Panasonic collapsible lens now in production

The first 800 of Panasonic's new collapsible 14-42mm roll off the production line

The first 800 of Panasonic's new collapsible 14-42mm lenses rolled off the production line of the company's Yamagata factory today.

The new lens was announced in August and is the first of Panasonic's new premium 'X' brand. Panasonic claims that the lens offers higher quality optics than previous kit lenses, while the new design means that it's almost as small as a pancake lens.

Featuring a "power zoom" rather than the traditional zoom ring, the lens automatically extends and retracts when the camera is switched on and off. It also features a new Power O.I.S. (optical image stabilisation), which is designed to help take clearer pictures in low light conditions as well as helping to combat camera shake.

Take a look at our hands-on video from the launch of the new lens, along with a 45-175mm telephoto lens:

Coming to UK in October

The lenses were spotted undergoing quality assurance checks during a factory visit by our head of testing, Angela Nicholson.

When asked when the lenses had gone into production the Factory Director, Osamu Yuuki, took a look at his watch and said, 'today'. He later confirmed that the first 800 had just been completed and we can expect samples to reach the UK towards the end of October.

Panasonic's Yamagata factory is responsible for producing Panasonic's lenses and outputs an incredible 5 million lens elements and 1 million lens units each month.

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Amy (Twitter, Google+, blog) is a freelance journalist and photographer. She worked full-time as the News Reporter / Technical Writer (cameras) across Future Publishing's photography brands and TechRadar between 2009 and 2014 having become obsessed with photography at an early age. Since graduating from Cardiff Journalism School, she's also won awards for her blogging skills and photographic prowess, and once snatched exhibition space from a Magnum photographer.