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HS20 vs Z2 vs AE500 status report - Page 3  

post #61 of 97
Could horizontal lines and peak-a-boo screen door be the result of scaling with the 300 and 500?
post #62 of 97
darin: so only panasonics have the scanline problem?
post #63 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by mad_arab
darin: so only panasonics have the scanline problem?
Li On has reported that he has seen it on every LCD he has ever viewed. However, most of us have only seen it on the Panasonics. So, I think the theory that taking away the SDE layer makes the scanlines more visible is the best one I've seen.

Based on how much I noticed the scanlines compared to most people (I saw them more) on the AE300 and the improvement I see on the AE500, I think most people wouldn't see them on that one, though.

--Darin
post #64 of 97
Thread Starter 
Darinp2:
How was your following statement determined (through measurement)?
Quote:
I don't have any refinements to that other than that using the HS20 in low lamp mode does not decrease the CR. It does on the AE500.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Doesn't this surprise you? Have you heard a reason for it?


After reading your posts regarding smoothscreen and scanlines on the 500, would you be able to say that the picture on the 500 would be as smooth (or smoother) than the HS20 without FPN/VB?

Obviously, this is judgement, is it possible for you to draw this conclusion base on your "shootout" and based on the fact that the HS20 requires a minor soft-focus and 500 owners report no SDE with a hard focus?
gp

Edit: Here was an older post regarding FPN and VB for your info
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...PN#post2606167

Also, here's an interesting thought for those trying to decide between these three projectors (taken from the "Don't send your Z2 back to Sanyo for VB" thread:

Quote:
Originally posted by snclawson
I'm beginning to wonder if it's Epson who's really to blame for making LCD panels that are particularly prone to fixed pattern noise. Lately it seems that it's just owners of PJ's with Epson made panels that are complaining about banding/FPN...I saw someone with an Epson S1 having issues, along with an old post from someone with a TW100 on the `expensive LCD' forum, along with people with Z1's, AE300's, Z2's and AE500's. I also found this snippet from the Yamaha LPX-500 review (a rebadged TW100) from hometheatrehifi by Kris Deering (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...r-12-2003.html):

But that doesnt mean there werent other problems. The main caveat I
found was fixed pattern noise (FPN). This is a problem that I have
seen with every single LCD projector to date. Some are worse then
others, but I have yet to see one without the problem. Fixed pattern
noise looks like lines of dirt, smearing in the image. I have seen
some make the mistake of calling it an artifact associated with the
screen texturing as it looks like lines of fabric. It is most evident
on large areas of solid color such as a sky or walls. The lighter the
color, the more evident the problem becomes. As I mentioned before,
this problem shows different severities between different projectors,
but the Yamaha was a bit noisier than some of the newer offerings I
have seen. This is probably due to the Epson based panels since most
projectors that I have seen with Epson panels exhibit this more then
others.

This pretty much is exactly what I'm seeing. Except of course this is with the `Dream III' panels instead of the `Dream IV' panels that the Z2 is using. You'd think that they would have either improved the panel design, or their manufacturing by now! This could be a definite plus for the HS20's if the Sony made panels are better in this regard.
Obviously, this is NOT entirely true -- since I've read reports of these LCD artifacts on Sony projectors as well. Though talk of it has seemed more prevalent among non-Sony owners over the past few months. Maybe Sony does have a little better QC on making their panels "evenly" and experiences less of this phenomenon?
post #65 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by GreggPenn
Darinp2:
How was your following statement determined (through measurement)?
Quote:
I don't have any refinements to that other than that using the HS20 in low lamp mode does not decrease the CR. It does on the AE500.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Doesn't this surprise you? Have you heard a reason for it?
My comment was based on the physics, not measurements. Changing the bulb from high to low should not change the CR at all in general. I say "in general" because if changing the bulb voltage somehow changed the color balance (which I don't think it normally does) then you could go recalibrate and change your CR. However, without changing the calibration the CR shouldn't change between low and high mode because the LCD panels are dealing with percentages of light and the bulb being dimmer by 20% just means the blacks are 20% dimmer and the whites are 20% dimmer, which means the same contrast ratio.

If someone changes the bulb setting, doesn't recalibrate, and then measures a different CR it is pretty good sign that their CR measurement method is flawed.

The reason using the low bulb on the AE500 lowers the CR is because it turns off the bulb modulation feature that they are using to get their good CR numbers. High lamp mode would also have lower CR if it were used without the AI. I guess I should have been more clear that I am talking about high lamp with the AI on the AE500. I can't think of any situation where I would put the lamp on high and turn the AI feature off. At least not one where CR made any difference to me. I had forgotten that this might even be an option on the AE500.
Quote:
After reading your posts regarding smoothscreen and scanlines on the 500, would you be able to say that the picture on the 500 would be as smooth (or smoother) than the HS20 without FPN/VB?
My gut feeling is that the AE500 would be pretty dang smooth if not for the FPN/VB (and maybe scanlines from close viewing distances).

I've felt that Epson seemed to be worse than Sony for FPN for a while. It does seem like Sony is in the lead in the department from the small sample set I've viewed. I saw it on the Yamaha version of Epson's projector at CES within about 10 seconds and ruled that one out. It was probably the biggest factor in not really liking the TW100 that I borrowed for one night. I like to be able to have the illusion of not realizing I'm watching digital images at least sometimes, but FPN keeps me from that.

--Darin
post #66 of 97
What is VB as opposed to FPN? I have something on my Z2 (pretty mild, apparently) and don't know which it is. It's vertical, but I hear that FPN is or can be vertical as well. Thanks.
post #67 of 97
I have seen the Yamaha LPX-500 (Epson TW100H clone) at a dealer on a 92" diagonal Grayhawk. While screendoor was unnoticeable at 13 feet, FPN was very bad. On every pan of a bright sky, you could see it. Very distracting.

On my Sony HS20, I see absolutely no FPN. I've watched the same clips I used at the dealer on the Yamaha and there is no fixed panel noise that I can see. On XMen 2, all the pans across the snow scenes are beautifully white and clean. Same on the sky scenes in LOTR.

I have also not noticed any significant vertical banding on the Sony. I wasn't looking for that when I saw the Yamaha so I can't comment.

I do see screendoor on the HS20 as I sit 10' from a 100" diagonal screen. When you move to the second row in my theater, about 14' back, it disappears.

-Gary.
post #68 of 97
Thread Starter 
Sony is gaining ground -- with respect to my choice! Hopefully, Tom Huffman will provide some impressive numbers for comparing the light output of the HS20 vs the other two units (crossing my fingers).

greighn:
Glad to hear your HS20 is "clean". What about panel alignment?

Could the pixelation that you can see at 10' be "soft-focused" away? If so, why don't you do that?

Darin:
You're saying that not using AI lowers the contrast of the AE500, right? By your last statement, I must presume that the AE500's would have the same contrast >>on low or high<< if AI is not used. However, it would be the same contrast as the AE300, correct?

gp
post #69 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by GreggPenn
Darin:
You're saying that not using AI lowers the contrast of the AE500, right? By your last statement, I must presume that the AE500's would have the same contrast >>on low or high<< if AI is not used. However, it would be the same contrast as the AE300, correct?
I haven't done many measurements since changing some calibration, but these are the approximate numbers I would say I got from out of the box:

low lamp: 600:1
high lamp (no AI): 600:1
AI-2 (uses both lamp settings): 900:1

I think the CR went down after that, but it did look like almost no improvement in CR over the AE300 without the AI feature. And about 50% improvement with that feature.

Also, I probably didn't actually measure the high lamp without AI mode, but that can be inferred from the low lamp CR.

--Darin
post #70 of 97
Thread Starter 
I admit it. I'm having a hard time understanding this. :confused:

If the contrast does not change going from low to high mode, then how can the contrast change by using a "modulation" of these two modes to fit the brightness of the scene.

Is the increased contrast achieved by measuring "black" when the AI is modulating low and measuring "white" when modulating high? If so, then it would seem that zero improvement has been made in CR on this unit -- only a tricky way to measure it!

If I'm correct, I could see where the dynamics might provide for the >>appearance<< of a better picture -- but only when a movie is NOT mostly light or dark.

I also confess that I don't understand how the IRIS works either. I've read the explanations saying that blacks are lowered more than whites (when the IRIS is activated) but it doesn't sound logical. Also lowering the light output doesn't sound exciting to me either.

Having a bright projector on a lower gain screen sounds like the best way to compensate for this inherent weakness of LCDs. Would you agree with that? (That's a big reason why I think the brightest PJ of these three has an edge. Again, if I'm correct, how much extra brightness is necessary for the low gain screen technique)?
post #71 of 97
Gregg,
The way CR is measured for on/off, one takes the maximum output of a white field (100 IRE) and divide that by the lowest light output at 0 IRE (I'm sure folks will let me know when I screw this up). Thus, a projector that had 1000 lux at bright white and 1 lux at 0 IRE would have an on/off CR of 1000:1.

ANSI contrast is calculated similarly, but rather than using entire screens of white and black, it uses a checkerboard on one screen. One of the best projectors for ANSI contrast is the Plus Piano 3100. Allegedly zoom lenses and lens shifts deteriorate ANSI contrast performance. However, as always, reality trumps theory... (i.e. it's implementation dependent)

Later,
Bill
post #72 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by mad_arab
darin: so only panasonics have the scanline problem?
I was the guy sitting at 1.0x at Darin's house and noticed the noise problems more on the AE500 than on the Z2. I was fully expecting the AE500 to be better than the Z2 due to the smooth screen. And up close it looked great. However, as we watched movies from a range of sources (Darin can describe the sources) the Z2 looked better. Again we were having fun and this was not a rigorous test. The specific effect looked like there were 2 pixel tall bands on the AE500 when there was a lot of action on the screen. I can't tell you why. This did not exist on the Z2. The Z2 just looked good vs AE500 - it was rare that I noticed anything strange about the picture whereas with the AE500 this happened relatively often.

In terms of the Z2 settings we were mostly watching it AI mode. Later we tried bumping up to high lamp and adjusting the iris. I heard several folks comment that they were impressed with the brightness and contrast but later when we saw the Sharp 12K it was clearly much better.

Subjectively, the HS20 looked better overall than the Z2 (generally smoother) which looked better than the AE500 (not as many artifacts). The HS20 appear to have less FPN but we did not adjust the service menu on the Z2 so that might improve things.

-John
post #73 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by darinp2

My gut feeling is that the AE500 would be pretty dang smooth if not for the FPN/VB (and maybe scanlines from close viewing distances).
--Darin [/b]
I'm not the expert Darin is on these things so take the following with a grain of salt but the artifacts I saw on the AE500 didn't like they were due to FPN or VB. They where more horizontal and "digital" looking. If I had to guess it would be something to do with the processing in the AE500 or the smoothscreen or some interaction between the two. Finally, keep in mind that I was sitting in the 1.0-1.3x range which most folks don't do so this may not be an issue for others.
post #74 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by johnshew
I'm not the expert Darin is on these things so take the following with a grain of salt but the artifacts I saw on the AE500 didn't like they were due to FPN or VB. They where more horizontal and "digital" looking. If I had to guess it would be something to do with the processing in the AE500 or the smoothscreen or some interaction between the two. Finally, keep in mind that I was sitting in the 1.0-1.3x range which most folks don't do so this may not be an issue for others.
I'll defer to you on this one, since I never tried sitting that close. Your 2 pixel comment definitely makes sense based on what I know about what they are doing (1 pixel basically splits into 4 which is 2x2) although I haven't actually noticed this myself. I've had trouble getting past the FPN. :) If that weren't there maybe I would notice the same things that you did.
Quote:
Originally posted by GreggPenn
If the contrast does not change going from low to high mode, then how can the contrast change by using a "modulation" of these two modes to fit the brightness of the scene.

Is the increased contrast achieved by measuring "black" when the AI is modulating low and measuring "white" when modulating high? If so, then it would seem that zero improvement has been made in CR on this unit -- only a tricky way to measure it!
Gregg,

In a way it could be thought of as cheating, but so is using less than a huge number of pixels to display images. The key is that your eye can only see so much CR at once. The reason that high on/off CRs are needed is because your iris opens up as you adjust to darket scenes and then black level becomes important. Black level isn't really all that important in the brightest scenes, so modulating for the darker scenes were you don't need those bright whites makes a lot of sense to me. Also, the black level that you see in the darkest scenes isn't even possible on something like the HS20 (no AI) during bright scenes because of reflections in the lens, etc. That is why there is an ANSI CR measurement also to show how the projectors perform when doing both black and white at once. The key questions for me are:

Do I notice it?
Does it improve the images?

For me while watching things the answers are "No" and "Yes". So, whether it is magic or cheating doesn't really matter to me.
Quote:
If I'm correct, I could see where the dynamics might provide for the >>appearance<< of a better picture -- but only when a movie is NOT mostly light or dark.
It creates the appearence of better images when things are mostly dark (it is a little more complicated than that, but this should be enough for here). And aren't appearences all we really care about? All these measurements are just there to help us figure out how things will likely look.
Quote:

Having a bright projector on a lower gain screen sounds like the best way to compensate for this inherent weakness of LCDs. Would you agree with that? (That's a big reason why I think the brightest PJ of these three has an edge. Again, if I'm correct, how much extra brightness is necessary for the low gain screen technique)?
The bright projector with the lower gain screen is really best for fighting ambient light and reflections off walls. In a perfect room I think the iris is a much better option. I probably can't explain the whole idea behind the iris, but the short explanation is that there are a lot of light paths from the bulb to the screen and the iris blocks a higher percentage of what might be called non-primary paths than primary paths. On my 11k the difference is between about 3000:1 CR and 1000:1 CR. So, I use the 3000:1 mode on a high gain screen.

--Darin
post #75 of 97
Darin: This was commented by rlindo in the Z2 thread regarding the Z2's AI mode:

the normal fan is bearable.

note that I don't think the auto lamp mode of the z2 makes much of a diff with respect to CR.


Since you have seen both the Z2 and the AE500, do you have any comment on this?
post #76 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by mad_arab
Darin: This was commented by rlindo in the Z2 thread regarding the Z2's AI mode:

the normal fan is bearable.

note that I don't think the auto lamp mode of the z2 makes much of a diff with respect to CR.


Since you have seen both the Z2 and the AE500, do you have any comment on this?
I would really have to measure or do some real testing to give an answer to that. It could be a 50% increase and not be noticable to somebody in a short test (I'm not saying it is that much difference, though).

I'm also not sure what kind of testing was done. If it was all scenes with a fair amount of light then this wouldn't mean much. If somebody wants to pop in the plane crash scene maybe 20 minutes into "Cast Away" and just after when he is on the raft and compare these 2 with the mode on and off, then we should know. Maybe Rob did something similar, but I'm pretty sure I would notice the difference on the AE500 in my dark theater room if everything else were held constant. I don't think I've ever seen the comparison of the two modes on the Z2 and don't know how much it increases CR.

--Darin
post #77 of 97
Thread Starter 
I remember reading RLINDOs post and thinking the same thing you did, mad_arab. If I recall correctly, the statement was made without any reference made to measurements being made. I think I'm beginning to understand what is being said (anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

Even if CR measurements were made on the Z2 by RLINDO, it sounds like you'd have to compare the darkest black (in low modulation) with the brightest white (in high modulation) to see a higher contrast. As we were debating earlier in this thread, it appears that contrast is the same/similar to last year's model. (This discussion does not include the IRIS feature). With AI activated it is the LARGER range of brightness vs darkness that creates more contrast.

However, the contrast within any given still image won't show an increase in contrast -- over last year's models. If I'm correct, it would be hard to disagree with RLINDO statement -- from this perspective.

That aside, it seems logical to assume that the AI function creates a similar increase in contrast on the Z2 (as it does on the AE500). For one thing, we are talking about modulating the light levels through the same LCD panel made by the same company! With the added ability to brighten and dim the bulb intensity, contrast ratings have to be more dynamic than last year. This should be true on the Z2 as well as the 500.

If I'm understanding it correctly, the bright mode provides the punch you would get from being outdoors. Your pupil contracts and you perceive the lightened "blacks" as still being black -- since your pupil is letting less light in. In dim scenes, the bulb dims and your pupil opens up. This allows us to perceive more of the subtle shadow details. (I have to admit, it is a clever technique).

gp
post #78 of 97
Yep, and one of the reasons I'm tempted to upgrade to one of these from my current AE300. I was wondering, of course pure speculation from statements made here... that the Z2's AI mode might be less effective than the AE500. This is only based on the statements of rlindo and darin, and might very likely be wrong. I wish somebody would test this during the next shootout (and of course the respective noise levels with AI enabled).
post #79 of 97
It looked very nice when the lights were completely turned off.
Otherwise it was impossible to watch at all even with very low ambient light. And this is with 1400 lumens! Now I can imagine how poorly Z2 might look in the same ambient light environment.

Well, I've been sitting on a fence for more than a year and I was so close to buy z2 or hs20 for this holiday season but the list of issues makes me wait for one more pg generation.

HS20:
-long throw distance (vs z2)
-1.5x more expensive (vs z2)
-brightness is not enough to be watchable with ambient light
-1:1 mapping/HTPC issues?

Z2:
-brightness is too low


Is the brightness an only issue in Z2?
Well, it looks like Z3 might compeltely fullfil my needs...
post #80 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by GreggPenn
greighn:
Glad to hear your HS20 is "clean". What about panel alignment?

Could the pixelation that you can see at 10' be "soft-focused" away? If so, why don't you do that?
gp [/b]
Gregg,

Panel alignment appears good. On the focus test pattern you can see some slight color separation to the far right and left sides of the screen but that appears to have no impact when watching video material. Since the mis-alignment isn't consistent, I'm assuming that has more to do with the optics than the panels. I want to try adjusting the zoom to see what, if any, affect it has on the alignment using the focus test pattern.

Yes, soft focusing can help smooth out the picture but I am struggling with using it because I think I am realizing the limits of DVD resolution. When watching a DVD (I don't have any HD material yet to compare) and you see a closeup of someone's face which fills most of the screen, it is sharp as a tack and you can count the wrinkles on it. When viewing a scene with a lot of detail (trees, grass, crowds), those details are very soft. I am assuming that is due to the fact that the standard resolution of a DVD can't resolve those fine details clearly. As a result, I'm inclined to keep the focus sharp to maximize the details in those kind of scenes even if it means I see a little screen door now and then in bright scenes.

Does this make sense or am I missing something?

-Gary.
post #81 of 97
Gary,

Unless you are personal friends with "Giants", no wonder the huge face looks "clear" to you.

Our mind/eyes "know" what a field or "distant" scenes are supposed to look like. DVDs don't have what it takes to really show off the Sony. They lack information. Until Blu-ray or AOD gets here we all have to live with DVDs as they are. Even HD lacks at distant scenes where extreme small details must "read" precisely.

My first experience seeing an HDTV "head shot full screen was on an HS10 with a great HDTV source. The experience was "other worldly" because we are not used to being within inches of strangers. And with in that range with someone you know we cant see the "whole face" at once. I found myself feeling strange seeing every pore on this guys face. Every hair, it
was awesome. Here the greater part of 1 million pixels is face.

Wait till you see "talking heads" on the HS20 in HD.

In the very near future broadcasters and TVs talent must look very good from inches. A very rare find indeed. Most now who hold this title are "beauty models" from NYC and even they get photoshop time after shoots.

Can't wait to hear your first HDTV full headshot impressions.

Allan
post #82 of 97
Quote:
am assuming that is due to the fact that the standard resolution of a DVD can't resolve those fine details clearly. As a result, I'm inclined to keep the focus sharp to maximize the details in those kind of scenes even if it means I see a little screen door now and then in bright scenes.
I would say the lower the resolution of the source, the more you can defocus without loosing any information. I think a good way to judge a projector, is if you can watch a whole movie without thinking about the projector.

Ryan
post #83 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by Pipelion

Unless you are personal friends with "Giants", no wonder the huge face looks "clear" to you.
...
My first experience seeing an HDTV "head shot full screen was on an HS10 with a great HDTV source.

You never went to a movie theater before seeing an HS10? WOW! :D
post #84 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by stain
It looked very nice when the lights were completely turned off.
Otherwise it was impossible to watch at all even with very low ambient light. And this is with 1400 lumens! Now I can imagine how poorly Z2 might look in the same ambient light environment.
How was the projector set up? Was it in "high" lamp mode with the iris off? If not, you certainly weren't seeing its brightness potential.

Quote:
Well, I've been sitting on a fence for more than a year and I was so close to buy z2 or hs20 for this holiday season but the list of issues makes me wait for one more pg generation.

HS20:
-brightness is not enough to be watchable with ambient light

Z2:
-brightness is too low

Is the brightness an only issue in Z2?
Well, it looks like Z3 might compeltely fullfil my needs...
If the HS20 (assuming you saw it in its brightest mode) wasn't bright enough for you, what makes you think the Z3 is going to be?

I'm not going to tell you how/when to spend your money, but just keep in mind that every year you spend sitting on the fence is another year of viewing enjoyment you're going to miss out on....

I'm enjoying the heck out of my HS20. Friends and neighbors are in awe when they see the gorgeous 120" diagonal image this thing is putting out. Sure, the models next year will be even better. There always will be something better. At some point you have to draw a line. I think the projectors out TODAY are worth drawing that line for. They are very, very good....

My $0.02

--Scott
post #85 of 97
Thread Starter 
I agree with Scott, unless you're holding out for a 3000 lumen, full HD resolution, DLP projector with SmartColor 9000, this year's projector's are very attractive. And, I think if you want to wait, you'll be waiting longer than a year.

I partially embarassed to say that I've been waiting since 1997! And, though I've only begun to revisit PJ technology in the past year or two, that year or two has been monumental. OTOH, scanlines were the big reason I stayed away from projectors 6 years ago. That problem is still being reported today (though in different forms and for different reasons).

My point, is that PJs have come along way in the past couple of years but if you're waiting for perfection, you'll wait a damn long time.

HDTV and video sources (DVDs) have also contributed greatly to the large viewing experience. Kansas City has 10 high definition stations (via cable), DVDs are in abundance, and HD-DVDs are right around the corner. So there's no reason to wait any more.

If you really NEED a brighter projector, consider the NEC 240/260K or even the Sanyo PLV-70. And, you should be SURE about the light settings and capabilities of the projectors you're considering buying. If the HS20 was not in bright mode, it may not look good with some ambient light. Also, we don't know how the projectors compare in brightness yet. The Sanyo may prove the brightest -- without the IRIS activated. If nothing else, be patient because the whole story isn't in yet!

If you can't wait AND if light is a that much of a consideration, consider a RPTV or CRT. You could mount one of these in a wall/frame and end up with something considerably more light tolerant -- while achieving the HT feel.

On another note:
The PJCentral comparison of the 500 vs. the Z2 has been posted. I commented on it in another thread. I think several important questions went unanswered and I will continue to pursue them. Once those answers are provided, I will no doubt refine the comments I've made in this thread. Hopefully, someone will be able to get the HS20 and either the Z2 or 500 together again in order to answer some of those mysteries as well.

Because I don't want to wait another year. YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! :D

gp
post #86 of 97
I really doubt next year's Sanyo or Panasonic will be much brighter, if at all.
post #87 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by rogo
I really doubt next year's Sanyo or Panasonic will be much brighter, if at all.
Actually, I mentioned z3 ironically.
I just meant that z2 looks so PERFECT and the price is just right and the only thing missing for me is brightness. There is a big chance that some future projector will have it all.

Actually, is anybody among happy z2 owners watching Z2 with some ambient light? Or is this thing designed for pitch-black darkness/black walls only?
post #88 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by stain
Actually, I mentioned z3 ironically.
I just meant that z2 looks so PERFECT and the price is just right and the only thing missing for me is brightness. There is a big chance that some future projector will have it all.
I'm guessing that something like a PLV-80 wouldn't fit in your budget. Seems like that is the next logical step to me.

There are so many different levels of ambient light that it is hard to say how the Z2 would work for you. If you don't have sunlight directly hitting the screen, but just have reflections in the back of a dark room or something that end up off-axis you can get away with a fair amount with a Firehawk or High Power screen. Lights focussed so they don't hit the screen directly work pretty well depending on the setup. Sunlight seems to kill things pretty quickly, though.

--Darin
post #89 of 97
Sunlight killed my Z1 + High Power combo.
post #90 of 97
The PJCentral review was very interesting, finally my noise question was answered :D But from what it says it appears the Z2 has no kind of AI mode, just the iris, which you must adjust manually? :confused: It did however say that the AI on the AE500 didn't make a very big difference, but I'd still suspect it would be nice because I'd like good black levels combined with a punchy image.
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