Wednesday, 12 August 2015

New firmware for Lumix 14-140mm II

Panasonic recently updated the firmware for a number of their lenses (click here). The updates are mostly geared towards the upcoming Lumix GX8, promising to deliver the dual IS feature, using both the lens optical image stabilization, and the camera sensor shift image stabilization at the same time.

One of the lenses affected is the Lumix G 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 superzoom lens (click for my review). Compared with the older version of the lens, I find that it is better in every way: Smaller, lighter, cheaper initial price, better image quality.

There are some who say that the new version of the lens causes "micro jitters" when recording video handheld, which makes it impossible for use with video. As the lens is advertized for video use especially, this sounds like a very bad thing.

To see if there is a problem after the new v1.1 firmware upgrade, I have tested the lens together with the old version, supposedly free from the micro jitters issue. I've mounted them on a pair of Lumix GX7 cameras, and recorded video at 1080p, 50FPS. To avoid motion blur, which might hide the micro jitters, I set a fast shutter speed at 1/250s.


Both cameras were connected to a Desmond mini stereo bracket. The new version of the lens to the right.



Here are the results, at 140mm, 50mm, and then 14mm:



Looking at the results, I don't see any adverse jitter effects with any of the lenses. The new lens is not consistently better than the old one in terms of stabilizing the video, but neither does it make the video "useless", as some would say.

Looking back, people would always say that lens based optical image stabilization would be best for video, and, hence, look to Panasonic rather than Olympus within Micro Four Thirds.

However, with the Mark II of the Olympus E-M5, they have taken the in-body image stabilization to a new level when it comes to video stabilization. See my comparison here, which shows a truly amazing performance from Olympus without lens based IS.

1 comment:

  1. Please shoot stationary handheld clip and you see that annoying micro jitter. If you move the camera the movement hides the vibration. Try comparing with MEGA OIS lenses and you see the difference.
    -Vesku

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