Panasonic PT-AE3000U Projector Review

Brightness

Average, very average. Some projectors are average in best mode, but in other modes may be significantly brighter or dimmer than average. The Panasonic, however stays right there at the low end of average.

I consider average brightness to be anywhere from about 400 to 550 lumens in its best mode, and average tends to be in the 1000 to 1200 lumens in brightnest mode.

Header Content
Cinema 1 402 @ 6519K
Cinema 1 391 @ 7021K
Cinema 1 422 @ 8051K
Normal 936 @ 8646K
Dynamic 1144 @ 7455K, 1261 at full zoom out, 760 at full zoom in
Color 1 461 @ 6742K
Color 2 539 @ 7457K

Let’s start with the brightness of each of the Panasonic PT-AE3000‘s preset modes. This is before any color calibration. I have also included the color temperature measured for white.

All measurements above are with the lamp mode on Normal (full power). Switching to low lamp mode, we remeasured Cinema 1, and, surprisingly, the Panasonic still measured 357 lumens, so it is only about 11% dimmer. That 11% should be consistent between full and low power for any mode. Not surprisingly the color temperature was a bit higher at 6742, which seems to be typical with most projectors (and only a minor shift towards blue).

Calibrating Cinema 1 mode (remember the Panasonic requires only the slightest adjustment), measured 407 lumens, essentially unchanged.

The quick calibraton of Normal mode reduced lumens from 936 to 900 and Dynamic mode dropped from 1144 to 1116 lumens. Again, very minor differences between before and after calibration. The PT-AE3000U, as mentioned, really does have very good color for a “bright mode” to start with, and after our quick calibration, it got even better.

Sharpness

Our first image is a closely cropped image of the DTS test disc opening menu. What you see in the thumbnail is only about 20% of the area of the full image. The larger versions (when you click on them), are even further cropped. As you can see, the Panasonic is not exceptional in this area.

Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right PT-AE3000U, Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, Sanyo PLV-Z700, and BenQ W20000. Only the BenQ does a visibly better job. The PT-AE3000U is one of the sharper 1080p projectors out there.

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