All this, and I haven’t even mentioned the C3X Lumis’ outstanding sharpness and fine detail reproduction. All three of its DLP chipsets are, of course, Full HD, but somehow – possibly because of the accuracy of the projector’s optics, its processing power, its extreme contrast, its colour accuracy, or a combination of all these factors – it produces pictures that look almost like some kind of higher definition level.
To be clear about this, I’m not saying the C3X Lumis is somehow delivering a 4k2k effect from its 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count! It’s just that the accuracy of its picture reproduction, colour palette, lack of video noise, and outstanding dynamism frequently creates the impression that you’re seeing new details in familiar pictures.
With all the C3X Lumis’ considerable advantages being delivered with what appears to be perfect light uniformity and total stability, as well as some beautifully natural motion reproduction from all source types, I really am struggling to come up with anything negative to say. Occasionally I noticed extremely bright parts of the picture looking a little ‘flared’ momentarily before settling down. But even this marginal flaw disappears if you deactivate the projector’s Dynamic Black feature.
Otherwise, the only truly significant problem I have with the C3X Lumis – aside from the fact that I can’t afford one, of course – is that it runs rather noisily. I haven’t been able to track down any official figures on the noise levels from SIM2, but even using its lowest 230W output setting, the projector – perhaps inevitably given how bright is – kicks out enough of a racket to distract you from what you’re watching unless your installer has done the decent thing and taken measures to counter this.
The sort of measures I’m talking about could involve building the projector into some sort of sound proof but adequately ventilated enclosure or, more likely, simply making sure that the projector is positioned as far away as possible from your best seating positions.
Another practical issue associated with the C3X Lumis’ high brightness is that it doesn’t boast the greatest lamp life in the world; SIM2 quotes 2,000 hours in standard power mode, or 3,000 hours when driving the lamp at its lowest level. Not great news when a new lamp could cost you not far shy of £1,000 (though SIM2 reckons you should be able to get this down to £600 if you go to a ‘friendly’ SIM2 dealer!). Compare this with the 30,000 hours or so of lamp life being quoted for SIM2’s admittedly much less bright MICO 50 LED product.
But then I guess if you can afford £26k on a projector in the first place, spending a few hundred pounds more after you’ve watched 1,500-2,000 films probably doesn’t seem like much of a problem!
The SIM2 C3X Lumis is terrifyingly expensive to buy and run. But it’s also terrifyingly good, delivering levels of insight, immediacy and dynamism with whatever you watch on it that at least rival the experience of going out to a high-spec commercial cinema. And if that isn’t the very definition of a perfect home cinema experience, I don’t know what is. Perhaps the best thing of all about all this, though, is the fact that it justifies Francis Ford Coppola’s endorsement, leaving his reputation as a true cinema master intact. ”The Godfather Part III”? Never heard of it.