The screenshots below are test images intended to give only a rough idea of the color accuracy for each of the picture modes. Color accuracy in a projector like the PT-FRQ50 is usually better when an image is viewed in person rather than in photos.
There are a total of seven factory color presets. The following observations were made in the projector's factory default picture settings. To my eye, the most accurate modes out of the box were Cinema and Rec.709.
Standard Picture Mode: Color temperature is slightly higher than ideal, but the colors are reasonably accurate.
Cinema Mode: Flesh tones appear natural, if not a little on the warm side, which has been my experience with other Panasonic projectors. The Cinema mode's warm tone can easily be reduced using the projector's adjustments. I found the Cinema mode to be the best choice for playing back entertainment content such as television and movies.
Natural Mode: This mode presents a slightly cooler image but not to the point of displaying too much blue. Natural mode looked excellent when I really darkened my testing space.
REC.709: Designed for broadcast video content, this mode delivered the most accurate colors out of the box.
DICOM Sim: Intended for displaying black and white images, color accuracy is not an issue in this mode. However, having reasonable grayscale tracking with uniform color temperature is. This mode is designed to replicate the DICOM Part 14 Grayscale Standard for viewing X-Rays and MRI photos.
Dynamic Mode: This mode allows the projector's content to remain remarkably visible in bright environments. Color accuracy is not what this mode was designed for. Dynamic colors are oversaturated with cyan and magenta colors shifted toward blue. In Dynamic mode, gray picture elements appear very bright. Even so, videos were watchable in Dynamic mode, even without ideal color accuracy.
Graphic Mode: Designed to make computer graphics easier to read, the contrast is slightly boosted. It has more accurate color reproduction than Dynamic mode but is a little less bright. This mode works very well when displaying presentation content.
While the PT-FRQ50 is designed for business and educational applications, it delivers image quality good enough to find its way into many home theater rooms. Panasonic lists the dynamic contrast of the PT-FRQ50 at 20,000:1, but the PT-FRQ50 native contrast also looks pretty good.
While DLP projectors do not produce as many color lumens as white lumens, the SOLID SHINE laser light source of the PT-FRQ50 compensates to a degree bringing more of an overall balance between brightness and color performance. For color accuracy, I prefer the Cinema mode. The photographs I captured remained unadjusted for color and may not accurately represent the image I saw.
Like other Panasonic projectors we have evaluated in the past, the color reproduction of the PT-FRQ50 was excellent out of the box. That being said this is a DLP projector and the colors did appear a little more orange than red as you can see in the bottom two photos above.
For those who want to fine-tune the PT-FRQ50 color reproduction further, additional advanced color adjustments are available, including user adjustments for white balance, gamma, and color temperature. This projector's image is easily adjusted to produce better picture quality based on the viewer's preferences.
The PT-FRQ50 delivered outstanding picture quality in several of its picture modes. For absolute color accuracy, I preferred the Rec.709 and Cinema modes. The factory default settings were used for the screenshots above. Adjusting the image to your own liking or for professional calibration is easy with all the adjustments for white balance, gamma, and color temperature Panasonic provides.
The PT-FRQ50 is listed as a 5,400-lumen (Center) 5,200-lumen (Average) projector. I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens, which usually gives a pretty good approximation of ANSI lumens. At a full wide-angle, I measured the PT-FRQ50 in its brightest picture mode, which is DYNAMIC with LIGHT POWER set to Normal.
The PT-FRQ50 measured 5,461 lumens. This is 261 lumens above Panasonic's average brightness claim. I also measured the brightness of the other preset picture modes and Dynamic in both Normal and ECO lamp power.
There are three preset light output modes, with Normal being the brightest. The other two modes, ECO and Quiet, reduce the light source output by about 80%.
Dynamic (Normal Light Mode) Brightest Mode
Dynamic (ECO Light Mode)
Dynamic (Quiet Light Mode)
BLACK LEVEL SHADOW DETAIL
Panasonic lists the dynamic contrast of the PT-FRQ50 as 20,000:1.
While a good home theater projector can deliver better black levels and shadow detail, the PT-FRQ50 does produce deep enough blacks for most education or business applications. If you turn the light output on the projector down, it does remarkably well with entertainment content, as you can see in the photos above.
The projector's displayed 4K resolution renders sharp-looking text across the entire image. Text as small as an 8-point font is very easy to read from a distance.
The images on the player above text, diagrams, and graphics look excellent. Please remember that my photos are unadjusted for color, so they do not look as good as what the projector produced.
The PT-FRQ50 produces 35 dB in Normal and Eco light output modes, which is very noticeable, but given this projector's intended environment should not be an issue. Noise drops to 28 dB in Quiet mode, which is remarkably low for a 5,200-lumen business projector. It is quiet enough that it would not be distracting in a conference room, museum, classroom, or even in a decent-sized home theater.