Thursday, February 7, 2013

Panasonic PZ 14-42mm vs. 14-45mm

The PZ has significantly more blurry edges, which is common with all kit lenses, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and etc.; Panasonic 14-45mm kit lens is the only exception.

This PZ lens is perfect for video though and the blurry edges, only seen while pixel peeping, won't show up in video. G5 has a power zoom rocker between the shutter and record buttons, making one-hand shooting possible with smooth zooming. PZ's AF also catches up with zooming speed well, as showing in this video:

These three 100% crops show the blurry edges against 14-45. The second is, obviously, from 14-45 and the first and third are from two different PZ lenses with a large gap between their serial numbers, 01LI9202###H vs. 01LI9211###H. Therefore, this is not about a specific bad copy but the common performance of the PZ.

Above images are cropped from the right edge with a 1/3 size. The left side is much better, no problem at all.  It would be much more preferred if Panasonic moves half of the blurry area to the left side. The camera is G5 at f/3.5 14mm.

You won't see any difference in real life photos:

as long as you don't do 100% crop at the edges:

The PZ is really an ideal match to the GF3 alike bodies (GF1, GF2, GF5 and GX1 etc.), making them quite pocketable. It also makes a G5 alike body (G1, G2, G3, GH1, GH2 and GH3 etc.) a lot easier to slide into a bag or a large coat pocket:

Will I spend $400 on this PZ? No, absolutely not, because it cannot match the edge sharpness of the 14-45mm. But for $279 mounted on a brand new GF3 body, then yes, good to have, especially for video and a body like G5 with a PZ rocker.

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