UPDATE 25 Feb, 2012: Amazon US has just eight of the new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ in stock (sold by H and B Digital, fulfilled by Amazon). All other retailers are taking pre-orders at this time.
Olympus has introduced a new 12-50mm zoom (24-100mm equivalent) and has several new features besides the focal length and ratio. It's the first from the maker to feature power-zoom intended primarily for video shooters but it also boasts a focus-hold button (to avoid re-focusing) and the same level of weatherproofing as the Top Pro lens range for their DSLRs. We were told by a spokesperson that the new lens will be available late January or early February with an RRP of £349.99 inc. VAT.
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Olympus makes zooming even smoother
A new zoom lens for a new PEN generation
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ
London, 14 December 2011 – Olympus’s new generation of multi- talented PEN cameras can enjoy a new Standard Zoom, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ. It comes with a new ultra-smooth, near-silent electromagnetic zoom mechanism that powers the lens on its own – no potentially jerky wristwork required. This makes it easy for anyone to make great home movies. Add in variable zoom speed and blazing quick auto focus, and it’s the perfect zoom lens for recording movies and portraits. It’s also ideal for high-quality macros and wide- angle shots. With an 84° max. angle of view, 24-100mm* focal range and manual zoom mode, this exceptional lens gives PEN owners all the options. The PEN line-up has a multi-talented standard zoom lens to match. It goes on sale from end of January 2012, for £349.99.
Smoother and quieter
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ takes the movie zoom lens to a new level. An electromagnetically powered zoom mechanism lets you zoom in and out smoothly and quietly, at a constant rate. This avoids the camera-shake that often occurs when you zoom by hand and cuts out the noise of motor gears in the background, which can potentially ruin your movie. You can set the motor to zoom at one of three set speeds. The ‘slow’ setting allows time to concentrate on composing while ‘fast’ makes sure no shot is missed.
Faster and closer
The new lens delivers 4.2x standard magnification and is very quick. The electromagnetic motor makes for near-instant response and, in combination
1with Olympus’ proprietary MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) technology, ensures fast and near-silent autofocus. For this lens, Olympus enhanced MSC by adding a Linear Motor Drive that makes use of the electromagnetic motor to make focussing even faster, quieter – and better for recording movies.
Automatic and manual
As you’d expect from an Olympus PEN lens, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12- 50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ delivers superb image quality, thanks not least to a multi-layer coating on all the lenses and two aspherical lenses that correct common zoom aberrations. The pristine quality is particularly evident in Macro mode, which offers 0.72x* magnification at 20 to 50cm. Less familiar is the new L-Fn button (a first on a PEN lens), which prevents the camera focussing on the wrong subject by mistake. Should something suddenly come between the lens and your intended subject, you simply push this button to temporarily suspend autofocus until it’s moved out of the way. For fans of hands-on shooting, the lens offers another rare treat – the option to suspend autofocus altogether and switch to the manual zoom ring.
The Micro Four Thirds standard makes PEN cameras especially compact and portable, which allows PEN owners to shoot in all kinds of places and conditions. So it’s comforting to know this lens is fitted with the same top- notch dust- and splash-proof mechanism originally developed for high-end ZUIKO DIGITAL Top Pro Series lenses. Now, wherever you go with your PEN you’ve got a zoom lens that’s tough enough to go too.
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ will sell separately and as part of a kit with one of the three newest PEN cameras: the PEN Lite (E- PL3), PEN Mini (E-PM1) and the flagship PEN E-P3. A matching protection filter, lens case and hood are also available.
* 35mm equivalent.
For a full list of features, please go to www.olympus.co.uk