The good camera folk at Panasonic have announced today their intent to release a new set of lenses, the first of which takes the size of its previously bulky 14-42mm Micro Four Thirds zoom lens and smashes it down to half the size - while closed. This new LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm is a lens kit that takes the previous generation, that being the same f/3.5-5.6 aperture range and same zoom capabilities, but puts it in a housing that, while closed, is less than half the size, and while extended is also noticeably smaller than its predecessor - cut the bulk out! This first lens is a kit option in your DMC-GF3X model Panasonic camera, a camera we're also receiving information on today. This is only the first of two new X-series lenses coming out from Panasonic - the second hits the 45-175mm range.
Both this first unit, again called the LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm for short, and the second unit, the LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm, are both coming out with nano surface coatings for reduction of ghosting and lens flare, and both of them with optical image stabilization. Now remember here I said "for short", as the full names of lenses as powerful as these are prone to gigantic full names.
They read like so:
The full name for the first lens, as spoken about above, is LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ POWER O.I.S. (H-PS14042).
Th full name of the second lens, as mostly spoken about below, is LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-PS45175).
Both are massive mouthfuls to speak of, and both are made for masterpieces. This second lens, the only in the 45-175mm range, is being billed as "the world's smallest digital interchangeable power zoom lens". It's got the ability work with its internal zoom motor that'll allow you to adjust your focal length using its side-mounted rocker. What Panasonic calls this lens kit's "Multi-Actuator Floating Inner Focus System" controls three lens groups separately and as a result, as Panasonic puts it, "achieves a reduction in both size and weight without compromising picture quality." The rest of this kit's specifications read like a comic book description of Iron Man's mobile suit:
The new lens system features two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) lenses which suppress chromatic aberration and contribute to high descriptive performance across the entire zoom range 45-175mm. The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) integrated into the LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. makes it easy to shoot sharp images even in low-lit situations. With improved sensitivity of the gyro sensor, the new POWER O.I.S. also suppresses large, slow movements two times more effectively** while small, fast movements are compensated for by the conventional MEGA O.I.S.
LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. contains seven aperture blades to help produce an attractive smoothness in out-of-focus areas even while shooting at large aperture. Adopting an inner focus system driven by a stepping motor, the lens' superior optical design supports Light Speed AF of approximately .15 seconds and fast aperture control results in a shortened shutter time lag of approximately 20% when compared to the LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S.
Sound massively impressive to you? The first lens will be available as either a separate unit, all by itself for an SRP of $399.99 in October 2011 and will be compatible with the DMC-G3, the DMC-GF3, and the DMC-GF2 with a firmware upgrade. You can also get a combination of the first lens and the Lumix GF3, a combination therefor called the LUMIX GF3X, for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $749.99.
The second lens, aka the 45-175mm lens in this situation, will be available in either black or silver starting in September 2011 for an SRP of $449.99.