If you’re looking for the best budget all-around zoom lens for Panasonic and Olympus micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras (Panasonic GH5, G9, G95, Olympus E-M1 Mark III, E-M5 Mark III etc.), you’re at the right spot. As you may already know, certain lenses may offer an additional feature or two when used with the camera body made by the same company. A typical example would be better image stabilization because IBIS and optical image stabilization will work together to provide better results. Of course, this applies to optically stabilized lenses. Otherwise, all micro 4/3 lenses will work on any micro 4/3 mirrorless camera. With that in mind, here are our favorite choices:
Best Choice – Olympus 12-45mm f/4 PRO
This 24-90mm full-frame equivalent lens is one of the newest in Olympus’ lineup. It’s quite compact and lightweight at 8.96 oz (254 grams), making it an excellent walk-around and travel zoom lens. This is definitely not the cheapest zoom lens you can buy for your micro 4/3 camera, but it is more affordable than f/2.8 lenses with similar focal range.
The 12-45mm f/4 PRO offers excellent performance and sharpness throughout the range. There’s one feature that makes this lens even more versatile – it has maximum magnification of 0.5x, which means you can easily use it for some macro photography as well. On top of this, the 12-45mm f/4 PRO is also weather sealed!
Option #2 – Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6
If you’re searching for an even more affordable zoom lens that covers a bigger focal range (this is a 24-120mm full-frame equivalent lens), this may be the one for you. Of course, if you don’t mind the variable aperture. Just like the first model we mentioned, the Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 is also quite lightweight, coming in at just 7.41 oz or 210 grams.
This lens is sharp but we still think the aforementioned Olympus has a slight edge. And while the Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 is definitely not the best choice for low-light photography due to its slow maximum aperture (especially on the long end), the built-in optical image stabilization will help you take sharper photos. It will make an even bigger difference if you own a camera without in-body image stabilization. Overall, this lens is another very solid option!