The OM-D E-M5 was my first serious foray into digital from fifty years in film, much of if with Olympus OM and Leica M. Olympus choose wisely in kitting their revolutionary EM-5 with this multi-capable lens. Yes, it has been superseded by its bigger, faster, much more expensive pro brother, the 12-40 f2.8. But by how much? This little lens remains a compact, quick and quiet, sharp, wider range optic, with macro capability to boot. I took it of a trip to Kenya with the 70-300, and they both served me very well. It's still in my regular kit, which now includes an EM-1. Maybe it should be in yours, too.
Had one that came with my E-M5. Unfortunately, no longer use it for anything.
This is a sort of classic case of a jack-of-all-trades lens. It does a bit of everything. Macro, wideangle, short-telephoto, manual & electric zoom, weatherproofing, relatively low price.
Unfortunately, there are quite a bit of drawbacks to this lens design. My first annoyance with it is the electric and manual zoom is much too easy to switch back and forth between. I often find myself twisting the zoom ring, only to get a few mm of travel because I inadvertently moved the ring forwards (or was it backwards?) I know it makes for a better video-centric design to have the option for both, but it very confusing the way it it implemented here. I would have just picked one or the other.
Another drawback is the very slow aperture at 50mm, which forces a higher minimum ISO when lower is needed to handle camera shake, and also removes the ability to achieve a shallow DoF often desired at this FL.
The lack of sharpness from this lens is also a disappointment, where even the other standard kit zoom lenses perform better, short of the 12mm wide-angle that this one has (others start at 14mm).
It's also a fairly lengthy lens, and not at all in the spirit of a compact system from m4/3.
I would say that casual HD video is the main purpose of this lens, but that's not exactly a great thing to state. Anyone with a planned production in mind would not use a lens like this.
The only other thing I can say is that this is a decent, but not great low cost weatherproof lens for those on a budget. But if you're on a budget, it is doubtful you have a weather-sealed camera to go with it.
Or many you just want one lens, even if it's only so-so because changing lenses is a pain. That begs the question of using a camera with interchangeable lens capability from the excellent high end point and shoots now available.
There just isn't a particular set of realistic circumstances where I can state that this lens does it best, and that is why it remains an unpopular choice.
Well, at least the build quality of mine was fine, and the lens works okay. That's about all I remember of it.