Cinema: Based on my previous reviews, I’ve come to expect manufacturers to use Cinema mode to make overall color performance the most realistic. I was critical of the UHD50X’s exaggerated colors. Now, I don’t know if Optoma has tuned this model differently, or if it’s something else, but, to my eye, the colors are not as oversaturated in all the modes. I’m not saying they are not oversaturated; they are just not as bad. Good on you, Optoma.
HDR Sim: Colors are vibrant in this mode. However, not quite as much as Cinema mode. Flesh tones appear more natural overall. Images are a little brighter. The tendency of a DLP projector to lean toward reds is still noticeable here, but much less so than in Cinema mode.
Game: This mode is almost identical to HDR Sim, except that details are softer. This mode maintains the same soft image as the previously described Game mode, but with colors that are slightly less oversaturated than Cinema mode. It looks to me like Optoma was trying to find a happy medium between the two modes. I still think colors in this mode are unnaturally orangey/red.
Bright: This is what you would expect to find in a mode designed for situations where uncontrolled ambient light sources normally reduce image quality.
I'm sure you all know the purpose of Bright mode is to overcompensate for uncontrolled ambient light in the room for the sake of sacrificing color accuracy. That description fits this mode well. It’s a pleasant surprise that the Optoma UHD35 manages to maintain the color quality that it does in this mode.
User: Designed to be whatever you want it to be, User mode provides the opportunity to adjust the colors and picture settings without changing the out-of-the-box presets of the other modes. That being said, User mode looks very similar to HDR Sim mode. From a strictly color standpoint, I liked it quite a bit. User mode takes on the softer image detail that we see in Game mode.
I think Optoma has done a better job this generation with the out-of-the-box preset modes. They’re not perfect, by any means. The UHD35 preset modes still present exaggerated colors, but the UHD35 displays a crisp image, and the OTB modes on the 35 are very good. They’re still just a bit oversaturated, but I think most consumers are going to find this pleasant.
In the slideshow below, I took several stills in a variety of modes, using a variety of content, to show the difference between the preset modes. The first two stills are from Marvel's Thor Ragnarok. Cinema mode colors are moderately oversaturated. Skin tones lean heavily toward red and orange; it is a DLP after all. The third picture is from Godzilla vs. Kong, in Bright mode, where colors take on a bluish-green hue. This mode wouldn’t be used in an environment like my lab where I have far better control of ambient light.