New Panasonic 14-42mm Kit Lens Breaks New Ground for Compact System Cameras

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Until now, buyers of compact system cameras (CSCs) have had to choose between truly compact (ie, pants pocketable) with a fixed focal length lens (eg, Sony 16mm lens, Panasonic 20mm lens, Olympus 17mm lens) or less compact with a zoom lens.

    The smallest CSC bodies, when paired with a "pancake" lens, fall into the same size category as advanced small sensor fixed-lens compacts as shown in the comparison of the Samsung TL500, Sony NEX-5 with 16mm f/2.8 lens, and Panasonic LX3 below:

    [​IMG]

    Today Panasonic announced the development of a new Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, which is to be the first standard zoom lens with "pancake" dimensions. With this new 14-45mm lens, the smallest Micro 4/3 bodies will be similar in size to cameras like the Panasonic LX5, Olympus XZ1, and Canon G12. The small size of the lens is realized through the implementation of a collapsing design design like the Olympus 14-42 kit lens. The Panasonic lens takes things a step further by automatically extending and retracting with the power state of the camera, similar to the the lens on Panasonic small sensor cameras such as the LX5.

    Below is the new Panasonic zoom shown with the GF3X. The two will be sold together as a kit with expected availability in October 2011.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The lens is shown extended below:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the new lens has no rings but instead offers a toggle switch for controlling the power zoom functionality, similar to zooming on today's small sensor, fixed-lens compacts.
     
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  2. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    I wonder if the AF speed will be as fast (or slow) as the other standard zooms.
     
  3. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    316
    Sep 14, 2010
    Looks like a good idea, however I wonder how the lens will feel zooming and focusing. They have to get the speed of both right otherwise it could be somewhat annoying for video i think. For stills, step zoom is definately a good idea.
     
  4. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    I like the idea of the pancake zoom. Another negative might be its effect on battery life though.
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    It certainly has a small profile. Very enticing for the Mu43 line up!
     
  6. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Real Name:
    Jason
    I've got an E-PL2 on the way. A Red one. This lens would be perfect for my other half to use when she uses the camera. She doesn't care too much for manually zooming nor the size of the kit collapsable zoom(isn't it small enough already:rolleyes:). This will give her more the feel of a traditional p&s. Now all they need to do is put a zoom rocker on the camera itself, and she'd be really happy, lol.
     
  7. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sue
    VERY enticing!! This lens could make me rethink my MFT attitude entirely. I could see this lens on an Olympus body (I still want the stabilisation) and it would serve very nicely as an alternative to (for example) the G11/12 or the Olympus XZ-1. Might never buy another P&S :)
     
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Nic
    The availability of a lens like this removes a lot of the urge (for me) to have an advanced, small sensor compact with a zoom lens to accompany my m4/3 gear. With this lens the smaller bodied m4/3 cams become the compact with a zoom lens, and retain the ability as a system camera to be much more besides. Functionality with older m4/3 bodies may be less than 100%, but as long as it still zooms and focuses, it's still a lens in my book.
     
  9. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    I have played with the new 'X' series lenses from Panasonic and have uploaded image examples on this site. They are both very very good and the 14-42 is superb being so compact. It's perfect for the GF range of cameras. We have the kits on our system at work so it won't be long before we get them in.
     
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  10. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Which thread are the 14-42X photos in? :)

     
  11. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
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  12. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    Larry
    That's what I finally did. The E-PM2 witht he 14-42 PZ is small enough for a "take anywhere" camera for me. (I gave up on pocketable; they just can't squeeze everything I want into something that size, it seems). The dreaded "shutter related blur" is not an issue with my late copy on the E-PM2. It is a fun little lens. Once I got used to the position of the zoom, I was fine with it. I instinctively wante to work it with my thumb on the horizontal, but the left index finger very quickly becomes second nature. And the slowness of the lens, compared, say, with the Fuji X20 doesn't bother me, as I feel quite comfortable shooting at high iso on the 16MP sony sensor. I quess Panasonic stopped making it, which is a shame. They just need to get a handle some of the blur problems, which, since I don't have them, can't really be insurmountable. Here's a recent shot taken at a thrift store, where I almost always have some fun with my camera.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Does anyone know if Panasonic ever addressed the blur issue at full zoom and in a certain range of shutter speed?
     
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Nic
    Not sure. I certainly haven't heard it talked about for quite a while. Since this thread was first active I bought a G1X instead as a "compact" zoom camera rather than getting a copy of this lens.
     
  15. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    Larry
    I don't know. I know it's not an issue on my copy, used on either the E-PM2 or E-M5, but I was concerned enough about it that I had the person from whom I was buying it used send me photo samples, taken with his E-PM2 at the offending shutter speeds at 42mm. I've heard it said that later copies don't exhibit the same problem, but I've heard the opposite too. I don't think Panasonic has been exactly forcoming with information about the whole thing to help clear up the remaining confusion. Unlike Fuji, that issued firmware updates and then a free hardware repair for both the X10 orbs and the X100 sticky shutter blades, Panasonic seems to have orphaned this very nice standard zoom. Too bad, because when it does not have the issues talked about, it is a very convenient and capable optic.