Anyone who's used Panasonic's 14-42mm Micro Four Thirds zoom lens has probably noticed its relatively bulky design, especially when compared to Olympus's counterpart. Today, the company announced a new lens that offers the same zoom and f/3.5-5.6 aperture range in a housing less than half the size when closed, and still noticeably smaller when extended. The first of two optics in Panasonic's premium X-series -- the second is a 45-170mm f/4-5.6 zoom -- it's been billed as the world's smallest digital interchangeable power zoom lens, thanks to its internal zoom motor which lets you adjust the focal length using a side-mounted rocker -- the design is similar to the zoom toggle included with the company's new FX150 superzoom. Priced at $399, it also includes a metal lens mount, instead of the plastic mount used with the existing $199 14-42mm lens.
That second 45-170mm zoom ($449) can replace Panasonic's 45-200mm lens ($349), and while the size difference isn't as dramatic is its smaller X-series sibling, it's still noticeably smaller and lighter. Both lenses include optical image stabilization and feature nano surface coatings, designed to reduce ghosting and lens flare. The 14-42mm lens will ship in October in black and white (for use with silver bodies), and the 45-170mm zoom will ship in September. They'll
Update: Panasonic issued a correction saying that both lens will be compatible with all G-series cameras without the need for a firmware update.