Panasonic's new do-it-all full-frame travel lens could be the only one you need

Panasonic LUMIX S 28-200mm F4-7.1 MACRO lens in the hand
(Image credit: Panasonic)

Panasonic is on a bit of a roll with its latest full-frame lenses. It kicked off 2024 by launching the world's smallest and lightest full-frame 100mm macro lens, and now it's announced a 7x travel zoom lens, which is the also lightest of its kind: the Lumix S 28-200mm F4-7.1 Macro O.I.S.

It's designed to be the one lens you'll need for your full-frame Panasonic mirrorless camera like the Lumix S5 II, and ticks the key travel-lens boxes by offering a 7x optical zoom that should cover you for most scenarios, in a lightweight and compact body.

At just 14.5oz / 413g and measuring 3.67in / 93.4mm in length, the 28-200mm is simpatico with Panasonic's 20-60mm kit lens and a number of its small prime lenses, which like this new lens also have a 67mm filter thread. If you have a collection of Panasonic lenses, such synergy between models brings a number of practical advantages, such as the ability to use the same filters across lenses, and lenses being familiar in the hand and so easy to quickly swap on video shoots.

The 28-200mm's versatility extends to its close-focusing capabilities – as little as 1.18in / 3cm from its front when set to the widest possible 28mm focal length, for up to 0.5x magnification. You'll likely want to shoot macro images when zoomed in a little more though, and the magnification drops a little here but is still impressive, especially compared to rivals.

Panasonic says the 28-200mm has features for video creators, such as suppressed focus breathing and silent autofocus. It also packs 5-axis stabilization, which is an excellent prospect when paired with a camera like the S5 II, which has ridiculously good in-body stabilization, especially for video. We've not tested the lens with an S5 II, but knowing the camera intimately we'd anticipate that the combo will provide silky smooth results when you're shooting handheld on the move.

It all sounds very good on paper, but just how impressive is Panasonic's 28-200mm? There's not a lot of competition out there by which to measure it, although Tamron's 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount is one such candidate, while Sony and Canon both make 24-240mm full-frame lenses. 

All of those alternatives offer something optically that Panasonic doesn't. Tamron's has the bigger f/2.8-5.6 maximum aperture, which is 1EV brighter at most focal lengths, while the Canon and Sony models have a 10x zoom to Panasonic's 7x zoom. However, the Panasonic looks better in terms of all-round design and handling. 

True, it's probably the modest f/4 to f/7.1 maximum aperture that's allowing Panasonic to claim this is the smallest and lightest full-frame travel zoom, but if that limitation doesn't put you off it looks like Panasonic is onto a winner, even if the list price of $899 / £899 / AU$1,599 is a little on the high end. If you'd like to pick one up, it's available from late April / early May.

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.