Projector Reviews

Panasonic PT-VMZ50 Laser Projector Review – Picture Quality

Panasonic PT-VMZ50 Projector – Picture Quality Color Modes, Video Quality, Black Levels, Text Readability, Audio Quality

Color Modes

The above screen shots are intended to give only a rough idea of the color accuracy for each of the picture mode. However, when viewed in person the color accuracy will generally look than what is shown in these photos.  

There are six factory color presets. The following observations were generally made with the projector using its factory default picture settings. 

  • Standard Picture Mode: This one of the most accurate modes out-of-the-box. Color temperature that was just a little higher than ideal, but the colors are fairly accurate. 
  • Dynamic Picture Mode: This is the brightest mode. This mode would be most appropriate for displaying presentation materials where color accuracy was not of great concern. This mode could prove useful if the room has a lot of ambient light to deal with. 
  • Black Board Picture Mode: Designed for projecting on to a classroom black board.   
  • White Board Picture Mode: Designed for projecting onto a white board in a meeting room so contrast is heavily boosted.
  • Cinema Picture Mode: Designed for playback of movie content. It delivers a fairly accurate picture but image is slightly warmer than standard mode.
  • Natural Picture Mode: Designed for displaying images in a dark room. This movie is only available for use with still images. 

For those who want to further fine tune the PT-VMZ50 color reproduction, there are additional advanced color adjustments including color temperature and RGB balance (contrast, brightness). 

Video Quality

The PT-VMZ50 offers several picture modes and I found the best quality, in terms of color accuracy, I preferred the Standard mode. For the screenshots below, the factory default settings were used for Standard mode except the Color Temperature was set to Default and Gamma Correction Mode was set to -2. Since the PT-VMZ50 includes user adjustments for white balance, gamma, and color temperature, I am sure it could be adjusted to produce an even more accurate picture.

Although the PT-VMZ50 is designed for education and corporate applications, it delivered a high-quality image that would normally be found on a home theater projector. The PT-VMZ50 should be considered for spaces where a lot of video content is viewed for example a corporate meeting room where commercials are quickly reviewed.

Looking at the images on the player above, the first are our test images of color pie charts and skin tones, for the different Preset modes. Next are images of a variety of videos and photos in 4K and HD resolution. Like all our photos, they remain unadjusted for color, so they do not look as good as what the projector produced.

BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL

While Panasonic only lists the dynamic contrast of PT-VMZ50 which is a claimed 3,000,000:1, the unit native contrast also appears to be pretty good as well. While a good home theater projector can deliver better black levels and shadow detail, the PT-VMZ50 produced deep enough blacks for most business applications. Since this projector is not intended for use in a completely dark room anyway, the ability to produce super deep blacks would not be missed.

In addition, the high brightness combined with rich colors and good contrast really made video images pop, especially in rooms with some ambient light. While I won’t recommend using it in a dark theater, I could totally see someone using the PT-VMZ50 as a media projector in a den or game room.

TEXT READABILITY

The PT-VMZ50 image resolution and text clarity are only limited by its native 1920 x 1200 resolution. Even 8-point text was very easy to read in both black text on a white background and with white text on a black background. When my attached laptop PC was set to the projectors native 1920 x 1200 resolution you couldn’t really ask for any better readability of the projected text.

There was no visible color fringing on the text indicating the projector’s lens does not exhibit any significant chromatic aberration. I was able to get sharp focus over the entire image. PT-VMZ50 is well suited for displaying presentations with lots of small text and fine details in the graphics.

For maximum sharpness, the PT-VMZ50 can accept up to a [email protected] and projector’s scaler did a great job downscaling the higher resolution image to the projector’s native resolution.

Audio Quality

Panasonic-VMZ50_speaker

The PT-VMZ50 has a single, 10-watt built-in speaker that can play loud enough for use in a small sized conference room but the sound does lack of bass. While the sound is OK for voice narrations, it is less than ideal for playback of video tracks where music is important. Overall the sound quality is comparable to other business/installation projectors with build-in speaker(s). If higher quality audio is desired, the projector has variable level 3.5mm output jack that can be used to connect it to an external powered speaker system.

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