Originally Posted by tomtoo
Wanted to revive this to see if there were any opinions still out there about the difference between these two as i have the Panasonic and am thinking of upgrading to the Epson 5050 whenever that is released in the next short while.
Hi, I would say I like the Epson mostly for the features than PQ, but here are some my thoughts:
Improved features of the Epson 5040UB over the Panasonic PT-AE8000U:
- Motorized lens shift. I just HATED using that joystick for lens shift, which for my "HT" setup sometimes needed adjustments, especially as I do a CIH setup, and the joystick was imprecise and I spent too much time making adjustments. Actually, I couldn't do CIH until I got the Epson really.
- Lens shift (and I think focus) memory. For CIH, this is crucial and no other projector seem to have this feature. Don't know about very expensive PJs (e.g. for me that means over $5,000) as I don't look into those much since I'll never buy one probably, but it seems to be a very rare feature.
- Motorized lens cover. Putting the lens cap on the Panasonic was a delicate procedure as it could lead to some shifting of the PJ if not super careful with putting the cap on/off. Love having a motorized cover and never worrying about it again.
- White color. Except for the black lens cover and some silver accents, the Epson is white and stands out less in my HT as the ceiling is not high (basement "HT"). Yes, that means my ceiling is white (wife will never allow me to paint the basement black).
- "Better" operation noise. I ended up returning my original Panasonic and getting another one because of this high pitched noise that it made even on low lamp setting. Now the fan noise but a high pitched, "whining" kind of noise (I have a lot of posts in the AE8000U thread about this) that drove me crazy as the PJ is relatively close to our heads (ceiling mounted on a lowered part that the furnace ducts go through so only about 3 feet -- that's about 1 meter for you smart people everywhere else in the world -- above our heads). Both Panasonics made the noise so I figured it was not a defect as they were both new and made the same sound. The Epson makes a completely fine, humming noise like my previous Sony PJ, no obnoxious, high pitched noise. It does get louder with higher fan use but on eco to mid setting it's perfectly fine.
- Has been more reliable so far. Had to send my Panasonic in to replace a circuit board within the 1 year warranty period. Epson is going strong so far.
Features I like the Panasonic more than the Epson:
- The Epson is larger, and butt ugly. You've seen the pics, but it looks worse in person. The Panasonic, OTOH, has a more professional and clean design in my eyes.
- Better 3D performance. I think it was better, because I didn't watch a ton of 3D movies when I had the Panasonic. I do know that I don't enjoy 3D on my Epson due to crosstalk and too much dimming of the image in 3D.
Features that neither is better (or possibly even good) at:
- I don't feel that the black levels have improved from the Panasonic to the Epson. I'm not a super user though and I don't do much calibration (I use others' settings from these boards but that's about it). Neither is great at this.
- Can't really say PQ is better or worse either. I haven't noticed much difference, but I'm satisfied with both for image quality of 1080p images on a 110" screen. Again, I'm not a super user though.
- Both have good lens shift and zoom range, pretty similar to each other in those specs.
Anyway, if you could benefit from any of the feature set of the Epson (memory, motorized lens shift, etc.) then I recommend getting one. It's been a good PJ the past 1-2 years that I've had it.