Color and Picture Quality
As we’ve come to expect from Sony projectors, the VPL-FHZ55 displayed a sharp, clear image with rich, well-saturated colors. Reds were deep, but not dark and greens were not noticeably oversaturated. Colors are very good with any video connection, but using a high definition source over HDMI really adds pop to the displayed image. Unlike many projectors, the VPL-FHZ55’s colors are quite good in Presentation (the brightest) mode. There is a bit of the greenish tint that is usual at the brightest setting of most projectors, but colors still appear correct, without the darkness in the reds and mustardy yellows we’ve noted in some of the competition. This means you can usually make full use of the projector’s lumen output with many presentations that don’t require perfect color, without the result looking unnatural. However, if you need the best possible color and can accept the accompanying 33% drop in lumen output, dropping down to Dynamic or Standard mode (there is very little difference between the two) will give you the best possible picture with the most accurate colors. You’ll also get better contrast contributing to greater image depth. As a result of the very good color rendition, photographic images were crisp, with well-saturated colors and natural skin tones. Due to the high resolution, small details were well defined as well. Various nature photos viewed looked quite natural, without any particular color oversaturation or deficiency.
Since the VPL-FHZ55 is a high resolution (1920 x 1200) projector, small (8 pt.) text was sharp and easily readable even on an 80” diagonal projected image. This was true of white text-on-black and yellow text-on-dark blue backgrounds as well. Convergence was very good for a 3LCD projector, which can sometimes be subject to slight misalignment, resulting in an image that is more smooth than sharp. However, the VPL-FHZ55 provided a nice, sharp image with all sorts of source material. Switching from HDMI to an analog input did not noticeably affect image sharpness. As it’s unlikely that a source component will be at a higher resolution than the VPL-FHZ55’s native resolution, there should be no problem with readability on any presentation. Switching to non-native resolutions, UXGA (1600 x 1200) and XGA (1024 x 768), to test the FHZ55’s video processing, there was no drop-off in image quality. Of course, most projectors don’t have a problem with resolutions that are lower than their native resolution, so this was hardly a surprise. However, there was no color fringing of any sort on even the smallest text. As is the case with most multimedia projectors, there is a movable electronic zoom that allows the user to zoom in on a particular section of the screen. This can be very handy for pointing out details in photos or charts. You can also freeze the displayed image via a button on the remote.