AX100 vs Z5 low lamp brightness

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Tommy Angelo

Guest
I'm having trouble deciding between these two projectors and I have heard that the Z5 is actually brighter in low lamp mode than the AX100. If this is true and the low lamp mode life is about the same I think I will have to buy the Z5.

Can anyone confirm this?
 

Me

Active Member
I am in the same boat except I am trying to chose between three projectors.Some of my observations may help you. I am replacing a Sanyo PLV-30, which already has a very good picture. Funny thing is that a few of the projectors that I have demo'd over the last few weeks, which in theory are several generations higher than the PLV-30 have poorer pictures. The one's I have shortlisted are:
Panny AX100
Sanyo PLV-Z5
Hitachi PJTX300
No DLP as I have a problem with the Rainbow effect.

The Sanyo is the front runner at the moment, mainly because,
It has a very sharp image, very strong shadow detail, good black level, lamp replacement , approx £230, I know Sanyo projectors are very reliable
AX100, seems to have a very bright image, however, I am installing the projector in a dedicated room so the extra light output is neither here or there.The PLV-30 light output is fine in the room at the moment, the PLV-z5 is brighter, so I will gain extra light output anyway beyound what I am used to. Lamp replacement seems to be the most expensive of the three. There are a few concerns over reliability, depending who you talk to on this forum. I like my images razor sharp and am not 100% convinced with the smoothing technology the ax100 uses, next to the z5 it looks blured. Black levels are not as good as the other two.
Hitachi, very similar to the Sanyo, only issue with it seems to be that it does not do lower quality signals as well as Hi def, this would be a problem for me, other than that the lamp is very cheap.

I will probably go for the Z5 ,although I am going to have another look at the Hitachi before I decide. Best price I have found on the Z5 is http://www.ivojo.co.uk/sanyo-plv-z5.htm
Hope some of this might help.
 
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Tommy Angelo

Guest
Thanks for the input, it's very useful.

I'm also swaying toward the Z5 but I've been so disappointed by the brightness and shadow details of my AE500 after the lamp reaches the 1000hr mark that I'm pulled a bit towards the AX100 because I imagine even when the lamp is getting really old it'll still have a fairly bright image.

I have my AE500 in the same room as my 17" CRT both connected to the PC and when they are both on it's so disappointing to look over at the CRT and see so many details in shadows that I can't see on the projector, this is even after careful tweaking.

I really need to know if its true about the "LOW" lamp settings on these though because if the Z5 really is brighter in "LOW" than the AX100 then I'm ready to order a Z5.

The only other thing I've heared is that the Z5 can't take a 1080P24 signal only 1080P50/60. Is this true?

Hang on I just read the Z5 specs on ivojo and it doesn't mention 1080p at all, only 1080i, is this right?

Also is the Z5 suitable for laying upside down? (See the link in my sig to see my home made mount)
 

Such

Well-known Member
Also is the Z5 suitable for laying upside down? (See the link in my sig to see my home made mount)[/QUOTE]

My Z5 is ceiling mounted upside down - its no problem
 

Dogma21

Active Member
I have had an AX100 for about 3 weeks and think it a great projector. It is my first so I'm no expert.

However the image is slightly soft due to the smoothscreen and I've noticed a slight loss of detail when watching HD DVD and Sky HD.

However I think my eyes are getting used to image and don't notice it anymore and it is becoming less of an issue.

It does produce a very film like image when watching DVD and HD DVD/Blu-ray.

Out of the box settings are excellent and flesh tones look brilliant, I've heard that the Z5 needs a lot of tweaking in the settings to get the colours right.

I have a Z5 coming on wednesday because I want to compare the pictures as the Z5 has a very sharp image and better contrast.

So I will post my opinions on the two projectors in a couple of days and I will either have an AX100 or Z5 for sale.

I will also be able to compare the low lamp brightness that the OP was asking about.
 
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Tommy Angelo

Guest
Thanks very much Dogma, this is going to be a huge help in my choosing. :thumbsup:
 
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Tommy Angelo

Guest
My Z5 is ceiling mounted upside down - its no problem

No, is it suitable for laying upside down, see the link in my sig to see how my current projector is mounted.
 

nickane

Standard Member
I had an ax100 and took it back because i preferred the image on the z3 it was replacing. Some ppl like sharp images, some ppl like smooth images, and the smoothscreen tech goes someway to making lcd look like dlp whilst softening the image, but I didn't like it, feeling that it caused funny scaling artifacts even on static images (like on the graphics different dvd player's put out when there's no disc in/playing - I took issue with all 3 of the screensavers of different players i tried with it).

It is always very difficult to make assertions about a manufacturer's track record with quality control, but I genuinely think that Sanyos are sturdier machines based on my experience. The ae100's (5 panasonics ago) were hugely popular on these forums but ended up having loads of problems down the line. The trend has continued somewhat through the generations, but it has to be remembered that panasonics tend to sell better (especially earlier on, before the sanyo's start getting reduced). I've seen 2 ax100's and both had uniformity issues and pretty bad convergence. I've only ever seen my sanyo which was bought 2nd hand here with its quality approved by a moderator, so my "experience" with them is limited, and despite my good luck, I think that most units are flawed in some way. Its just that there is such a wide range of problems reported on the panasonic (ghosting, uniformity etc.) and my one seemed to have all of them. There are a lot of ppl who post in discussions on the ax100's flaws how theirs works fine, but panasonic always seems to win over new customers who are likely just too wowed by the big picture (as we all were) to notice the thin blue line at the edge (or whatever), and most veterans who get them seem to take issue with them pretty quickly.

The z5 may not be as bright but 5 years ago, it wasn't unheard of for ppl to say on these forums that "its plenty bright with 500 lumens, so you can use it with a fair amount of ambient light". Screens have gotten bigger since then, of course, so 500 lumens wouldn't get you as far anyways, but my point is that it's all relative and ppl will always say that the least bright of two competing models will require complete darkness, when in fact ambient light doesn't do either any favours, it just affects the brighter one less than the other. Whilst the projectorcentral comparison (which raves about both BTW) says the range of light outputs is what makes the ax100 so much more versatile, the accounts of problems which have set in 10s-100s of hours down the line (discolouration relating to low lamp mode i think), suggest that its precisely the indeterminance of its specifications that's making the panels go bad.

Besides, with the free lamp/camcorder/3 year warranty, the sanyo is once again the better deal.
 
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Tommy Angelo

Guest
If I'm getting an LCD projector I think I've decided it will be the Z5.

But now that someone has pointed out that a DLP should last longer and considering the amount of trouble I've had with this AE500 with the colours seeming to fade over the three years I've had it (or I'm getting more fussy), the shadow detail being non-existent any more and blue blobs being left on the screen for a couple of hours after displaying a static image for 20 minutes it seems a good idea that I see what I think of DLP before I decide on the Z5.

I think I'll get myself to Currys to sit in front of a DLP rear projection TV for a few minutes to see if I notice any rainbows.
 

Dogma21

Active Member
I did suffer from rainbows when I demoed two DLP's in two different shops.

This is the main reason I went with LCD, plus lot's of favourable reviews on the AX100.
 

Dogma21

Active Member
Another reason why I will probably keep the Z5 when it arrives is the twin HDMI and component inputs and 3 year warranty.

Depending on picture quality that is.

To be honest the only thing that I'm worried about with the Z5 is screen door. The Ax100 is excellent due to the smoothscreen. I can project a 110" picture from 12 feet away and not see the pixel structure. :thumbsup:
 
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Tommy Angelo

Guest
Hang on, just realised I wont need to place the PJ upside down because the lens shift works the same regardless of what way up it is placed.
 

Me

Active Member
Dogma21, really look forward to reading your back to back review., should be very interesting to see how soft the Panny's image is next to the Z5, and has the sharpness been gained at the cost of more screen door effect. The one thing I am looking to improve on my old Sanyo PLV-30 is the lessening of the SDE.
Tommy Angelo, I did the same, when I first heard of the Rainbow effect years ago, down to curry's and found a couple of DLP tv's to see if I was affected.I did not see anything at all and decided to buy a Benq 6100 projector to use in a games room. When I eventually set it all up on the larger screen I found that all I could see was the rainbow effect. If you are into sci-fi where there are always dark flashing to light back to dark scenes the effect is made even worse. I can live with it on a very low cost projector like the 6100, but as a main theatre projector it is impossible to watch. I demo'd a faster colour wheel machine a few weeks ago to see if I could see it on the newer machine and the answer was unfortunately, yes, but only occasionally. On a smaller screen it was not to bad but on the bigger screen not very plesant. Best bet is to have a look at a DLP but on the same screen size you are going to use. Most people can't see the rainbows so you will probably be fine.
 
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Tommy Angelo

Guest
I'm hoping sitting close enough to a 50" or so DLP RPTV will be about the same as my 90" screen. What I really need is a proper front projection DLP demo but I have no idea where to find one in my area.

Edit: Just been out to Currys and Comet and my conclusion is this: DLP TVs are much rarer than they used to be, couldn't find one on display or for sale.

Not quite sure where to go from here...
 

Delh68

Active Member
Another reason why I will probably keep the Z5 when it arrives is the twin HDMI and component inputs and 3 year warranty.

Depending on picture quality that is.

To be honest the only thing that I'm worried about with the Z5 is screen door. The Ax100 is excellent due to the smoothscreen. I can project a 110" picture from 12 feet away and not see the pixel structure. :thumbsup:

I have been looking at getting a Z5 also, but depending on your useage requirements, you should know that the warranty is actually 3years/3000hrs useage ~ whichever comes first! (30 days for the bulb:eek: )
(This is on the Ivojo website, so i would imagine this is Sanyo's standard policy)

However still a much better offer than Panasonics AX100 1 year & their stipulation of how many hours a week it should used! (remember reading it somewhere on here!)

Delh68
 

Me

Active Member
I was looking for a post date on that of 1/4/07, that Panasonic warranty can not be for real, or am I missing the point somewhere.
Maybe the AX100 should be re-advertised, "great multi-media projector with added light output, great for watching TV with higher ambient light levels, as long as you only watch a few mins a day, lets face it TV is bad for you anyway"
 

jamiev

Active Member
have read this thread with great interest. i have the z2 at the monent and hooked it up to the tosh hd e1 via dvi/hdmi and it would'nt hand shake. so i have been looking at the z5 (coming down in price) and nearly went for one. then i saw the group test in this months hcc and found the z5 to be at the bottom of the list of five pj's!!
i only have a max of £1000 to spend but i still think its the best sub £1000 lcd pj.:smashin:
 

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