Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ Review

March 27, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ is an incredibly compact, lightweight and fast-focusing 3x kit zoom that makes a great partner with a small compact system camera like the OM-D E-M10. Sure, it might not offer the best image quality either wide-open or at the edges of the frame, but the ability to store the camera and lens in a coat pocket is a compelling one.

While centre sharpness is pretty high throughout most of its focal range, you do need to stop down to get satisfactory results rather than being able to shoot wide-open at the maximum aperture. The edges are also soft throughout the focal range. Chromatic aberrations are visible but well-controlled, while vignetting and distortion are both present but again not a serious issue. Finally, the lack of in-lens image stabilisation makes the lens somewhat impractical for non-Olympus camera owners.

Whilst we're more than happy with the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ's fast and reliable auto-focusing, the very slim manual focusing ring makes this method much more frustrating. Build quality is surprisingly good considering this is a humble kit lens - even the lens mount is made of metal rather than plastic.

All things considered, the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ is a good standard zoom lens for those Olympus Micro Four Thirds users who want a super-compact solution to their everyday photography, videography and, at a push, macro needs. We'd suggest stepping-up to the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ if you want better image quality, weather-sealing and a longer reach, but if portability is key, the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ is an obvious choice.

The lens tested in this review was kindly provided by CameraWorld, a real camera shop helping you to make the most of your hobby. Our expert team has many years experience within the photographic trade with knowledge gained over 40 years. Many are photographers themselves and enjoy passing their knowledge on. You'll also find our online service fast, efficient and courteous and you can always call us if you want to talk to a human being! We are dedicated to bringing you the very best in service, choice and price. We're very easy to find, our London store is just off Oxford Street between Oxford Circus station and Tottenham Court Road station. The Essex shop is located in High Chelmer Shopping Centre, just off the High Street in Chelmsford. Visit us and you'll always find a friendly welcome. Our policy is to serve our customers as we would like to be served ourselves, a simple ideal that we try hard to live up to.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3
Value for money 4