Mitsubishi HC8000D Sharpness
As was the case with the HC7900, the HC8000D's sharpness is excellent. Single chip DLP projectors always have an advantage, and Mitsubishi manages to put some very respectable glass on this projector (13 elements in 4 clusters).
Ignoring the latest in "detail enhancement" and "dynamic sharpening", the HC8000D simply looks sharper than most other projectors we've looked at of late. That includes pretty much all the LCoS projectors and 3LCD projectors. The image sharpness certainly also looks as good as any DLP in the price range, including the pricier Optoma HD8300. True, we like detail enhancing features like the Sony's Reality Creation, but here we're talking real, native sharpness.
Top left: Mitsubishi HC8000D, Top Center - Sharp XV-Z30000, Top Right: PT-AE8000
2nd row left: Sony VPL-HW50ES, center: Optoma HD8300, Right: Epson Home Cinema 5020UB
Note, unfortunately the PS3 chooses the background color for these images. The background for the HC8000 is unusually light, so it lacks the contrast of some of the others. That shouldn't prevent you from making a determination.
Sharpness Comparison Images
Mitsubishi HC8000D: Bottom Line Sharpness
Bottom line: There's nothing like a good single chip DLP projector like the HC8000 for sharpness. With no panel convergence issues to deal with, a good optical path design, and a good lens, should yield a sharp clear image that lets you appreciate all that good full HD resolution content.
The Mitsubishi HC8000D places a sharper than most of the competition image, up on the screen. You'll probably appreciate it more with digital content like sports, rather than film, since film based content starts out a little soft, but the bottom line is that no one will be complaining about a "soft" image.
For your consideration: An image of a newspaper from the last Spiderman Movie. Click on it, for a much larger and high resolution closeup.
Sharpness is a real strength of the HC8000D projector. Without fiddling with fancy dynamic controls, this HC8000D should definitely look a bit sharper on sports and other HDTV content than most of the 3 panel competition, which is to say, most of the competition near the HC8000's price.
One more sharpness image for you. The picture below is a look at Spiderman's wrist gadget and outfit. Click on it for a larger, closer look! Impressed?
The HC8000 has no real light leakage issues. A small amount exits from the lens, mostly below the lens, but I can't see anything hitting the screen even with a black frame on the projector. Blooming around white text on black (typical movie credits) is present, as expected, but certainly no worse than average, perhaps better.
As is the case with the HC7900DW, when viewing the HC8000D in 2D, the projector looks pretty clean in terms of basic mosquito noise, at least for a DLP. Such noise seems more evident on DLPs but this one is pretty good.
Panning 24fps content is pretty good. Some panning has showed up once in a while on some other (including very expensive) projectors to be unsually jerky at certain pan speeds. The Mitsubishi fits into the typical category, rather than exhibiting more jerkiness than many others. The bouncing on the slow pan from the beginning of the movie Red, was perhaps a touch more than some, but, definitely a bit less than the Sony HW50ES, one of the strongest overall competitors out there.
3D noise, as mentioned on the first page, starts with ghosting or crosstalk. DLP projectors are supposed to be crosstalk clean when it comes to crosstalk, so it's not unexpected, that the 3D image looks clean.
In fact, as far as all 3D related artifacts go, the HC8000D is rather impressive. Only using 2D to 3D conversion created issues, and that doesn't count as real 3D.
Like most DLP home theater projectors (and a few others), the HC8000 projector is on the noisy side when running the lamp at full power. Now I'm not saying that compared to $999 home entertainment projectors - they are noisier. I'm comparing to other mostly $2000 and up projectors. The Mitsubishi claims 31 db at full power, and that seems about right. The 25db claim for eco-mode also seems about right. The quietest projectors get down to about 16 db in eco-mode (call that silent for all practical purposes). But most home projectors are in the 20-26 db range in eco-mode, and run from about 26 to 33 db at full power.
Bottom line, if you are particularly noise adverse, you won't like the HC8000D at full power, but then, you also won't like about 75% of the other home theater projectors out there. Not bad, not great, the HC8000D's audible noise levels are nothing to get excited about - but probably won't be a real issue for you.