Panasonic PT-MZ880 Installation Projector Review – Performance

October 10, 2021

/ By Projector Reviews Staff

COLOR REPRODUCTION

The screenshots below are test images intended to give only a rough idea of the color accuracy for each of the picture modes. Color accuracy in a projector like the PT-MZ880 is usually better when an image is viewed in person rather than in photos.

There are a total of six factory color presets. To my eye, the most accurate modes out of the box were Cinema and Natural.

AUTHORS NOTE: Any moire you see in the images was caused by my camera and not the fault of the projector.

Standard Picture Mode: The color temperature was slightly higher than ideal, but the colors are reasonably accurate.

Dynamic Mode: This mode allows the projector's content to remain remarkably visible in bright environments. Color accuracy is not what Dynamic mode provides. This mode works very well when displaying presentation content.

DICOM Sim: Designed to replicate the DICOM Part 14 Grayscale Standard for viewing X-Rays and MRI photos.

Whiteboard Mode: Optimizes the projector's output for use on a wide range of whiteboards, including your typical highly reflective ones. This mode is suitable for presentation and looks even better when using a whiteboard that is a matte finish.

Cinema Mode: Cinema mode has a warm tone displaying more yellowish/orange hues. Cinema mode is designed primarily for playing back entertainment content like television and movie content.

Natural Mode:  This mode presents a slightly cooler-looking image but not to the point of displaying too much blue. Natural mode looked excellent when I darkened my testing space.

PICTURE QUALITY

3LCD projectors produce as many color lumens as they do white ones, making their colors more vibrant than, say, their DLP counterparts, who do not produce as many color lumens as white lumens. The laser light engine adds some extra pop and wow, in terms of color accuracy. I preferred the Cinema mode. Like all our photos, the shots I captured remain unadjusted for color, so they do not look as good as the projector produced.

Since the PT-MZ880 includes user adjustments for white balance, gamma, and color temperature, I am sure it could be adjusted to produce an even more accurate picture.

AUTHORS NOTE: Any moire you see in the images was caused by my camera and not the fault of the projector.

TEXT READABILITY

AUTHORS NOTE: Any moire you see in the images was caused by my camera and not the fault of the projector.

Text clarity, even 8-point text, was easy to read in black text on a white background and white text on a black background. My presentation slides were very readable. There was no visible color fringing, typically indicating that the projector’s lens does not exhibit significant chromatic aberration. Panasonic truly shines in this area. The focus was consistent from corner to corner. PT-MZ880 is well suited for showing presentations with tiny text and graphics.

BRIGHTNESS

The PT-MZ880 is listed as an 8,000 lumens projector. I took three to four readings about 15-20% out from the lens center, which usually gives a pretty good approximation of ANSI lumens. At full wide-angle, I measured the PT-MZ880 in its brightest picture mode, which is Dynamic with the light power set to Normal.

At full wide zoom, Normal light setting, and Dynamic mode, the PT-MZ880 measured 8,683 lumens which is 683 lumens above Panasonic’s brightness claim. Below is a complete chart with the brightness readings for each out-of-the-box mode.

Standard Mode7078 Lumens
Dynamic Mode8683 Lumens
Dicom-Sim Mode5942 Lumens
Whiteboard Mode6683 Lumens
Cinema Mode5960 Lumens
Natural Mode6224 Lumens

In addition, the chart below shows the projector set at its brightest preset mode combined with each of the projector's light power settings along with the percentage of lumens drop from the brightest to the dimmest.

Dynamic Preset / Normal Light Mode8683 Lumens
Dynamic Preset / ECO Light Mode6054 Lumens
Dynamic Preset / Quiet Light Mode 6496 Lumens
Dynamic Preset / User Light Mode NA

CONTRAST

AUTHORS NOTE: Any moire you see in the images was caused by my camera and not the fault of the projector.

This projector is designed to be used primarily in spaces where there is some amount of uncontrolled ambient light, often a large amount of uncontrolled ambient light. I think it’s fair to say that the typical customer for the PT-MZ880 is not going to be looking at contrast with a highly critical eye.

When it comes to measuring contrast, I don’t have the tools even to determine contrast. Like any projector, I review I base my opinions on how the blacks look when projecting various content from entertainment to presentations.

The PT-MZ880 is a bright projector. These higher-lumen-count projectors often fall short in terms of black levels, but,

I like the PT-MZ880 black level performance. While blacks aren’t truly black, it’s just not as important as brightness and color for an installation projector. The PT-MZ880’s blacks appear more as a very dark gray that you’re not likely to notice unless you’re looking for it.

AUDIBLE NOISE

The PT-MZ880 includes a Quiet mode enabling almost inaudible 27 dB operating noise. This means the projector fits unobtrusively into an installation environment while keeping attention focused on the presentation. In Normal mode, the PT-MZ880 produces 34 dB This noise level is pretty low for an 8,000-lumen business projector. It is quiet enough not to be distracting in a large assembly hall or auditorium.

With lessons, meetings, conferences, and other events increasingly being held online, I think it’s even more critical that the projector's noise does not distract the audience. Silent projection helps people focus, whether they’re in the room or participating remotely. Operating noise is 34 dB in Normal Mode and 27 dB in Quiet Mode (PT-MZ880).

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