Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm f/4-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. - Review / Test Report - Samples & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 258.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 210.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/1250s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 150.0mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure 1/800s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 210.0mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure 1/2500s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 150.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2500s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 246.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/640s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GH2
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/640s

Verdict

The Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm f/4-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. is a good albeit not superb super telephoto zoom lens. The delivered resolution is actually pretty decent across the image field and the focal length. The lens suffers from a high degree of lateral CAs - despite an extra low dispersion lens - which is mainly a problem for Olympus users whereas the auto-correction can cope with this issue on Panasonic cameras.
Distortions are well controlled and not relevant for most use-cases. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to the vignetting performance of the lens which is visible throughout the zoom range at fully open aperture. However, it's not really an issue anymore from f/8 onward.
The optical image stabilizer is basically a requirement for hand-held photography at such focal length on micro-four-thirds cameras. An effective gain of about "2-3 f-stops" seems realistic from what we have seen during actual use.

As of the time of this review there are no 300mm prime lenses available for the system so users can either choose between the LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm f/4-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. or the Olympus M.Zuiko 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7. The Panasonic lens is somewhat "faster" so it has a bit of a natural advantage of the Olympus lens. Performance-wise you still have to accept some performance penalties that are simply associated with such consumer-grade long tele zoom lenses. Positive aspects are certainly the high-speed contrast AF which can also be recommended for movies and the very good build quality.

 
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