Panasonic is making a lot of efforts improving its current Micro Four Thirds gear, making smaller cameras and lenses. On 26 August 2011, Panasonic has announced a brand new Micro Four Third lens, the Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 OIS pancake lens. Some people refer to this lens as a “game changer” and there are a few good reasons why. The G X Vario PZ 14-42mm is the first digital interchangeable power zoom lens. A very compact high optical quality lens, featuring Panasonic’s latest technologies, including Nano Surface Coating for reducing ghost and flare, Power O.I.S. image stabilization and Light Speed AF.
You probably notices that this new Micro 43 lens has an Xin its name. The ‘X’ signifies a new range of Lumix lenses are Panasonic’s vision for ultra-high quality and premium optic technologies. As for the current date, Panasonic has two Lumix X lenses for the Micro Four Thirds, including the 14-42mm and the 45-175mm f/4.0-5.6 lens.
What’s so unique about the Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm (H-PS14042) pancake lens is its very compact size. It’s a collapsible zoom lens with a retractable design that was specially engineered to provide the maximum portability for this type of lens. On a Micro Four Thirds camera, the Panasonic Lumix G X 14-42mm lens is equivalent to 28-84mm, a very useful zoom range that covers a wide range of photographic applications, including landscape and up to portrait shots at its longest telephoto focal length. The LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ POWER O.I.S. promises high contrast, sharp and high quality images at the highest standards. Some people have referred to those lenses as the “L-lenses” for the Micro Four Thirds.
The Panasonic X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / Power O.I.S was optimized to provide the most enjoyable movie recording experience, when coupled with a Panasonic Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera. It features a circular aperture diaphragm for nice smooth background blur effect, silent internal focusing (must for videos) and continuous AF/AE function for both stills and videos. The lens accepts φ52mm filters and weights 165g. Furthermore, the lens is constructed with 9 elements in 8 groups, has 4 aspherical elements, 2 ED glass elements and the Nano surface coating to minimize ghost and flare.
Worth mentioning that Panasonic already have another 14-42mm lens, the Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 Mega O.I.S. lens (note, not Power O.I.S. as the pancake one). The previous model is much larger in size compared to the new X premium model. The G X 14-42mm is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds cameras according to Panasonic.
The lens works similar to other power-zoom lenses. When you power the camera, the lens extends, so it keeps it minimal size while being not in use. That helps keep everything very compact, making this lens a perfect KIT lens for those who can afford it. Talking about availability, the lens will be available as part of the Panasonic Lumix GF3X Kit for $749.99 (SRP) or as a standalone for $399.99, starting from October 2011.