Announced in late August, the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. and LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. are the company's first Power Zoom lenses, and include zoom rocker controls on the lens body, thereby allow powered zooming with variable speed. It's a feature that's of great utility to videographers, allowing lens zoom adjustment with minimal camera shake.
As we noted in separate coverage of the announcement, Power Zoom lenses work with the existing firmware in Lumix G-series bodies, however the updated firmware expands functionality in several ways. Once updated, the G3, GF2, and GF3 can display the focal length of the attached lens on the camera's display. They can also automatically restore the zoom to the last-used position when the camera is switched on, and step to a predetermined focal length when commanded. Perhaps most significantly, though, the user can select the speed with which the power zoom system will operate.
No other changes are noted in the new firmware, which carries version number 1.1 for all three cameras. As of late August, Panasonic was also predicting a firmware update for the Lumix DMC-GH2 adding similar functionality, however this has not yet been released. Information on applying the new firmware for the G3, GF2 and GF3 can be found on the Panasonic website.