Olympus Canada has announced a new standard zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds (m43) mirrorless cameras. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ covers a broader range of focal lengths than current standard zooms for the m43 system. It extends from a true wide angle (24mm equivalent) to moderate telephoto (100mm equivalent).
At f/6.3, the new lens is pretty slow on the long end. And as the photo at left shows, with the lens mounted on an Olympus E-PL3, it's physically larger than other m43 standard zooms, especially Olympus' collapsible 14-42mm.
It's the first Olympus lens to incorporate motorized power zoom, which allows for quieter, smoother zooming in video mode. Zooming speed is controlled by turning the barrel, and manual zooming is also available. The new lens bears Olympus' MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) designation, indicating quiet autofocus operation, so that motor noise will not be picked up on video.
Other feature include a macro mode that lets the lens focus as close as eight inches, and a L-Fn (Lens Function) button that temporarily suspends autofocus operation to prevent the lens on focusing on objects that suddenly appear between the camera and subject.
Also featured is dustproof and splash-proof sealing, original developed for Olympus' premium SHG (Super High Grade) series of lens for the Four Thirds system.
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ lens will be available in Canada in mid-January for $500.