Optoma HD8200: Bottom Line Sharpness
Content is often a key determining factor, rather than the HD8200 itself, when it comes to having a sharp image. The better the source material, the sharper the HD8200 looks. Feed a standard DVD, standard TV, or even a 720p HDTV broadcast, and any differences in sharpness will be compromised by the lower resolution source material. Feed it a Blu-ray disc (1080p) or a 1080i source, though, and you can really appreciate the HD8200's crisp image.
All considered, I consider sharpness differences between most 1080p projectors to definitely be at the most, a secondary consideration. Still it should be at least a small factor in your decision process. In fairness, I do get emails from folks that have owned DLP projectors who have bought 3LCD or LCoS projectors, and if they have a complaint, it is that they consider their old projector to be sharper, even though they may be getting better black levels, and other improvements.
The HD8200 isn't bad. It does, however leak light through the lens. That can be seen around the image. It's pretty faint, but enough that in will be visible on your walls if light colored, when viewing a very, very, dark scene. Definitely not enough light leaks out to be considered a problem. In fact, I'd say that the level of light leakage out the lens is roughly the same as the JVC RS10, a definitely more expensive projector.
The HD8200's image noise performance is very good, based on our using the HQV test disk. The Optoma did well on all the standard jaggie and standard motion artifacts tests. There is definitely a bit of background image noise, but at levels typical of DLP projectors. Overall, performance would have to be considered very good.