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Panasonic Unveils High-End “X” Lenses for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Today Panasonic unveiled a new line of Lumix X lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras, introducing two new zoom lenses: the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 and the 45-175mm f/4-5.6. What’s unique about them is that they’re both power zoom lenses, meaning the focal length is controlled electronically using a rocker on the side of the lens. The 45-175mm also has standard zoom and focus rings, but these are electronic controls as well.

The 14-42mm is also unique in that it’s collapsible, resembling a tiny pancake lens when it’s closed:

Basically, Panasonic has built-high quality interchangeable camera lenses that function like the lenses on fixed lens digital cameras. They feature a solid build-quality (e.g. a metal mount), an anti-glare coating, and built-in image stabilization.

Available in either black or silver, the 14-42mm will cost $400 and the 45-175mm $450 when they’re released in October and September, respectively.


Update: Panasonic is reportedly also planning to release a 12-35mm f/2 and a 35-100 f/2 in 2012.