- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 08 July 2012
BenQ W7000 Projector In Use
Born to be Wild is an IMAX documentary shot in Kenya and Borneo with 65mm and 4K digital cameras. The W7000 reproduces the lush green jungles of Borneo against the sparkling blue water, as well as the red dirt of Kenya remarkably well. Greens are rich and true without being neon or unrealistic, and earth tones are very natural and true but not dull. Skies are free of banding, and details from the wrinkled skin of the elephants to the hair of the orangutans are reproduced faithfully. Many scenes jump off the screen with their bright colors thanks to the bright image the W7000 produces. It is a realistic image free of any CGI or special effects that looks very true to life on screen.
A great film for testing 3D now is Hugo, which was shot natively in 3D and is live action instead of CGI. From the opening shot between two trains the 3D effect is rendered very well on the BenQ and even the snowflakes don't fall apart or have single eye artifacts that are hard to focus on. The image is very bright in 3D mode and crosstalk is almost entirely absent. With all the 3D content I watched there are occasional slight color-shifts during viewing. This is likely from the glasses were losing sync, as it never happened on 2D material. People have also suggested you can get an even brighter, crosstalk free image by using different DLP Link glasses with the projector, but I don't have those available to test.
Drive is another film that was shot digitally and features great shadow detail and scenes with wide dynamic range. During the opening night scenes, the black levels are not as pitch black as some other projectors. Reducing the brightness by 1-2 clicks will get those deep blacks, but then it loses some shadow details. On the nighttime aerial shots of Los Angeles, the image really pops off of the screen quite well, with bright highlights from the lights in the buildings below. Daytime scenes look clear and natural, with skin tones appearing very neutral without sunburns and no false contouring, posterizing, or other image flaws apparent. The BenQ motion interpolation on Drive works with both 2D and 3D content and has multiple settings available. With the lowest setting engaged it produces a very video/soap-opera effect to the film cadence and introduces artifacts around moving objects. The option is there for people who prefer the effect to engage but there is no option to only use it with non-24p content.
The black levels of the BenQ W7000 could be concerning, as they aren't as deep and dark as some other projectors out there, but in real world use they don't show up that often. In scenes that are almost completely dark, such as the opening of Harry Potter 7, the blacks are dark gray and not inky black at the ideal brightness setting. If there is bright light in the image, such as neon signs in Tokyo in Cars 2 or the bright windows of LA buildings in Drive this is much less visible. The massive brightness of the BenQ allows it to still maintain a reasonable contrast ratio in those scenes, which makes them look much better.
With recorded football the motion for sports is phenomenal, with or without Frame Interpolation engaged. With it engaged scrolling text was smooth whereas without it there was occasional hitching in the motion. It did lead to a little bit of softening of the text so that is a trade-off you have to decide on. Artifacting or haloing around objects is also not an issue since the compressed signal already introduced those issues. The main difference was with the motion of text, which is a testament to how well DLPs already handle the motion of sports.
Since the BenQ W7000 is a single chip DLP with a color wheel, people may be subject to seeing rainbows. It is a 4-speed color wheel and it was quite easy to see rainbows on white objects if your eyes move quickly. With how easy they were to see sometimes I suggest you view it in person if you think you may have trouble with them. If you run in Dynamic mode, the color wheel switches to 6x speed and so rainbows are vastly reduced. The fan noise is also a bit louder than other projectors, even in low lamp mode, but wasn't bothersome unless running in high lamp mode with the projector a meter away.