Great all-around lens!
I got this lens with my OM-D E-M5 body, and it is the lens that I use most often, even after purchasing several other lenses. It is handy to have the built-in macro to grab an unexpected shot, and the zoom range makes it a very versatile lens. The power zoom option works great for video, when you want a smooth & steady zoom. Otherwise, I always use the "manual" zoom for faster composure of still pictures. The lens is rugged, too! I slipped while hiking and slammed the lens into a rock when I fell. It dented & shattered the filter I had on the lens, but the lens itself is still working perfectly after many more months of use. This is the lens I leave on my camera for the majority of use, and the only lens I use when I don't want to carry any other lenses with me.
Very nice weather sealed lesn with macro capabilities
This lens covers a very userful 24mm (35mm equivalent) to 100mm focal length. This focal length is ideal for most photography. Being weather sealed helps. Keep in mind that you need a weather sealed body as well such as the EM5 or EM1.
There is a macro mode which is surprisingly good. I have captured some really nice macro photos with this lens.
While this may be an ok kit lens for still photography, it does shine for video as it has almost silent operation and very smooth zooming action.
While not the sharpest kit lens in the micro 4/3rd family, it is still a very good performer and much better than the kit lens offered in other systems.
This lens has become a part of my lens I carry lens due to its capabilities in both focal length as well as macro. Yes I shoot RAW and have to do some post processing to obtain the best results. However this lens has delivered good results.
I would recommend this lens to a friend due to its excellent focal length and macro with a caveat that some post processing may be required to make the images pop.
Much more than just a kit lens
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 Yes, it has been superseded by its bigger, faster, much more expensive pro brother, the 12-40 f2.8.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.
A bit too much kit in one lens
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.