Though the Fujifilm FP-Z5000 is expensive among 5,000-lumen, full HD laser projectors, its unique dual-axis rotating lens enables it to cast a sharp, uniform image in just about any direction. The FP-Z5000's special attributes, including industry-leading lens shift and a compact and portable form factor, make it suitable for a range of unusual applications and placements that conventional UST projectors just can't accommodate.
- Ultra-short throw, folded two-axial rotatable lens
- 1.1x zoom with generous +/-82% vertical and +/-35% horizontal lens shift
- Electronic focus, zoom, and lens shift, plus auto lens position memory
- Long-life laser light engine powers to full brightness in under 20 seconds
- 5,000 ANSI lumen rating
- Full HD resolution with impressive edge-to-edge sharpness and uniformity
- Expensive for its product class
- No integrated USB media player
- Remote control has limited range and angle
Fujifilm has long been known and respected for its color films, processing labs, print papers, and document scanners. However, until it showed off its prototype FP-Z5000 ultra-short-throw projector at the ISE show in February 2019, it didn't have much—if any—visible presence in the digital projection industry. That all changed with the arrival this spring of the FP-Z5000, a Full HD resolution (1920x1080), laser-based projector that is clearly in a class of its own based on its integrated, folding dual-axis glass lens that can be pointed in just about any horizontal or vertical direction (22-positions) without moving the projector. At $12,000 MSRP, it's notably expensive against 5,000 lumen, 1080p or WUXGA UST laser projectors with a conventional (and much lower quality) fixed lens, which show up in the ProjectorCentral Find a Projector database at less than $3,500. But the FP-Z5000 is another thing entirely. Its innovative design allows you to place the projector flat and choose to cast a horizontal or vertical aspect image in front, above, or below the projector. Or, you can stand the projector upright (to save on floor space) and fill a wall with a horizontal or vertical aspect image that you could step within an arm's length of without casting a shadow.
The advanced, all-glass, aspheric lens makes this possible, and its quality and design shouldn't come as a surprise considering the decades of experience Fujifilm has in supplying high quality camera and scanner optics. It's less well-known that Fujifilm has long been designing and producing zoom and ultra-short-throw lenses for a variety of respected projector manufacturers who have integrated them into their popular home-theater and ultra-short-throw projector models. Nonetheless, our sources tell us Fujifilm has no immediate plans to offer the lens found in the new FP-Z5000 to its OEM customers. So for now, at least, the FP-Z5000 and its pending 8,000-lumen sibling, the FP-Z8000, remain the only projectors on which you'll see versions of this remarkable lens. Let's take a closer look at it, as well as the projector's other highlights.
Considering the FP-Z5000's 5000-lumen rating, laser engine, and dual-axis lens, it is a fairly compact and portable projector, weighing in at 27.6 lbs and only 4.5-inches high. Its casing, which is available in either black or white, is made of industrial grade hard plastic with vents on both sides and power input just above the intake vent under the lens assembly. With the lens folded down into its protective position, the projector can be carried under your arm or easily fit in a large suitcase or rolling case. When laying flat, the controls and one of the IR-windows (for the remote signals) are located in front of the projector next to the folding lens (on the intake vent side), while another IR window is located in the rear to the far left of most inputs. There are three leveling legs for use when laying flat, and two vertical support legs with extenders that can be attached for vertical orientation of the projector. When the projector is in vertical position, the back IR window gets blocked by the included vertical supports, so you must hold the remote above the projector within a 45-degree angle.
The projector has two HDMI ports located in the rear and one on the right side (recommended for use when the projector is in vertical position.) There is no capability for accepting 4K/UHD input signals for playback at the projector's native resolution, as is found today in some 1080p projectors. An RJ45 connector supports an HDBaseT transmitter for long distance transmissions of video and control signals up to 100 meters (328 feet), or can be utilized for connection to a local network. There's also a USB port used strictly for updating firmware, but none with an integrated media player for viewing video or stills from a USB memory stick.
As mentioned, the integrated lens on the FP-Z5000 is not found on any other projector on the market. It contains 18 aspheric glass elements that include a biaxial rotation arm under the main lens. The aspheric elements help reduce chromatic aberrations and improve focus uniformity and light uniformity, making this an ideal candidate for projection blending. Within the lens assembly, light bends four times on its way to the screen after reflection off the 0.65-inch DLP micromirror chip, including two 90-degree angles. The main (upper) lens arm can be rotated to four positions within a 360-degree circle (0, 90, 180, 270 degrees), while the lower support arm (including additional optics) can be rotated to three positions within 180 degrees.
Most ultra-short throw projectors use a fixed focal-length lens, but the FP-Z5000 features a modest 1.1x zoom that typically provides a few inches of play for positioning and will be very useful when trying to match image sizes in a projector-blending setup, or to tweak the image size in a custom installation. As an example, a 120-inch diagonal image can be thrown from 2 feet, 11 inches to 3 feet, 3 inches away. You can consult the ProjectorCentral Fujifilm FP-Z5000 Throw Calculator to determine the range of throw distance for your image size. Light loss from using full zoom is minimal, since the aperture only changes from f/2.4 to f/2.49. Together, the lens brightness, zoom, multiple position settings, and choice of projector body orientations (horizontal or vertical) can provide up to 22 different lens and placement options, allowing the projector to be placed unobtrusively in small rooms, very tight hallways, and hard to project areas.
According to Fujifilm, the FP-Z5000 also features the greatest amount of optical shift (+/-82% vertical and +/-35% horizontal) of any projector lens. It's actually amazing how far you can shift the image without losing any part of it, except for some extreme cases. (For example, if the projector is set in vertical position, and the lens is rotated to create a vertical image, some of the image may be cut off if you shift too far in the direction of the projector body.)
The lens-memory feature on the Z5000 is an automatic function that records zoom, focus, corner-correction, and shift settings for the lens in each of its main positions. The projector also takes into account the orientation of the projector, whether in horizontal or vertical-stand position. There's no custom or saved lens-memory listing; rather, the projector remembers the settings for the last time each position was used or adjusted. That means it remembers up to 12 lens positions (four for the main upper lens, all of which can be swiveled to 3 lower lens positions, so 4 x 3= 12). Therefore, you can preset the projector for a variety of positions, and as long as you move it close to one of those positions in relation to the screen when setting up a new screen or display wall, the projector will place the image onto the screen area automatically (with only minor tweaks needed).
In operation, I found the lens capable of projecting a tack sharp image from corner to corner, with no distortion or color fringing. That's quite impressive considering the complexity of the design and the extent of the projector's optical shift.
Fujifilm rates the lifespan for its laser-phosphor engine at 20,00 hours. As with many commercial laser-phosphor projectors, the FP-Z5000 can be mounted at any angle, and since this projector already touts more lens positions along with two main body orientations, this allows a creative projection designer to mount the projector (or several of them) at precise angles, or even on a rotating gimble, without worrying about blowing a bulb. In addition, the laser-phosphor engine achieves full power in much less time than a bulb-based model (less than 20 seconds), and maintains higher brightness uniformity over time.
Fujifilm's FujiProjector.com website shows a number of interesting use-cases for the FP-Z5000, including the video below that demonstrates some of its unique capabilities. Some of the situations Fujifilm cites include:
- Restricted Audience Space: For temporary lecture and business presentations, the FP-Z5000's UST lens and extraordinarily generous lens shift allows the projector to be placed off center and on the floor, where it can essentially disappear while it projects an image without the presenter casting shadows.
- Ceiling and Floor Projections: Most projectors used for immersive ceiling or floor projections would end up having to be placed out in the space where they would call attention to themselves. The capabilities of the FP-Z5000 allow it to be placed well outside the viewing area, and with two projectors, even allows the simultaneous projection on an opposing ceiling and floor with no image obstruction from either projector placement.
- Digital Signage or Digital Art: Unlike a traditional UST projector whose visual presence may interfere with the message or artwork, the FP-Z5000 has the ability to be placed off center where it will be less likely to impose itself.
Here's a list of the key specs and standout features of the FP-Z5000.
- Full HD (1920 x 1020 pixel) native resolution achieved from a 0.65 inch DLP chip
- 5,000 rated ANSI lumens brightness
- 12.000:1 rated contrast ratio (full on/full off)
- Laser-phosphor light engine with 20,000-hour life span.
- Unique 18-element, folded two-axial rotatable ultra-short throw lens
- 1.1x powered zoom, focus, and lens shift
- Industry-leading ±82% vertical and ±35% horizontal lens shift.
- Digital keystone and geometric correction
- Image size from 70 to 300 inches diagonal 16:9
- Three HDMI inputs
- RJ-45 port for LAN or HDBaseT connection
- Four preset picture modes: Bright, sRGB, Cinema, and Standard
- Two laser power modes: Normal, Economy.
- Remote control with quick-access buttons to key controls
- Two vertical position stands
- 10-watt on-board speaker
- 3-year warranty
The FP-Z5000 includes four preset projection modes including Bright, sRGB, Cinema, and Standard. That's fewer options than we often see for commercial projectors, but they should serve well in the variety of situations this projector is likely to used for. There's a dedicated button on the remote for selecting these modes, along with basic-to-advanced color and image quality settings. There's also a range of geometric distortion controls available for each mode.
Bright. The FP-Z5000's Bright mode measured 5,120 ANSI lumens, slightly higher than the projector's claimed 5,000 ANSI lumen spec. (See our Measurements section at the end of the review). It also achieved a native color temperature that was closer to the neutral gray D65 white point (6,500K) than the other three modes, which measured not terribly far off but closer to a slightly cooler 7,500K. The projector showed excellent brightness uniformity (95%) when set up as a normal ultra-short throw (on a low table dead center in front of screen), along with good uniformity (88%) when shifted to the left.
In comparison to the other modes, Bright mode has a minor cyan (bluish/green) tint—but not the obvious greenish tint often seen in the brightest mode on many projectors that can make them unusable. Its high brightness combined with the edge-to-edge sharpness of the image make it an ideal choice for showing text-based slides in a room with high ambient light levels or for projecting graphics. On the other hand, Bright mode noticeably sacrifices color saturation compared to the others, and measurements revealed relatively limited color gamut (58% of the Rec.709 gamut associated with HD content) and poorer color accuracy, so its not a great choice for showing movies or color photos.
sRGB MODE. The sRGB mode measured a significant drop in ANSI lumens compared to the Bright mode (from 5,120 to 3,660 Lumens), but this drop, which occurs in most projectors as you move to the more color-accurate modes, still leaves you with a very bright screen. The measurements showed respectable color accuracy and a boost in color gamut to 69% of Rec. 709. In this mode, skin tones looked very accurate, and contrast improved. This might be the best all-around mode for presentations and watching movies and TV in a room with moderate ambient light levels, since it delivers higher brightness than the next two modes but its brighter max black level won't be as easily noticed with the lights on.
Cinema. This is the mode I would recommend for watching movies or viewing color images in a darkened theater environment or hallway (a likely place to find this projector). While the Cinema mode achieves slightly lower max luminance (3,430 ANSI lumens) than the sRGB mode, it achieves a much higher color accuracy, has slightly higher contrast, and a greatly expanded color gamut (86% of Rec.709). These combine to produce an extremely bright image that looks great on a 120-inch screen, with very accurate skin tones and details in saturated colors.
Standard. At a measured 3,010 ANSI lumens in the Normal power setting, the Standard mode delivers the least brightness of any of the modes. It's about the same luminance on screen as the sRGB mode in its Economic power mode, but with slightly higher color accuracy and noticeably-higher contrast. Putting Standard into its Eco mode nets 2,480 lumens, which might be the best alternative to chose over either the sRGB or Cinema modes when watching movies or presentations on a smaller screen (60-80 inch diagonal) in a darkened room, where 3,000 lumens could cause eye fatigue.
How much will the FP-Z5000's image quality benefit from a professional calibration, and which mode would be the best to choose for that calibration? Based on my test results, I determined that the Cinema mode, which had the highest color accuracy and respectable luminance (3,430 lumens) was the best candidate. The FP-Z5000 includes most of the color controls needed for performing a calibration, except for a 10-pt gamma curve adjustment. However, since the default settings achieved a decent match to the target BT.1886 gamma curve, that control wasn't necessary.
My calibration did improve color accuracy, but only slightly from the default settings—less than most people could see. Unfortunately, that slight improvement to color came at a cost: the luminance rating dropped nearly 15% to 3,050 Lumens, and the color gamut shrunk to 79% of Rec.709. Therefore, it's probably not worth the cost or time spent for a calibration unless you're trying to closely match two projectors for a blending installation, or attempting to remove a color cast due to a screen tint or colored wall. In either of those cases, if the signal is coming from a computer, you're better off using a different color profile at the source to tweak color accuracy and temperature.
For most permanent installations, there are much cheaper alternatives in this lumen class for laser-based short throw or ultra-short-throw projectors. But the versatility and performance of the Fujifilm FP-Z5000 projector will no doubt make it an ideal choice for professionals who have to project images in difficult environments that can't easily accommodate a more conventional projector. And for fast and impactful installations at all sorts of live venues, it's hard to imagine a more flexible option. For that reason, one could envision this becoming a popular projector for rental & staging operations.
The FP-Z5000's high luminance, unique lens, and compact size may also appeal to projection-mapping designers who never know what they'll be mapping next, as well as for schools and educators who can't afford a large screen TV in every classroom or multipurpose room and need to accommodate a wide variety of installation scenarios with the same projector. If you're a teacher or traveling salesperson, you could carry this projector into a small classroom or conference room and within minutes be displaying a bright, 120-inch diagonal image that doesn't show your shadow on it until you're inches away. It could just as easily sit in a corner of the stage for a school play and cast a large scenic backdrop.
Given its cost, the purchase of an FP-Z5000 would have to be well-justified. But for these and other unique or challenging applications, it may be the heaven-sent solution you've been waiting for.
Brightness. In its brightest display mode, the Bright mode, and with the Normal laser power setting, the FP-Z5000 exceeded its 5,000 ANSI lumen specification with a measurement of 5,120 lumens and did so with only a mild cyan tint that still left this mode suitable for text and non-photorealistic content. The projector's most color-accurate modes for photo and movie content, Cinema and sRGB, still delivered a punchy 3,430 and 3,660 lumens respectively.
Note, however, that all of the modes demonstrated relatively low color brightness in ICDM CLO color standard measurements compared to their full ANSI white brightness measurements, ranging from a low of 1,150 color brightness lumens for Bright mode to a high of 1,350 for sRGB. This is not necessarily unusual for commercial single-chip DLP projectors with a color wheel that are engineered to optimize brightness, but the lack of color saturation was particularly noticeable in Bright mode compared with the others.
Following are the full ANSI lumens measured for each display mode in the Normal and Eco laser power modes.
Fujifilm FP-Z5000 ANSI Lumens
Brightness Uniformity (Wide Zoom): 95%
Zoom Lens Light Loss: The 1.1x zoom produces negligible effect on brightness at its longest position.
Rainbow Effect: I'm very sensitive to the rainbow effect in 1-chip DLP-based projectors, and nearly all of those that I've seen powered by lasers still exhibit the effect. I could see the rainbow effect in the FP-Z5000, but it was far less distracting than in bright bulb-based DLP projectors. With real world content such as movies or continuous tone images, the effect was hard to find in the Cinema, sRGB, and Standard modes.
Fan Noise: Fujifilm does not specify a noise rating for the FP-Z5000. In real-world use the sound was too much for a home theater environment but likely to be sufficiently quiet in the open spaces the projector will be used in. In ECO mode the projector fan quiets down noticeably, making it easier to hear the built-in 10W speaker should that be required. The High Altitude mode causes fan noise to double with no perceptable change in screen image.
- HDMI (x3)
- HDBaseT/LAN (RJ-45)
- USB (service only)
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Fujifilm FP-Z5000 projector page.