Posted on September 28, 2018 By Nikki Zelinger
Sony VPL-FHZ61 Commercial Laser Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Contrast, Audible Noise
The Sony VPL-FHZ61 claims 5,100 lumens, but it did not meet its claim. This is typical of projectors in both the business/education and home theater markets – most measure up to 25% below claim. It wasn’t so dire in the case of the Sony, which measured in at 4,325 in its brightest mode, aptly named Brightness Priority. That’s still quite bright, definitely enough to handle some serious ambient light.
Dynamic measured at 2,924 lumens, and even that faired well against the ambient light coming in from my wide window in my bright living room. Standard came in at 1,896 lumens, while the final mode, Multi Screen, measured at 2,906 lumens. Not bad – all capable of handling ambient light, though some are obviously better than others in that regard.
The FHZ61 has some pretty great black levels for a business and education projector, some of the best I’ve seen on non-home theater projectors. It has a 500,000:1 contrast ratio, and Sony even provided a couple ways to improve further on those black levels, which is pretty cool. I went into the Expert Setting sub-menu within the Picture menu, and selected “High” in Contrast Enhancer, and “2.4” for Gamma.
Black level performance isn’t hugely important on a business and education projector, except in select scenarios, but the Sony VPL-FHZ61 definitely impressed. The photo below shows a dark scene from Journey to Space of the Bigelow rendering, which allows you to get a taste of its black levels. Keep in mind that while I was impressed with this projector, the blacks are a dark grey – though a darker grey than any commercial projector I’ve had in for review. Great job, Sony!
Sony rates the audible noise level of the FHZ61 at just 28db. Whether that’s at full power or in ECO Mode is unclear, as Sony doesn’t specify on their spec sheet. Usually, with a rating that low, it’s going to be a rating for ECO.
However, standing within a foot of the projector’s fan to take my photos, I didn’t notice anything more than a low hum. My computer is louder than this Sony! Even in Dynamic Mode, which is one of the brighter modes (generally those produce a louder noise than others), was almost inaudible. Mounted to the ceiling, you wouldn’t notice a thing.
That does it for our review of the Sony VPL-FHZ61 commercial laser projector! On the next page, I summarize everything you learned in the review, provided some insight as to the competition, and pros and cons to the FHZ61. See you on the last page!
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