Projector Reviews

Sanyo PLV-Z2000: 1080p Home Theater Projector Review – Image Quality-2

The sci-fi movie Aeon Flux, is an excellent movie in terms of production values that show off a projector’s ability. These first two images are from Aeon Flux.

Keep in mind, that the trick is to still have skin tones look natural, yet different, under different lighting conditions. The movie director’s intent can vary greatly. You want a projector that looks like it’s doing just what the director intended.

This is the first review to feature images from the recent Bond flick, Casino Royale. You’ll see images of James Bond, under different lighting conditions, and each tends to look natural, for that lighting, even though they are different.


Quicktip: As you start looking at photos, first, my usual warning: The photos of screen scenes are here to support the commentary, not the other way around. Much is lost or changed in the process of getting from what is projected on the screen by a projector, through a camera, to your computer monitor, that everything needs to be taken with a “pound” of salt (or at least more than a few grains of salt).

Neither of my digital cameras, nor your computer monitor can begin to match the dynamic range the projector offers. The camera and displays lose a lot of info (shadow detail, create non-representative black levels, and crush whites and blacks) and also are not perfect in terms of color accuracy. Still the photos should be helpful when taken with the comments. Certainly, they make the review prettier, if nothing else. In the case of this Sanyo review, as with the older PT-AX100U, for some reason, I encounter difficulties with the color balance captured on my camera. Again, there is a visible shift to red. I’m not sure why, but I did something I normally shun, which is to make a minor adjustment to the images to better reflect what the projector actually projects. Enjoy!

Also, I should note, that on some displays, these images all appear too contrasty. If that’s the case, adjust your monitor, or graphics card controls. On the screen, these images definitely do not look too contrasty.

The next image is from Aeon Flux again. And below it, click on the double frame to see a larger version of a comparison of the Optoma HD8000 on the left, and the Sanyo, on the right. (Sorry, the first one came out a little dark.)

Comparing the two above, I find the skin tones softer on the Sanyo projector (on the right). The Optoma, which is also very good, seems to be a little more contrasty. The Optoma initially stands out compared to the Sanyo, but if you look at just one image, for a bit, I find the Sanyo to be the more natural. It’s always easy to pump up an image if you prefer it, the trick is to get it right to begin with.

Please note, in my review of the Optoma HD8000 and HD80 (same projector, except for minor differences, and method of distribution), I was impressed with its skin tone handling. The Sanyo, however, I believe to be better.

When it came to black and white and other effects, the grayscale balance of the PLV-Z2000 didn’t show any problem shifts in warmth between brighter and darker grays.

The image of Nancy, below, is from Sin City, from a standard DVD. These scene has an intentional sepia like look to it. The movie is in black and white, or tones like this, with spot colors added for effect.

When testing the first batch of 1080p projectors last fall and spring, I would probably have to say that Sony’s $4495 Pearl – their VPL-VW50, had the most natural skin tones (even better than my JVC RS1). This Sanyo definitely reminds me very much of the Sony.