Panasonic has introduced the Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6, a new small and light standard zoom lens to its Micro Four Thirds catalog. It is likely to become the new kit lens for several camera bundles. Unlike the other standard kit lenses seen from Olympus and Panasonic, the new 12-60mm has a vaster range of useful focal lengths (5x zoom) going from 24 to 120mm (35mm format equivalent). Being able to start at 12mm will prove more interesting for wide shots in a city or for landscapes.
The new lens is splash and dust proof and comes with a robust metal mount. It has a seven iris blades, 11 elements in 9 groups including three aspherical lenses and an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element. The lenses feature multi-coating to reduce flare and ghosting.
The lens can focus as close as 20cm with 0.54x magnification (35mm format equivalent), giving you macro-like capabilities. It includes optical stabilisation and is compatible with the Dual IS system of the Panasonic GX8.
The new lens has an inner focus drive system and a stepping motor to ensure AF precision for both stills and video. It is also compatible with the sensor drive at 240 fps.
The 12-60mm will be available in May at $499.99.