Leica DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH. zoom and Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 revealed

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Panasonic has today introduced the Leica DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH. (16-36mm; 35mm equivalent) wide-angle zoom lens and a huge 30x superzoom camera, in the shape of the Lumix DC-TZ90, which shoots 4K video.

The new Leica lens is the second lens within the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series, following in the footsteps of the 12-60mm zoom, and is said to offer “superb picture quality and high performance for both photo and video recording”. As a Micro Four Thirds lens it could be an ideal partner for the much heralded Panasonic GH5 camera and weighs just 315g.

Coating technology
It features Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to minimise ghosting and flaring. High-quality video recording capability is also said to be one of the advantages of this Micro Four Thirds lens series.

Filter thread & composition
The new Leica 8-18mm zoom features a 67mm filter thread to allow for ND or PL filter attachments for stills photographers or videographers. With 15 elements in 10 groups, the lens features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The use of these effectively suppress spherical distortion or chromatic aberration to achieve high resolution and contrast from centre to corners.

Video advantages
The sensor drive at maximum drive of 240fps enables you to take full advantage of cameras with high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF systems. It also helps to reduce wobbling to aid the capture of smooth and crisp videos. In addition to the silent operation achieved by the inner focus drive system, the micro-step drive system in the aperture control section should help cameras to smoothly catch up to brightness changes when zooming or panning in videos.

Leica 50-200mm zoom due soon
Panasonic has said that the Leica lens line-up will expand further with a 50-200mm (100-400mm; 35mm equivalent) telephoto zoom lens, which now seems set for a 2H 2017 launch. Meanwhile the new 8-18mm zoom will be available from the end of May with a UK RRP of £1049.

LUMIX DC-TZ90 superzoom
On the camera side of things the new Panasonic LUMIX DC-TZ90 includes a range of features such as a 30x optical zoom (that’s a massive 24-720mm range; 35mm equivalent), an improved 20.3 megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and a new tilting screen.

The TZ90’s zoom is a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and is said to have passed “Leica’s stringent standards resulting in crisp clarity and minimum distortion and flare”. Power O.I.S is on hand to help keep your shots sharp, no matter which focal length you’re using.

Key video features
The video options on the TZ90 include the ability to record high-resolution QFHD 4K (3840×2160) videos at frame rates of up to 30p. Other functions that are designed to help you get the best videos possible include tilt-correction and 5-axis image stabilisation.

The 4K Live Cropping facility allows you to pan and adjust composition even after you’ve finished recording. You can also shoot high-speed Full HD 1080p videos at 120fps/100fps if you want to to achieve creative slow-motion effects in your movies.

4K Photo options
The TZ90’s 4K Photo function is available via a dedicated button on the TZ90’s body to access the various 4K PHOTO modes. It allows you to capture frames at 30fps and extract stills at 8-megapixel equivalent resolution – large enough to produce up to A3-sized prints. There is also a range of other functions which utilise 4K technology – Post Focus means you can change the point of focus after shooting while Focus Stacking allows you to change the depth-of-field after shooting by combining multiple images.

Focusing and controls
The TZ90 has a fast-focusing (0.1sec AF speed) 49-point AF system but for those who prefer manual focusing there’s also Focus Peaking and MF assist. A control ring around the TZ90’s zoom lens lets you adjust settings, such as aperture, while a control dial on the rear of the camera is also on hand to change other settings.

Wi-Fi and USB charging
Using Wi-Fi connectivity you can connect the TZ90 to a smartphone or tablet to take remote control of it. USB charging gives you the flexibility to power up the camera without need for a separate battery charger.

Price and availability
The Lumix DC-TZ90 will go on sale during June 2017 with a UK RRP of £399, whilst a Lumix DC-TZ93 kit (including a case and a spare battery) will be available exclusively at John Lewis with an RRP of £499.

Find out more…
To discover more about the new Leica 8-18mm zoom lens just click here or for more info on the new Panasonic TZ90 camera just click here. To watch The Video Mode’s exclusive ‘First Look’ video about the Panasonic GH5 camera, with Lumix G Ambassador and filmmaker Nick Driftwood, just click here.