Sony’s New 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS II PZ Kit Lens Is Very Familiar

A black camera with a rubberized grip and a lens labeled "E 3.5-5.6/PZ 16-50 OSS II" is placed on a pink surface. The top of the camera has several buttons and dials, including a red record button, a function button labeled "C1," and a power switch.

Alongside its new ZV-E10 II vlogging camera, Sony has unveiled a new APS-C kit zoom lens for content creators, the E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS II.

The compact, lightweight power zoom lens weighs just 107 grams (3.77 ounces) and is 31.3 millimeters (1.23 inches) long in its retracted position. It is similar in size to the original 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, but the new version is just under 10% lighter.

Top view of a white digital camera with a silver lens. The lens is marked "E 3.5-5.6/PZ 16-50 OSS II." The camera body has several buttons, dials, and a hot shoe. The model number "ZV-E10II" is visible on the lower left corner of the camera.
The new Sony ZV-E10 II with the latest 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS II power zoom lens.

Sony describes the lens as similar to its predecessor, albeit with minor improvements. Among these is support for up to 120 frames per second continuous shooting. While this ensures compatibility with the flagship a9 III’s maximum shooting speed — an improbable usage scenario for an APS-C kit zoom — it also means that the lens can keep up with the 1080/120p video recording mode on the new ZV-E10 II.

The lens can also retain autofocus while zooming, which is nice and works alongside a camera’s in-body image stabilization system.

A person's hand holds a Sony digital camera with an attached microphone and grip. The camera is black and features a prominent lens. The background is plain white, and only the person's hand and forearm are visible.

Sony promises good image quality, including edge-to-edge sharpness and pleasing bokeh. That said, the lens doesn’t have a fast aperture, so getting a defocused background will require either getting close to the subject or ensuring the background is quite far away. Fortunately, the lens supports close focus to 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) at the wide end and 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) at the tele end. The lens offers a maximum magnification of 0.21x.

Although the lens is not a wholesale improvement or redesign like some of Sony’s other “mark II” lenses, the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS II is nonetheless well-suited for video. Its electronically controlled power zoom allows users to adjust the focal length via controls on the camera itself, like the zoom lever on the ZV-E10 II, and the lens supports Sony’s breathing compensation function.

A black digital camera with a rubberized grip and a large lens is shown from an angle. The camera has a furry windscreen attached to the top, presumably covering a microphone. The lens has various markings, indicating focus and zoom ranges.

The new kit zoom is essentially a case of “basically the same, but better,” and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While the optical design is unchanged, the lens is just a bit swifter, and Sony says it “feels” better than its predecessor. There’s little to warrant an existing owner to upgrade, but it is an obvious improvement for relevant Sony APS-C camera kits.

Speaking of APS-C camera kits, while the lens is $299 when purchased separately, it adds just $100 to the cost of the new ZV-E10 II. For shooters without a lens, the kit makes a lot of sense. Further, in the case of the white ZV-E10 II colorway, the lens comes in a silver finish. For those purchasing separately, it is only available in black.

Image credits: Sony