picture are portrayed with enough shadow detailing to ensure that they appear to have the same sort of depth as the rest of the image. This, inevitably, makes them feel totally organic to the image as a whole.
One of the key reasons behind the IN82’s retention of shadow detail in dark areas is simply the fact that you don’t actually have to sacrifice anywhere near as much brightness to achieve a sterling black level response as you do with many rival projectors – especially those using LCD rather than DLP technology.
This same high brightness/high contrast combination also helps the picture look remarkably punchy and dynamic for its price, and contributes in no small measure to the IN82’s terrific colour reproduction.
Colours actually impress on two different fronts. The first thing that hits you is how richly saturated colours are across the board. The sensationally detailed, opulent sets of ”The Prestige” are thus delivered with a vitality and solidity that is rare indeed on anything other than megabucks projectors.
The other key colour point is how natural tones look. ”The Prestige” makes extensive use of fairly dark, natural lighting of the sort guaranteed to highlight any colour tone deficiencies a projector might have. But for 95% of the time, the film’s palette looks totally convincing on the IN82. And even the 5% that’s not quite spot on is only off-key by the slenderest of margins.
It should be added here that the colour situation we’re describing is that found after we’d spent quite a bit of time carefully calibrating the image using every set-up aid we could lay our hands on. In other words, while we probably could get rid of the odd rogue tone with some careful manipulation of the colour presets, doing this would mess up too many other things for comfort.
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