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PanasonicLumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver)
 
3.8

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

79%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (19)
  • Easily interchangeable (11)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (10)
  • Consistent output (7)
  • Compact (6)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (5)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (15)
  • Travel (6)
  • Video (6)
  • Weddings (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (13), Semi-pro photographer (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (21)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Adds Power to the DX1

This lens adds power to the DX1's strengths as a candid camera. The lens, for me, has performed beautifully, and much better than reviews that I have read. It's just small...Read complete review

This lens adds power to the DX1's strengths as a candid camera. The lens, for me, has performed beautifully, and much better than reviews that I have read. It's just small enough to get into a large pocket, so it helps you carry the camera around and take more picures than you otherwise would. You get the creative advantages of W/A and the candid/ portrait advantages of mild telephoto.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Sharp and compact, but IS has issues

When it works (see below), this lens is nice and sharp on my Panasonic GX1, at all focal lengths, even wide open. The lens is super tiny, amazingly small really for...Read complete review

When it works (see below), this lens is nice and sharp on my Panasonic GX1, at all focal lengths, even wide open. The lens is super tiny, amazingly small really for a standard zoom. The lens has a metal lens mount.

There is however a significant problem with this lens, that has been reported by many users, and which I also confirmed by careful testing. Even with the latest firmware (v1.1), the image stabilizer causes somewhat blurry images starting at 1/60s and continuing to at least 1/320s. In this range you might be better off turning the image stabilizer off for sharper pictures. But of course then you run the risk of camera shake.

Turning the image stabilizer on and off all the time is a hassle, plus you're not really getting what you're paying for if you have to disable the IS. I don't recommend buying this lens until this problem is fixed by Panasonic.

The lens also has quite a few other drawbacks:
* No manual zoom ring. The power zoom is not that clunky to use, but a manual zoom ring is of course much faster.
* No manual focus ring. I practically never use manual focus, but if you do, you might want to think twice before getting this lens.
* 37mm filter thread. I really don't know why Panasonic did this. 46mm would have been much more convenient for filters, since many other Panasonic lenses use this. And there is room on the lens for a wider thread. The tiny lens cap is a drag to use as well - it's simply too small. I expect to lose it.
* No lens hood. Be prepared for flare and lack of contrast in your pictures.

Reviewed by 21 customers

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Good for Stills, Okay for Video

By Jimmy V

from NJ

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Very compact

Cons

  • Limited Bokeh
  • Limited Bokeh 35-56
  • Not Weather Sealed
  • Reaches F5 Quickly

Best Uses

  • See Above

Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

I use this lens on an EM-5 body. For those that are unsure of the quality this lens is capable, research some blogs out there by Ming Thein and Lindsay Dobson. The results from this little lens are very good indeed. The primary problem with the lens was the "shutter shock" it experienced on certain camera bodies, creating blurred images. Not so with the EM-5 body. Images are very sharp (not extremely sharp) at all aperture settings, but best between F5-F7.1. Chromatic aberration exists in noticeable quantity with heavy back lighting of subject in a high contrast scene in the upper corners of the frame, but is definitely not a deal breaker. Avoid high aperture settings. Contrast is good and typical of Panasonic/Lumix glass. The lens has aspherical elements and distortion is fairly well controlled.

Operation: The lens has power zoom and focus levers rather than rotating rings. As a DLSR shooter, I thought this adjustment would be difficult, but that has not proven to be the case. Then again, your personality comes into play here as some find change to be jarring and uncomfortable. The levers are required to make this lens SO compact. With the lens mounted on the camera, this lens fits in a coat pocket! Focusing speed is actually quite fast, especially outdoors. Point the camera and use the touch screen shutter actuation feature and the camera focuses and shoots almost instantaneously. Indoors, if the lens requires to hunt for focus in low light, your cooked. But at a recent event, I was able to shoot indoors, 3200iso 1/50th shutter speeds and the focus locked in quickly enough. The PZ 14-42 has stabilization built into the lens and in camera stabilization on the EM-5 can be turned off as , but I find it better to use both; as counter intuitive as this may seem.

It appears that there is some quality control issues regarding the first lenses made reflected by the fact that reviewers and commenters have had very different experiences with the lens. The issue of shutter shock may contribute to these diverse findings.

Comparison: I have owned the first generation 14-42 Olympus kit lens. It was actually a fairly sharp lens as well. The Panasonic is better: more compact, better contrast, better resolving power, much better for video (quiet focus and smooth zoom). I use Nikon primes on my EM-5 with manual focus. The Nikon's color renditions are cooler, the lenses aren't quite as sharp as the PZ until stopped down to F2.8 or so and the DOF is better with the Nikons. The resolving power of the Nikon lenses are higher. Manual focusing is a drag for many occasions, however. The PZ appears slightly sharper than the 40-150 Oly long zoom and appears equally as sharp as the Panasonic 14-150 from the 14-42 range. Visually, the contrast and color renditions are similar from these two lenses though the 14-150 does appear to render skin tones slightly pinker when compared to the 14-42, in my opinion. This could, however, require in camera adjustment as the lenses are different....

Conclusion: if you are somewhat experienced with interchangeable lens cameras and understand the flaws inherent in less expensive glass, then the ability to work within certain limitations for this lens will yield surprisingly good results. Don't expect very professional results from this lens (professional zooms or primes will yield those type of results), but it is great for compact street photography, casual shooting, sites of interest, etc...

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(0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

poor performer

By leszeff

from Montreal, qc

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

        I love the GX1 but this lens sucks and doesn't do justice to a great camera.

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        • No

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        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Sweet little all-purpose lens

        By Scott

        from Kenosha, Wisconsin

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Poor in Low Light

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

        I use this little lens for general photography and to keep my sensor free when my GH3 is not mounted on one of the Observatory's telescopes. I like its light weight and it seems to take very nice pictures. The zoom works well as does the manual focus lever. It came with updated firmware, so it was good to go the moment it arrived from B&H. Also, I like knowing that it is one of Panasonic's X-series lenses ... just for the coolness factor.

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        • No

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        I expected a compromise in IQ ...

        By richard parker

        from Long Island NY

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

        • Poor in Low Light

        Best Uses

        • Architecture
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

        When playing tourist I find changing primes is awkward, and a bit risky, leading to possible introduction of dust into the camera body and even worse, dropping a lens.

        After struggling with this on a recent tourist outing, I decided to see how the 14-42 PZ zoom performs. I was amazed at how good it is. It is very sharp over a reasonable range of aperture settings, and focus is fast and precise (on an OM-D body).

        On future travel adventures, this lens will be the first in my bag and will be on the camera most of the time.

        I only wish it had a larger aperture...

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        (6 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Not sure about this lens

        By shankel128

        from Champaign, Illinois

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Lacks Zoom Speed Control

        Best Uses

          Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

          I purchased this lens for my Lumix GH3. I primarily shoot video and thought the power zoom would be a nice feature. The zoom does not behave like a servo zoom on a professional level camera. It is basically zoom in and zoom out there is no ability to control the speed to any great degree. With that I am disappointed. The fact that there is not focus ring is a minus. I do not like focusing with the little servo lever.

          Otherwise the lens is adequate. It works well in autofocus. I wish it was faster ie f2.8. I like fact that it makes the camera compact.

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great all-around lens

          By Edric

          from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Video

            Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

            I didn't see the problem some people commented about image quality (sharpness) being affected by AF system on determined shutter speeds. On the contrary, the image is fine and for me it is the most useful lens you can get to keep the camera in your jacket's pocket and have it all the time... Great product, impressive technology in such a small device.

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            • No

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            4.0

            compact

            By tumbled

            from florida

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Poor in Low Light

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

            Compact lens and able to use the little switch near the shutter release for zooming - very handy.

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            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Panasonic 14-42mm ultra compact lens

            By Reches

            from Israel

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

              I bought this lens for My Olympus OMD E-M5 camera.My thoughts are to keep it overall compact.I was worried about the motorized zoom but you get used to it very quickly. It is the size of a pancake lens when it is closed. When you turn your camera on it extracts and not as compact as before.I think it is great as a kit lens when size and weight are important.It is not expansive compare to kit lenses and worth the extra bucks for its compactness.I'm using it with E-M5 and did not experience doubling on the edges in slow shutter speeds.As I said this is an average performance lens that can replace ordinary kit lenses.If you like a high performer go for the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 and pay over 3 times the cost.

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              • No

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              (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Hmm.

              By Chaz

              from Connecticut

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Lightweight
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                  I really wanted to like this lens. I already owned the 14-45mm zoom, which is an amazing kit lens. Even though the PZ 14-42mm covers the same focal lengths, I was attracted to its compactness and overall design. I had read about issues with some of the earlier editions, so I waited before purchasing. I don't believe I got a bad version, but I don't feel the image quality matches the 14-45mm. Or more accurately, I seem to be hit or miss with this lens.

                  I finally realized I like the 14-45mm better and decided to return the PZ 14-42mm. I don't like to return items that I've researched and looked forward to getting, so needless to say I was disappointed. I think this lens has its uses and may very well be what other people want, but for what I do, I wanted something a little better.

                  The reason I'm not recommending this to a friend, is because I would recommend the 14-45mm that originally came with the GF1 instead.

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                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great travel outdoor lens

                  By Dave the hiker

                  from Seattle, WA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Lightweight
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Video

                    Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                    Ok so it may not be wide aperture but for outdoor lightweight use it is amazing. Sharp without distortion. I have been using it for backpacking, cycling and general poolside use. Its great! It is as sharp as my fixed 20 1.7 at similar apertures. I will use the 20 1.7 when the lighting is low and for indoor use.

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                    • No

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    I love it!!

                    By Aperl

                    from Israel (Purchased in NY)

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                    • Poor in Low Light

                    Best Uses

                    • Family
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                    After much research, I decided to get this lens since on paper it seemed perfect for me. I had heard all about the many complaints regarding this lens which are well documented in many of the online reviews. I am happy to report that I have none of those problems. The output is very consistent, and the quality of the images is significantly better than the 14-42 kit lens that I was using previously. I shoot with the GH2, and it is so much more portable with this lens, and much more fun to use for both stills and video use. I would highly recommend this lens even though it is pricey. I would however recommend buying from a dealer who has a 30 return policy since there may be bad copies of this lens, as reported online.

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                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Good Compact Travel Lens

                    By Georgio S

                    from Port Jefferson, NY

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Compact

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Travel
                      • Video

                      Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                      While this lens is not as good as a fixed focal length lens from a quality standpoint, it excels in other ways; including, its size and flexibility. Image quality is fine for a zoom.

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                      • No

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                      (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Adds Power to the DX1

                      By flowerse

                      from Forest Hills, NY

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Nice Bokeh

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Photography

                        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                        This lens adds power to the DX1's strengths as a candid camera. The lens, for me, has performed beautifully, and much better than reviews that I have read. It's just small enough to get into a large pocket, so it helps you carry the camera around and take more picures than you otherwise would. You get the creative advantages of W/A and the candid/ portrait advantages of mild telephoto.

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                        • No

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                        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Good quality lens

                        By photo Funch

                        from SF Bay Area

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Lightweight

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Video

                          Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                          As many reading this may be aware, there are substantiated reports of issues with this lens producing "double blur" at certain shutter speeds. Panasonic recently claimed to have fixed the issue with newly produced lenses.

                          I can report that the copy that I just received (5/23/12) does not have any such issues and in fact, produces sharp, contrasty images with my E-M5.

                          Compact, smooth zoom (electronic) and fast focus as well.

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                          • No

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                          (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          I recommend this product

                          By JEF

                          from Montreal canada

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                            Very compact lens

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                            • No

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                            (0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            The first Video lens for af100

                            By Cristian Lupu

                            from Montreal, Canada

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Lightweight
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                            • Poor in Low Light

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Video
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                            The aperture is not as big as I would like to be for the low light conditions. f/3.5 is not enough .

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                            • No

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                            (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            No problems with this lens A++

                            By ClevelandJohn

                            from Cleveland

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Verified Reviewer

                            Pros

                            • Compact
                            • Easy to Use
                            • Great Picture Quality
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Family Photos
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Sports/Action
                              • Travel
                              • Wildlife Photos

                              Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                              I got this as a small compact zoom lens for my GX1 so far I see no issues with it at all, images are superb as good the 14 and 20mm lenses. The only thing is I wish it was a tad faster. I will use this mostly outdoors so speed should not be important. Would I buy this again yes.

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                              • No

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                              (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Fine lens with useful accessories

                              By Yalmer

                              from Cape Cod

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Compact
                              • Easy to Use
                              • Good Video Quality
                              • Lightweight

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Travel
                                • Weddings/Events

                                Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                                I use this "X" lens with a 37-52mm step-up ring + a 52mm rubber lens shade that can be folded completely back over the lens when storing the lens. As the lens shade is also threaded for a 52mm lens cap I use one and store the 37mm cap in a drawer.
                                I use the 14-42X lens on one of my GH2 bodies that I carry so it is always ready for street/landscape photography. The second GH2 is carried with one or another of six other Lumix 43 lenses depaccessories he task of the moment - wildlife (100-300mm) macro (45mm F2.8) or architectural photography (7-14mm).
                                I am shifting away from my pro-level Nikon gear due to its bulk, especially when traveling.

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                                • No

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                                (0 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                Worked fine in AF Mode

                                By David

                                from Rockville, MD

                                About Me Casual Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Compact
                                • Easy to Use
                                • Great Picture Quality
                                • Lightweight

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Landscape/Scenery
                                  • Travel
                                  • Video

                                  Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                                  Contrary to other reviews I had no issues with the lens using it in autofocus mode. The zoom control is easy to use once you get used to where it is located. My pictures were sharp even in low light conditions. I really like how compact the lens.

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                                  • No

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                                  (10 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  1.0

                                  Don't buy this - It is soft.

                                  By Macpics

                                  from England

                                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                  Pros

                                  • Compact
                                  • Easy to Use
                                  • Lightweight

                                  Cons

                                  • Poor Image Quality

                                  Best Uses

                                  • None

                                  Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                                  I bought the GX1 kit which comes with this lens. It is soft even at other shutter speeds. The proof is that I tried it on my Olympus Pen E-P1 where it was very good, but I also tried my Olympus 14-42 lens on the GX1, no stabilisation, and it was superb. So the issue is clearly the combination of the Lumix lens and body not working in conjunction. The real test was using the Lumix 20mm 1.7 on both the GX1 and E-P1 where the results were stunning, the only difference being that the GX1 has less noise and is a nicer and lighter body. I'd avoid the Lumix PZ until Panasonic acknowledge the problem...and fix it. It probably only needs a firmware fix better than the current 1.1

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