Projector Reviews

Sony VPL-FHZ61 Commercial Laser Projector Review – Picture Quality

Sony VPL-FHZ61 Commercial Laser Projector Review – Picture Quality: Color Modes, Video Image Quality, Text and Presentation Quality

Color Modes

This Sony has some of the best color I’ve seen all year on a business and education projector. That’s usually a remark earned only by Epson projectors from me, but I am truly impressed with each color mode on the Sony VPL-FHZ61. All four modes are quite usable. They are: Dynamic, Standard, Brightness Priority, and Multi Screen. Dynamic and Standard are the two best modes, and are quite similar in color.

Dynamic is the brighter of the two, and produces a more vibrant image that looks excellent when projecting presentation slides and websites. Standard has a slightly warmer tone – and I mean slight – and is most suitable for videos and educational films, in cases where there is some control over ambient light. For instances where there’s a lot of ambient light, Dynamic will do just fine. I have an image of a webpage from the SpaceX website being projected in Dynamic Mode in a fully darkened room stacked with the same image being projected in Dynamic in the face of a lot of ambient light on the next page.

Brightness Priority Mode is the brightest mode, and has pretty good color for a bright mode! The picture in the slider above doesn’t really do it justice – it is much less green in reality. True, it does favor more of a green-yellow tint, as is typical of bright modes, but it is certainly good enough to use in the most dire of ambient light circumstances without sacrificing too much in terms of color. The final mode is Multi Screen, which resembles most projectors’ Blackboard Modes, in that it has a distinct magenta hue, but it still looks pretty great even though whites are more rosy than white.

Video Image Quality

The video image quality on the Sony VPL-FHZ61 is quite superb. Journey to Space was absolutely breathtaking, with the blue of the Earth standing out beautifully against the black of space. I used Standard Mode for the photos in this slider, though Dynamic looked pretty incredible as well.

I might’ve even used it for these photos, but I like to try and give my readers some variety so that they can make a more holistic judgment on whether or not the projector’s color suits their needs. I did use Dynamic for the text and presentation photos, so you’ll get to see how that mode performs on that kind of material.

A close up of a rendering of the Bigelow Space Station projected by the Sony FHZ61 Projector
This close up of a rendering of the Bigelow Space Station shows how the Sony VPL-FHZ61 projector produces a nicely sharp image.

As for Standard, it does produce nearly-accurate color! Journey to Space looked nearly as good as it does on my calibrated home theater projector, though slightly less sharp, as my Epson Home Cinema 5040UB is a pixel shifter. That being said, though, the FHZ61 is quite sharp, thanks to its WUXGA resolution, which is essentially the business and education world’s 1080p.

The photos I took of “Explained” look excellent as well. I usually take photos of Bill Nye Saves the World, but I found some rather awesome brain graphics in the first episode of Explained, so I abandoned good old Bill in favor of this other show. I streamed Explained from Netflix, while Journey to Space was played from a Blu-ray disk.

Text and Presentation Quality

As mentioned, I used Dynamic Mode to take the photos of the presentations, websites, and our text test image included in the slider above. I found text to be especially sharp in all instances where it appeared, whether that be in video or static images. Sony included a few choice technologies from their home theater line in this projector, so the FHZ61 has a definite edge over some of the other commercial projectors available in and around this price-point. That it is a laser projector helps with its image quality as well.

Small text is quite readable from a distance – even 8-point text can be read from the back of my room. Granted, I can only go about 12 feet back from the screen because of the design of my long, narrow living room, but I would venture a guess and say it can be read from up to 20 feet back. That’s not likely to come into play, as most presentations, infographics and websites will favor a 12-point font or above – all of which was extremely readable. Everything was crisp and clean and I couldn’t be more pleased with how this projector performed in terms of its ability to project text and presentations.

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