Panasonic has announced a new compact standard zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds. The Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS is the fourth standard zoom lens; the 14-45mm was the first and shipped with the Panasonic G1, it was followed by the 14-42mm and the 14-42mm power zoom X lens.
The new 14-42mm lens is built with 9 elements in 8 groups, with two aspherical elements to make the lens smaller and lighter. It comes with Panasonic's Mega OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) to help reduce image blur caused by camera shake. It has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm (at 14-20mm) and 30cm (at 21-42mm). The 7 aperture blades consists a circular aperture diaphragm.
The lens will come in metallic black and silver, and will be available as a kit option for the GF5.
The original 14-45mm is considered a classic MFT lens (here's a favorable comparison between it and the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 lens), hopefully the new 14-42mm can match it in terms of performance.