Sanyo PLV-Z700 vs. Optoma HD80
This is one of Optoma's entry level 1080p projectors, and not long ago was still selling around $2500, but I see now that it is in the $2000 and under range street price, which makes it a competitor.
The Optoma HD80 should have slightly better black levels, a touch more image noise, and is definitely much noisier in terms of audible noise. As a basic DLP design it has no lens shift, and a 1.2:1 zoom, so it's no match in terms of placement flexibility.
From a brightness standpoint, it's real "best" mode performance around 560 lumens is brighter than the 350 of the PLV-Z700 without compromising the PLV-Z700's performance at all. In brightest mode the Sanyo has the advantage with over 1200 lumens vs. the Optoma's 1000 measured.
The Optoma has a distinct advantage in richness of colors in dark areas, which gives the image a little more impact, although in typical daytime scenes, I slightly favor the Sanyo. Optoma provides a two year warranty, compared to the Sanyo's three.
Tough call between these two. Overall they are more different, than better/worse. Each will have appeal to a significant slice of the entry level 1080p projector buyers.
Sanyo PLV-Z700 vs. BenQ W5000
The W5000 is a serious 1080p home theater projector. When it was selling for more than $3000 it picked up our Best In Class - Runner-Up award in the under $4000 category. That makes it really tough competition for the Sanyo PLV-Z700. The Sanyo's big strengths compared to the BenQ, are in terms of price (the BenQ seems to have a street price of $2500 right now, or a little lower. No question, the BenQ wins at black levels, and should have a slight edge in shadow detail.
The PLV-Z700, on the other hand, comes with a 3 year warranty, vs. the BenQ's one year, and while both have lens shift, the Sanyo has more range, and a 2:1 zoom, while the BenQ has a very limited 1.2:1 zoom ratio. The BenQ, though, is the only DLP projector anywhere near the price of the Sanyo, to offer lens shift, and therefore may work for a shelf mount in the rear of your room. The BenQ also suffers a little in terms of image noise, but newer versions than the one I tested are reported to have improved in this area.
Forgetting all the assorted options in terms of image settings, these two projectors are very close in brightness in both best and brightest modes.
Both have sharp images, but I'll give the BenQ a slight advantage. I seriously doubt it will be noticeable during movie watching, but on a good HDTV signal, you just might spot a difference. Any difference though, is too small to be real factor.
Placement issues notwithstanding, enthusiasts will favor the BenQ, while the "average joe" should be happy with either!
Upcoming 1080p projector model competition: A little conjecture