Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED EZ - Review / Test Report - Samples & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GM1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/250s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GM1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 21.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/800s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GM1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 25.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/640s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GM1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 14.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/400s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GM1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 14.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/320s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GM1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 14.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/640s

Verdict

The Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED EZ is a breathtakingly tiny lens. Combined with a small MFT camera such as the Panasonic GM1 or GM5, it is really a pocketable setup similar to a high-quality digicam. Unfortunately the reduced size comes at a price. The optical quality isn't quite comparable to the best standard zoom lenses of the system. The outer image region fairly soft at 14mm and high CAs aren't helping here either. The quality is pretty good in the middle range. The quality at 42mm remains decent. The Olympus lens is heavily relying on image auto-correction. This helps to reduce distortions to a negligible degree although the situation is quite different in the "raw" images. The auto-correction is also helping to tame the vignetting which is a issue at 14mm and f/3.5 only.

The build quality of the Zuiko is decent thanks to good quality materials and tight control rings. In working mode the inner tubes (duo cam) wobble just a little bit. We had no real issues with the "zoom-by-wire" approach although it takes a little while to get used to it. It is certainly slower to operate than a mechanical zoom mechanism. Surprisingly there is a focus ring although it's somewhat cumbersome to use due to its tiny size. Just like on most MFT lenses, the AF is fast and near silent.

So how does it compare to the other MFT pancake zoom lenses ? Well, the king isn't dead yet - the Panasonic Lumux G X 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ Power OIS remains the best option in this class.

Optical Quality: 2 Star Rating: Ok
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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