Sony VPL-FHZ85 Commercial Interchangeable Lens 3LCD Projector Review - Summary

March 1, 2022 / By Project Reviews Staff

The VPL-FHZ85 is an excellent projector choice for almost any professional application where a high-end, mid-tier projector is needed, including lecture halls, boardrooms, small to medium-sized auditoriums, or high-end installations such as retail locations or museums.

Powerful and compact, the VPL-FHZ85 includes the latest Sony picture quality innovations to deliver consistently rich, bright, colorful images. This projector would be an elegant addition to any modern workspace. 

HARDWARE

Sony continues to innovate and drive hardware performance to new levels. To that end, the VPL-FHZ85 uses Sony's proprietary BrightEra 3LCD imagers. Coupled with the Sony Z-Phosphor laser light engine, this projector provides reliability, flexibility, and category-leading performance of an estimated 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation. 

A range of interchangeable lenses with a class-leading lens shift capability overcomes ceiling obstacles and other AV equipment challenges. I also found the motorized lens functions: Focus, Zoom, and Lens Shift to be smooth, making it easy for me to get the position, zoom, and focus right the first time with almost no correction.

This 2022 series projector comes with just about every input needed on an installation projector. Sony has improved the projector's 4K content support from 30P to 60P, improving compatibility with 4K video sources. Other hardware features such as HDBaseT allow AV signals to be sent and received over long distances via a low-cost CAT6 cable.

Like previous Sony professional products, the VPL-FHZ85 is a well manufactured and performing projector. However, the hardware and build quality are only half the story of this projector. The other half of the equation is the software which I will cover next. 

Sony is a leader in the business/education projectors market, they continue to innovate and drive hardware performance to new levels and improve installation and control features.

SOFTWARE

The VPL-FHZ85 laser projector includes a range of Sony exclusive signal processing technologies. Sony developed many of them more than a decade ago but have continued to add features and improve their capabilities.

Sony has improved its long-established Intelligent Settings feature from Version 2 to Version 3, adding an on-board luminance sensor that allows the projector to adjust key projector settings, in real-time, based on lighting changes to the environment.

Reality Creation is Sony's proprietary auto intelligent mapping and analysis technology. Reality Creation enables the VPL-FZ85 to produce crisp, clear pictures for effective presentations and display. As part of Reality Creation, the new Reality Text feature improves text-based presentation materials by providing clearer letters and lines with enhanced legibility.

Sony's Ambiance feature measures a room's brightness using a built-in sensor to automatically adjust color gain, Bright View mode, and Reality Creation settings to match the environment and enhance the viewing experience.

Bright View signal processing technology helps the VPL-FHZ85 maintain dynamic color, even while projecting a very high lumens image.

The VPL-FHZ85 includes a protocol emulation feature that will allow you to control a network of Sony projectors using other manufacturers' RS232C control protocols. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Even those with limited industry experience know that Sony can produce innovative and often groundbreaking projectors with features and technology that have consistently set Sony apart from the competition. 

For example, hitting a golf ball at a flat-panel or Direct LED display probably isn't a good idea, so projectors are commonly utilized in golf simulators. Due to their high brightness, reliability, interchangeable lenses, and compact size, Sony midrange 3LCD projectors such as the VPL-FHZ85 are popular options for this application.

If you or a client are in the market for a top-of-the-line, mid-tier projector with an incredible range of hardware and software features, I highly recommend the Sony VPL-FHZ85.

This $6,999 commercial-grade projector has an incredibly bright and vibrant image providing excellent color and a whole host of useful features that make it an excellent choice for almost any professional use.

PROS

  • Price: $6,999 MSRP
  • 7,300 ANSI Lumens/8,000 Center Lumens
  • Z-Phosphor™ Laser Light Source, 20,000 Hours of Life (Standard mode)
  • Auto Color Calibration
  • Auto Pixel Alignment
  • Sony’s New BrightEra™ 19 mm (0.76 in) 3LCD Panel Design
  • Aspect ratio: 16:10 WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Native Resolution
  • Contrast Ratio: ∞:1 (Infinity) Dynamic
  • Optional Interchangeable Lenses
  • Zoom Lens Ratio: 1.6X
  • Power Lens Focus/Shift/Zoom: Yes
  • Frame-by-Frame Reality Creation and Reality Text Algorithms
  • Intelligent Settings Version 3 with Ambiance
  • Bright View Signal Processing Technology
  • 4K 60P input-capable
  • Automated Filter Cleaning System
  • HDBaseT™ Interface Adaptor
  • Data Cloning
  • Weight: Approx. 13 kg (29 lb)
  • Warranty: Five (5) years or 12,000 hours, whichever occurs first

CONS

  • Remote is not backlit
  • No Wireless Networking, even via the Sony IFU-WLM3 USB wireless dongle
  • Lack of built-in media player
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