Brightness adjustment with PiTool 121: 5K+ vs 5K XR OLED comparison

comparison
black-levels
pitool

#1

Please correct me, but I have the impression that the new Brightness adjustment in PiTool 121 changes GAMMA levels, while the old Brightness adjustment (Low/Normal/High) changes the LCD/OLED backlight?

I agree with you that lowering the new brightness level on 5K+ to lets say -2 or -4 gives a really nice improvement in colors and a more popping image with better blacks. Unfortunately, the blacks gets crushed quite a lot with dark details vanishing already at brightness -2 which makes me believe we are playing with the gamma here and not the LCD back light. Anyhow, adding +2 on contrast makes the blacks less crushed, brings out slightly more details in the very dark parts and improves the overall image by making it more “popping”. Really great job Pimax. This is a huge improvement for the 5K+ :slight_smile: (I havent tested on 8K yet).

But… comparing it with 5K XR OLED reveals quite a dramatic difference after all. While the blacks definitely get better on the 5K+, and the difference between brightness 0 and -3 is actually huge, its still quite far from the OLED blacks. And let me hint you that even if the blacks really look black on the XR, they are not 100% black (pixels not completely turned off) which by the way is done on purpose to remove black smear - just as Vive and Rift is doing. Anyhow, its still a huge difference between 5K XR and 5K+ in any game I have tried so far.

I will give you an example in Elite Dangerous I just made. Sorry for the poor quality of the photos and some light bleed from the surroundings (as I cant turn off all lights here at work). All photos were taken with Pro mode, manual settings and same values.

I did not change the brightness/gamma/contrast on the 5K XR OLED, so its all on Normal and 0.

Please leave the SDE difference away from this discussion, I will cover that later with better comparisons :wink:

Let me know what you think :slight_smile:

Pimax 5K+
Brightness Mode: Low
Brightness Level: 0
Contrast Level: 0

Pimax 5K+
Brightness Mode: Low
Brightness Level: -4
Contrast Level: 0

Pimax 5K+
Brightness Mode: Low
Brightness Level: -4
Contrast Level: +2

Pimax 5K XR OLED
Brightness Mode: Normal
Brightness Level: 0
Contrast Level: 0

TEST 2:
Now, here is another example which shows you the black crush I mentioned above. Look at that little “cloud” of stars in the middle of the view on each image. Notice how its almost completely gone with Brightness on -4 and no contrast added?

And yes, the 5K XR will crush some details as well, but thats not surprising as OLED panels will always have more black crush.

Pimax 5K+
Brightness Mode: Low
Brightness Level: 0
Contrast Level: 0

Pimax 5K+
Brightness Mode: Low
Brightness Level: -4
Contrast Level: 0

Pimax 5K+
Brightness Mode: Low
Brightness Level: -4
Contrast Level: +2

Pimax 5K XR OLED
Brightness Mode: Normal
Brightness Level: 0
Contrast Level: 0


Pitool 1.0.1.121 Beta Test Release for Brainwarp 1.0
Best manual settings for brightness and contrast (5K Plus & PiTool 121 Beta)
Pimax 5K XR OLED First Impressions... in depth SweViver-style!
Poll: The 8KX needs better lenses and extra color and brightness settings or presets for better black levels and colors to stay ahead of the competition and OLEDs
#2

I’ve found in my short test that +2 is the maximum enjoyable increase for contrast more than that you lose to much details, I give the brightness setting a negative value of -3 and using backlit low

My preferred settings for now are : ( tested in many Steam environment, Beach, Forest, )

Pimax 5K+
Brightness Mode: Low
Brightness Level: -3
Contrast Level: +1 or + 2

Light in bright scene is more believable this way, still a LCD but yes very nice improvement PIMAX!

Once again thanks Martin


#3

Many thanks for this excellent work.

I made my settings with monitor test images (via virtual desktop) and on the one hand paid attention to the greatest possible color brilliance/blacks, but without reducing the grayscale resolution too much. I made sure that every box of the second and third test image on the linked page remains distinguishable.

https://slr-foto.de/testbild.htm

my perfect settings with pimax8k:

brightness (LED backlight): high
contrast: 0
brightness (gamma): -1

@SweViver
I would be very interested in a new brightness comparison between 5k+ and 8k. :slight_smile:


#4

Great, I have ever test to adjust vive brightness and contrast and know that 5k+ has low contrast. May test with Affected the manor today.

But I feel -4 brightness is better than -4 brightness, +2 contrast.

Edit :
After I test Affected, I still can see some light (look like light bleed), but I think add more contrast and more brightness make to see everything clearer than decrease the brightness.


#5

There are two ways to change brightness on the LCD.

  1. Change the backlight level. This happens when you set the brightness on the LCD monitor.

  2. Shift the “intensity” value of the color. This happens when you change the brightness in the graphics card settings.

The first is preferred, because the second one decreases the dynamic range (as basically any color correction made through the color values). So brightness can indeed be brightness, just done the “easy” way. I guess we may ask @pimax for an explanation.

What however concerns me more about the images you took, is that only the first picture with the default settings shows any detail on the dashboard. In every other one it gets crushed into non recognition, with the OLED being the worst. As if it has only a fraction of the dynamic range of the LCD?


#6

yeah, what is the point on having black black if then everything is black (Zero contrast)


#7

Thanks for this information. I am looking forward to knowing if there are any drawbacks 5K XR has compared to 5K+. While I am quite satisfied with image quality of 5K+, in night races lack of OLED is much more evident than I hoped it will be, and I am really interested in 5K XR.


#8

I think this is partially caused by the camera dynamic range and sensor not picking up all details. I could see some black crush in the cockpit but not that bad as it looks in the photo. I used manual settings to reproduce the blacks as close to reality as possible… but yeah, I may need a better camera for this… :rofl:

Btw my 5K XR video is up now, if u havent noticed. Also with more comparisons!


#9

Thing here is people detect light at different frequencies from each other, so all the comparisons in the world mean nothing.
All those ED shots and settings won’t look anything like that in the headset and all the headsets will look different as well to different people on different gpus with different settings.
And let us not ignore the panel lottery. Many people remarked on the grey space in ED where as I find my panels to be as black as my Rift. The difference in ED is minor with the addition of contrast and bright controls for me. It’s not my eyes ability to detect black either as the border around my home theater screen is jet black and Windows doesn’t represent black anywhere near it.
Adds up to the whole exercise being highly personal.


#10

Question: I can’t see a real change going from 0 to -5. Not really. Maybe my panels are too bright?


Poll: The 8KX needs better lenses and extra color and brightness settings or presets for better black levels and colors to stay ahead of the competition and OLEDs
#11

In older PiTool versions, the brightness/contrast adjustment was set instantly when slider was moved, but with the latest PiTool version, you need to press the button “Apply” after moving the slider. Maybe you missed that? Let me know! :slight_smile:


Poll: The 8KX needs better lenses and extra color and brightness settings or presets for better black levels and colors to stay ahead of the competition and OLEDs
#12

would be nice if we could get a “very low brightness” setting too, if its possible. just to get a bit darker at picture in horror games :s


#13

You can actually use the fairly new Brightness option in OpenVR Advanced Settings plugin to decrease the brightness even further (even down to complete darkness). But it wont help that much though, as the LCD backlight still is there, so the light areas gets darker and darkest areas doesnt change.

What we would need is probably an even darker option for the backlight brightness in PiTool (the High, Normal, Low drop down)


Poll: The 8KX needs better lenses and extra color and brightness settings or presets for better black levels and colors to stay ahead of the competition and OLEDs
#14

Yes I agree this would be very good for the 5k+. Could you ask the pitool team if backlight settings can be put on the features to be added list in the next few updates?


#15

Sure I will request this! No promises made yet though, as Im not sure they feel its needed. It depends if more people asks for it, I assume.


Poll: The 8KX needs better lenses and extra color and brightness settings or presets for better black levels and colors to stay ahead of the competition and OLEDs
#16

Did not know about the OpenVR feature to reduce the brightness but i feel as when going lower than -2 on pitool details in games dissapears too much. It’s the backlight we want to lower as you say, if possible. Want to get as close to the Oled darkness as possible for great horror experiences :smiley: Hope they can add it!


#17

Reducing the brightness to -2 or -3 and increasing the contrast to +2 or even more, you bring the headset to life with a more “percieved” darkness in dark areas and more light in bright areas, resulting in more popping colors. Of course, the high contrast levels simply fools our eyes, but it makes it really look better and the muted LCD-feeling is partially gone this way.


#18

Haha it’s possible. I do see the picture go black and then come back. But it doesn’t appear to make it any less bright. And ED is a wee bit annoying. I’ll try when back from travelling


#19

Was your monitor calibrated? Backlight High on the 8K would be pretty bright.


#20

I like the vivid colors on max bright settings and the blacks are still nice. My monitor is calibrated. But I´ve put the test pictures into my headset via virtual desktop (greyscale test patterns for example).

@Sweviver
With too much contrast there is too much crush of greyscale resolution for me.