HOME > Road Test: Panasonic PT-MZ670U
February 23, 2018,
Lumens: 6500 Resolution: 1920x1200
What the Panasonic PT-MZ670U gives you:
Physical attributes. With the projector on a table and viewed from behind, all of the connectors are on the back panel in a slightly recessed area centered between the two exhaust vents. The power connector is at the bottom of the recessed area, just left of center. The Kensington lock slot is at the right of the area, roughly centered between top and bottom. The security bar is on the bottom edge of the back panel, near the right side. Intake vents are on the front and both sides.
Natural and Cinema modes are not both available with the same input. In our tests, Cinema replaced Natural when using a Blu-ray player instead of a PC. In addition, Standard mode is a few percent brighter when connected to a Blu-ray player rather than a PC, at 6,147 lumens using HDMI in both cases. The other color presets are all the same brightness with both sources.
Low Brightness Mode. Both Eco and Quiet modes are about 68% as bright as Normal mode, which is still bright enough for many large rooms. One difference between the two is that Quiet mode lowers fan noise to a rated 28 dB compared with 33 dB for Normal and Eco modes. It also slightly reduces light engine life to 20,000 hours, down from the 24,000 hours in Eco mode.
Presentation Optimized Lumens. Using default settings, all of the MZ670U's predefined color modes show at least some green bias, with Natural offering closest to a neutral color at just over 6,000 ANSI lumens. However, even Dynamic mode delivers nicely saturated color for graphics, making it more than acceptable for presentations if you need the MZ670U's highest brightness to stand up to ambient light at the image size you want. For more accurate color when Natural isn't a choice in the menus, Standard with default settings is the best choice, at about 6,150 ANSI lumens.
Video Optimized Lumens. For film and video, Standard mode tweaked to lower its green intensity delivers suitably neutral color and highly watchable video at 5,450 ANSI lumens.
Zoom Lens Effect on Brightness. The standard lens curtails light by 29% at the full telephoto setting, which is typical for a 1.7x zoom. That translates to 71% of the brightness available with the wide angle setting, or 5,363 ANSI lumens for Dynamic mode.
Brightness Uniformity. At 87% brightness uniformity, it is barely possible to see some brightness variation in a solid white image. However, the variation is impossible to see with any text, graphic, or photo that breaks up the field of view.
Input Lag. The input lag in most preset modes is 40 to 43 ms. The exceptions are Cinema, at 51 ms, and Standard, at 53 ms.
On-board audio. The 10-watt mono speaker delivers enough volume to easily fill a mid-size room.
Throw distance. The choice of six lenses offers a vast throw distance range, letting the MZ670U throw a 200" diagonal 16:10 image from anywhere between 11.1 feet and 101.7 feet. For the standard lens, the range is roughly 22.8 to 39.8 feet. The Panasonic PT-MZ670U Projection Calculator will give you the throw distance range for the image size you want, including throw data for each of its optional lenses.
Lens shift. Also adding to placement flexibility is the MZ670U's lens shift. We measured the vertical shift at +/-70% of the image height up or down from the centered position, which is a bit more than the +/-67% spec. The measured horizontal shift is roughly 39% of the image width left and right of the center line. The two shift ranges interact with each other, so each is 0 at the other's most extreme positions--up, down, left, or right.
High altitude mode. There is no high altitude mode per se. The MZ670U has built-in heat and pressure sensors that let it adjust fan speed as needed for altitudes as high as 8,858 feet. That's high enough for most places that aren't on a mountain and quite a few that are.
The Panasonic PT-MZ670U is both aggressively priced and a textbook case of under promising and over delivering. At $5,899 street, it is the least expensive projector in today's market that combines a 1920x1200 native resolution, a laser-phosphor-wheel light source, a 6000-lumen or higher brightness rating, and a 24/7 duty cycle. And although it promises 6,500 lumens for its center spot reading, our test unit delivered 8,125 lumens based on the center spot--125% of the rating. It also produced 7500 ANSI lumens.
The brightness is enough for a 220" 16:10 diagonal image with a 1.0 gain screen in moderate ambient light. Colors in all predefined color modes are vibrant, nicely saturated, and suitably eye catching for presentations, despite a slight green bias with default settings in all color presets. With the settings tweaked for more neutral color, the MZ670U can even serve nicely for film and video in a museum, retail display, or sports bar. It helps too that the three-chip LCD design rules out any possibility of rainbow artifacts.
The MZ670U also gets points for easy setup. Its 37.3-pound weight counts as light for a 6,500-lumen laser-based model, making it easier to handle than most of its competition, while the choice of lenses, the 1.7x zoom for the standard lens, and the large lens shift range adds even more flexibility.
The laser-based, dust-resistant design makes the MZ670U an obvious choice for 24/7, nearly maintenance-free operation. For displays in retail, museums, and similar locations, this can be critical.
Any location that needs a display, sign, or exhibit can also benefit from LinkRay, which can download anything from coupons to menus to descriptive text, and automatically download text in the default language specified by each visitor's phone or tablet. Even in a classroom or conference room, this could be useful for providing ancillary material.
Also important for cramped or unusual installations are the MZ670U's support for mounting at any angle over 360 degrees in any axis, its four-corner adjustment, and its curved correction,
The Panasonic PT-MZ670U's constellation of features--including low price, high resolution, higher-than-promised brightness, setup ease and flexibility, and little-to-no maintenance--make it a more-than-solid value. Whether for a classroom or conference room, a sign or display, or a small auditorium, if you need the Panasonic PT-MZ670U's level of brightness, it may be the perfect fit.
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