3 out of 10 points and not recommendedsmall, lightsoft, extreme reliability issues, expensive
i tested 4 copies of this lens and all of them had serious softness issues.reviewed March 12th, 2012 (purchased for $470)
this was not typcial decentring, because the location of soft areas could vary between shots. i assume this is due to a badly designed OIS-element that can cause softness even when it shouldn't be active.
the already known problem with soft images at 42mm and shutter speeds between 1/100 - 1/200 is true even with OIS turned off and on olympus bodies as well.
even when stopped down this lens is softer than my lumix 14-140!!!
it could be the perfect standard zoom lens for small mFT cameras like GF3 or E-PL3, but this lens is too unreliable for serious shooting.
panasonic didn't provide any fix yet nor did they confirm any issues, so far i am still waiting for a definitve answer!
4 out of 10 points and not recommendedfaster AF than previous version, lightlonger than previous version, soft, plastic mount!
as opposed to SLR-gear's review of this lens, my particular sample is considerably softer than the old version of this lens that i also own.reviewed March 12th, 2012
the old version has a horribly slow AF and construction quality is arguable as it feels a bit wobbly, but the new version is softer overall, despite the improvement in AF speed.
also the plastic mount is a step backwards and to tell the truth i still prefer the old version because it is shorter overall and better suited with small mFT cameras.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedthe best mFT standard-zooms"big" when mounted on a small camera
this is still the best standard zoom lens for micro four thirds if image quality is the most important factor and you don't care about size. unfortunately it is quite big and doesn't fit well on small mFT cameras like GF3 etc.reviewed March 12th, 2012
it is quite sharp across the zoom range if you get a good copy, my first one was decentered with a soft side to the left.
i compared this lens to olympus' m.z 14-42 as well as the 20mm pancake, and the 14-45 compared pretty well to the pancake in sharpness and was much better than the m.zuiko.
unfortunately i sold mine as i didn't use it that much on my GF1 and GF2 because it was simply too big.
i tried the new x14-42 instead and hoped it to be a good substitute, but the x14-42 was a real disaster.
therefore i still think that the 14-45 is one of the best kit-lenses apart from the fact that it is not a small lens!
8 out of 10 points and recommendeduseful range, extremly compact, extremely light, sharp, fast AFhas softness issues (especially at the right side), prone to purple fringing
this lens is impressive. it is very small and very light but can compete with some fixed focal lenghts sharpness-wise through its entire zoom-range. it is not the best lens if you want fast apertures, but the OIS can compensate for some camera shake due to longer shutter speed.reviewed January 16th, 2014 (purchased for $380)
the 12mm wideangle is especially nice compared to other kit-lenses so that i can live with a bit less reach.
but there is one serious problem. i have tested several of these lenses and all of them had shown a softer right side. sometimes the softness was extreme, while with other shots it could be minimal. it was worst at f/4.5 while wide open or stopped down to f/5.6 the softness was not that obvious.
i am not sure if this is a general problem, because many other lenses (like the one from dpreview, photographyblog and even the one tested by SLR gear) seem to have exactly the same problem.