Olympus introduces powerzoom lens

Olympus powerzoom lens
The new Olympus 12-50mm lens features a powerzoom setting

Olympus has introduced a new 12-50mm powerzoom lens for its Micro Four Thirds series of PEN camera.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ lens comes with a new ultra-smooth, near-silent electromagnetic zoom mechanism for powering the lens on its own, without the need to twist the lens.

This type of power zoom lens was first introduced by Panasonic for its G-Series cameras back in August.

The new Olympus lens has also been designed with high quality macros and wide-angle shots in mind. Its 24-100mm effective focal range produces an 84 degree max angle of view.

Power zoom functionality allows users to zoom in and out smoothly and quietly at a constant rate, which is especially useful when recording videos as it has the potential to cut down on camera-shake and jerkiness that occurs when zooming by hand, as well as cutting out the noise of motor gears.

Zoom speed

Motor zoom speed can be set to one of three levels, with the slow setting allowing time to concentrate on composing, while the fast setting makes sure no shot is missed.

With a multi-layer coating and two aspherical lenses, common zoom lens aberrations have been tackled. In macro mode, Olympus states the lens can offer the 35mm equivalent of 0.72x magnification.

For the first time on a PEN lens, a new L-Fn button has been included. This prevents the camera from accidentally focusing on the wrong subject. If something comes between the camera and subject, the button can be pushed to temporarily suspend autofocus until it has moved out of the way. A manual zoom ring is also included to suspend autofocus altogether.

The lens is fitted with the same dust and splash proof mechanism which was originally developed for high-end ZUIKO DIGITAL Top Pro series lenses.

Available seperately and as part of a kit, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ lens UK price is £349.99 SRP, and will be available from the end of January 2012. Pricings for kit packages is not yet known.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.