How about the power zoom lenses?

Started Nov 27, 2011 | Discussions thread
Joel Halbert
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Re: How about the power zoom lenses?
In reply to fotsibes, Nov 27, 2011

Sorry I don't own these lenses yet. But I'll summarize what I've gleaned from reading:

1. The two new X lenses with power zoom are more compact than existing M4/3 lenses, especially the 14-42. This is as much due to optical design as to the presence of the power zoom feature.

2. They are both advertised to have excellent sharpness, but there is a great deal of complaining about the OIS (stabilization) causing blur in the mid-range of shutter speeds. Panasonic issued a firmware update that helped, but apparently did not completely solve the issue.

3. For video: Yes the zoom is smoother, fairly quiet, and preferable if your video shots include real-time zooming. However, zooming during a shot has been considered by many to be an amateur technique that is not generally pleasing, used more as a special effect in professional work. It changes magnification, not perspective (point of view). The accepted and more satisfying method is "dolly" where the camera is brought physically closer to the subject during the shot - usually on a wheeled dolly to keep it nice and smooth. (I took one film course in college, and I remember one classic and dramatic dolly shot used at the first appearance of John Wayne (Ringo Kid) in John Ford's "Stagecoach".)

4. For stills: It seems to be a matter of personal user preference. Many users insist on a manual zoom ring, and the experience from "superzoom" cameras is that people like the manual zoom models better than the power zoom ones. But I've been reading that users who try the "X" zooms have come to appreciate the power zoom - it seems that Panasonic did a good job of optimizing the control.

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JoelH

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