Projector Reviews

Sharp XV-Z30000 Projector – Image Quality

If only the images in this review looked anywhere near as good as they do on the screen from this Sharp XVZ30000.  They never do.  And my camera is only one part of the long chain which is:  “only as good as the weakest link.”  Even if not for other issues, the camera itself cannot perfectly capture the colors correctly.

In the case of the XV-Z30000 there definitely seems to be a slight shift toward redish magenta that you can see in some of the images, this isn’t due to the Z30000, rather, the camera. You can spot it in the few grayscale images, which were definitely more neutral gray up on the screen when I was shooting the XV-Z30000 image.  This image was a very good if a touch warm gray, not what you see here with the projector in its monochrome mode:

Let’s say that on the screen it looked more like this (I’ve reduced color saturation in this case to give you a much better idea of what it actually looked like onscreen, eye-balling the change while viewing the frame on the projector):

Those images are captured on a Canon 60D professional dSLR. Even so, there is always some minor color shift and other changes. From there, software (Photoshop), your browser, and your monitor, are also in the path, each adding some “color” to the image, changing it from the original XV-Z30000 projected image. As a result, while the photos can give you a good idea of picture quality, overall, the accuracy of the color on your screen is not going to be accurate enough for really close comparisons of, say the XV-Z30000 projector’s skin tones, compared to some other similarly good projector. Take our images, therefore, with a grain – or pound – of salt.

Sharp XV-Z30000 Out of the Box Picture Quality

Very nice. The Movie 1 mode might be a touch cool, but looks pretty good for right out of the box.  Stage is the brightest mode, with pumped up color saturation.  Still, it looks great – no super strong greens or any such thing.  Dial down the color saturation (depending on your ambient light) and you have a very, very, watchable “brightest mode” without any real “calibration” type changes.

There are lots of preset modes and only a couple are seriously “over the top”. Most of the brighter modes, I should note have Color Temp set to 0, and yield an image stronger on blues than reds, with color temp in the 8K range. Just change that setting to -1 from 0, to drop the color temp about 1000 degrees, for a warmer picture. Still, for example, Stage was just dandy for this weekends preseason football, and previous viewing of the Olympics.

All considered, for those just wanting a great picture to watch, not worried about perfect color, happy with “just fine” color, etc., this Sharp has you covered.  If you want better, the Sharp has full color management, and calibrates well.

Click Image to Enlarge

Sharp XV-Z30000 Projector - Flesh Tones

The skin tones almost always look great post calibration.  When I say almost, I mean some times they look absolutely excellent (especially in darker scenes), while some times they are “close”. From a technical standpoint, I attribute the variation to a significant degree, to the fact that we don’t calibrate the individual colors using the Color Management System, sticking to a more basic Color Temp calibration.  As this Sharp XV-Z30000 shows to be a bit more off than most good projectors in terms of magenta and green individual colors, I suspect that a full calibration would make the XV-Z30000 skin tones more consistently excellent.

All considered, I had no problem with the skin tones.  I was most pleased.  It was just on certain content, notably a bright face, tending to end up a touch dull in terms of reds. In more average or darker illumination, though the skin tones look a touch richer, and better.  Around this review you’ll notice that slightly diminshed reds in some images like Gandalf outdoors, or Captain Pike (last image in this review).  By comparison when you look at skin tones in darker scenes, there’s no issue re the reds, and, as expected from a DLP, for some reason skin tones in darker scenes look great – with lots of pop, without being over the top.


Sharp XV-Z30000 Image Quality Slideshow