The new Panasonic 14-42mm official press release.

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The new Panasonic 14-42mm has now been officially announced. And it is certainly a nice upgrade although I imagine that not everyone was exactly looking forward for it :)

Here is the official press release from Panasonic:

Panasonic is pleased to announce a new compact standard zoom lens LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. for LUMIX G based on the Micro Four Thirds System standard. LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. offers a versatile zoom range of 14-42 mm (35 mm camera equivalent: 28-84 mm) suitable for a wide range of situations from landscape to portrait. Comprising of 9 elements in 8 groups, the lens system adopts 2 aspherical lenses to achieve further reduction of both size and weight yet maintaining its high optical performance at entire zoom range. The inner focus system driven by a stepping motor assures astonishing comfort to take maximum advantage of high speed contrast AF system and in video recording.

Panasonic’s MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) makes it easy to shoot super clear shots even at tele end or in low-lit situations by suppressing the blur caused by a hand shake.

With its minimum focus distance of 0.2 m (14-20 mm) / 0.3 m (21-42 mm) even at full zoom, the new lens provides a maximum photographic magnification of 0.17x (35 mm camera equivalent: 0.34x). 7 aperture blades consists a circular aperture diaphragm and produces an attractive smoothness in out-of-focus areas even shooting at large aperture.

The new LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. for LUMIX G is refined in its external design to offer metallic color options of black and silver to offer stylish look on the digital single lens mirrorless (DSLM) cameras of LUMIX G in shooting creative snapshots.

Lens specs
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size FourThirds
Focal length 14 – 42 mm
Image stabilisation Yes (Mega OIS)
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Aperture
Maximum aperture F3.5 – F5.6
Minimum aperture F22.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Aperture notes Circular aperture
Optics
Elements 9
Groups 8
Special elements / coatings 2 aspherical lenses
Focus
Minimum focus 0.20 m (7.87″)
Maximum magnification 0.34 x
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Micromotor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 110 g (0.24 lb)
Diameter 56 mm (2.20″)
Length 49 mm (1.93″)
Sealing No
Colour Black
Power zoom Yes
Zoom lock No
Filter thread 46 mm
Filter notes Does not rotate on focusing
Hood supplied No
Hood product code n/a
Tripod collar No

via Dpreview.

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(FT5) Some more 75-300mm lens info (and XZ-10 specs)

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Here are the full specs of the new 75-300mm Micro Four Thirds lens and the XZ-10 compact camera:

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II
– 58mm filter size
– Lens design: 18 lenses 13 groups with one Super ED lens.
– length: 116.5mm, maximum diameter: 69mm
– weight: 423g
– Price 599 Euro
– Release in March

Olympus XZ-10
– 12 Megapixel sensor (1/2.3 inch)
– 26-130mm f/1.8-2.7 lens
– Fixed grip.
– About 40% more compact XZ-2 and weight of 221gram
– 11 different art filters, effects of five art
– Touch AF shutter
– Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC
– 920,000 dot 3 inches LCD monitor, touch panel
– Full HD video
– Price 399 Euro
– Late February release

specs via 43rumors and Digicaminfo

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GH3 in Stock at Amazon US! New GH3 review by a Nikon shooter.

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And finally after four months a limited quantity of GH3 cameras is right now in Stock at Amazon US (Click here to grab one).

Nikon shooter Daniel Cox tests the GH3:
43rumors reader and Nikon shooter Daniel Cox posted his review of the Panasonic GH3 on his website Naturalexposures (Click here). It’s nice to hear the opinion form a regular Nikon PRO shooter about the camera: “Overall I’m extremely happy with the results I shot on my trip to Kenya. The GH3 did a superb job, especially taking into account how inexpensive this camera is, as well as the lenses that go with it. Will this system replace my Nikons at this point? No. But I can’t help thinking the cat’s out of the bag with this Micro Four Thirds camera system. I’m quite confident that any camera company not paying serious attention to Panasonic does so at their own peril. The GH3 exceeded all expectations and will remain a major part of my current photographic tools. Don’t let it’s diminutive size fool you. It’s a serious contender.
Thanks Daniel for sharing your great article!

More GH3 bits I got via mail:
Petitrois:it’s not a rumor but I shoot with GH3 and 35-100mm at night in slow motion 48% direct from GH3. http://vimeo.com/58229073  (in 1080p but with Vimeo conversion) http://vimeo.com/57803763  (converted in 720p by Vimeo, originally it was 1080p)
For Dutch readers: Gh3 in Stock at Foto Hans Keuzekamp and at Foto Konijnberg.

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(FT5) New 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens from Panasonic to be launched in March.

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Looks like the CP+ show is going to be particularly boring this year. After the Olympus 75-300mm lens update also Panasonic will release a minor update only. There will be a new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens. It is a HD lens that will have improved tracking focus support improved OIS, silent auto focus and exposure control. The lens is also lighter and smaller and the filter sized has been reduced from 52mm down to 46mm. Price is the same of the current 14-42mm lens and official availability is March 2013.

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(UPDATE: Now in Stock again) Panasonic 14-42mm X lens marked as discontinued at BH.

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Our reader Paul (thanks) noticed that the Panasonic 14-42mm X lens has been marked as discontinued at BHphoto (Click here) and Amazon itself doens’t even list it anymore (Click here). UPDATE: Now back in Stock. And what’s going to be updated is not the X version but the “normal” 14-42mm kit.

By the way also the GF5 is no more sold by Amazon itself (Click here). A few new GF5 with X zoom are in Stock for $429 on eBay US in White (Click here) and Black (Click here).

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