Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Free Shipping on ALL Products
Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm 1:2.8-4 Gordon Laing, September 2008
Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm verdict

The Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm is quite simply one of the best quality zoom lenses we’ve tested to date. Its optical performance is superb, delivering very sharp results across the frame at all focal lengths. The SWD auto-focusing is very quick and quiet, and unlike the motor-assisted manual focusing of most Four Thirds lenses, the mechanically-linked system here feels tactile and responsive. The lens itself is well-built, dust and splash-proof, while its flexible 5x range and bright f2.8-4 aperture will satisfy most photographers for day-to-day use.

In fact it’s quite hard to think of any downsides to this lens. In our optical tests there was some geometric distortion, but no more than you’d find with comparable ranges from other manufacturers. Indeed it delivered lower distortion and vignetting than most premium general-purpose lenses we’ve tested including the Sony Carl Zeiss DT 16-80mm and the Canon EF 24-105mm (the latter tested on both full-frame and cropped bodies). The Olympus lens may cost about 20% more than the Sony, but is about 15% cheaper than the Canon, while beating both models on focal ratio; (although to be fair, the Canon does have built-in IS and is corrected for a larger frame).

Olympus 14-35mm

Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm

Physically you could argue the Olympus 12-60mm is best-matched to the larger Four Thirds bodies like the E-3. It’s acceptable on the E-5xx series, but arguably too big for the smallest E-4xx series where it feels front heavy. You should also beware of the lens barrel casting a shadow with the popup flashes on the smaller bodies when zoomed-out – see our Features page for an example taken with the E-420 – although to be fair this equally affects other larger non-kit lenses on most bodies. Like all bigger lenses, you really should try it for yourself on your body to see if it’s a good match in terms of size, weight and balance.

We should also mention this lens, like all Olympus models, does not feature built-in optical stabilisation. So if you want anti-shake with it, you’ll need a stabilised body, like the E-510, E-520 or E-3.

So should you buy it? If you have either the 14-45mm or 14-42mm kit lens and want something superior for general use then the 12-60mm represents a significant upgrade in every respect, although again beware of the barrel casting shadows from the popup flash of smaller bodies.

If you already own the popular 14-54mm, you’ll enjoy a slightly wider and longer range, along with SWD auto-focusing. The only other lens higher-end owners might want to consider is the Olympus ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD which might have a shorter range, but also boasts SWD focusing and a constant f2.0 aperture.

Ultimately like the Zuiko Digital 7-14mm, the 12-60mm is another lens which makes you want to buy into the Four Thirds system. It simply out-performs equivalent lenses from rival manufacturers to become the best quality general-purpose zoom we’ve tested. Suffice it to say it comes Highly Recommended and should be on the top of the list of any Four Thirds owner who wants a top-notch day-to-day lens. Owners of rival systems can only look on in envy.

Support this site by shopping via these links

Good points

Flexible 5x general purpose range.
Quick and quiet SWD focusing.
Excellent build quality. Dust and splash-proof.
Very sharp results across frame and focal range.

Bad points
Shadow from popup flash on smaller bodies.
Feels front-heavy on E-4xx series.
No anti-shake on non-stabilised bodies.
Imager AF not supported in Live View.


(relative to other zooms)

Build quality:
Optical quality:


23 / 25
23 / 25
22 / 25
20 / 25


All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs