Leica SL2-S vs Olympus Stylus 1s
The Leica SL2-S and the Olympus Stylus 1s are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in December 2020 and April 2015. The SL2-S is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the Stylus 1s is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (SL2-S) and a 1/1.7-inch (Stylus 1s) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 11.8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica SL2-S and the Olympus Stylus 1s? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Leica SL2-S and the Olympus Stylus 1s are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus Stylus 1s is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Leica SL2-S. It is worth mentioning in this context that the SL2-S is splash and dust resistant, while the Stylus 1s does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the Stylus 1s has a lens built in, whereas the SL2-S is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The power pack in the SL2-S can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Leica SL2-S||146 mm||107 mm||83 mm||931 g||510||Y||Dec 2020||4,895|
|2.||Olympus Stylus 1s||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||450||n||Apr 2015||699|
|3.||Canon R6||138 mm||98 mm||88 mm||680 g||360||Y||Jul 2020||2,499|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|8.||Leica SL2||146 mm||107 mm||42 mm||953 g||370||Y||Nov 2019||5,999|
|9.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|10.||Nikon D780||144 mm||116 mm||76 mm||840 g||2260||Y||Jan 2020||2,299|
|11.||Olympus E-M1X||144 mm||147 mm||75 mm||997 g||870||Y||Jan 2019||2,999|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699|
|13.||Panasonic S5||133 mm||98 mm||82 mm||714 g||440||Y||Sep 2020||1,999|
|14.||Panasonic S1||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1017 g||400||Y||Feb 2019||2,499|
|15.||Panasonic S1R||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1016 g||380||Y||Feb 2019||3,699|
|16.||Panasonic S1H||151 mm||114 mm||110 mm||1052 g||400||Y||May 2019||3,999|
|17.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Stylus 1s was launched at a lower price than the SL2-S, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica SL2-S features a full frame sensor and the Olympus Stylus 1s a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the Stylus 1s is 95 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 4.5. The sensor in the SL2-S has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the Stylus 1s offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 24MP, the SL2-S offers a higher resolution than the Stylus 1s (11.8MP), but the SL2-S nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 1.91μm for the Stylus 1s) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the SL2-S is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 7 months) than the Stylus 1s, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica SL2-S implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SL2-S for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus Stylus 1s are 19.8 x 14.9 inches or 50.4 x 37.8 cm for good quality, 15.9 x 11.9 inches or 40.3 x 30.2 cm for very good quality, and 13.2 x 9.9 inches or 33.6 x 25.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
Unlike the Stylus 1s, the SL2-S has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (96MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Leica SL2-S has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000, which can be extended to ISO 50-100000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Stylus 1s are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Leica SL2-S||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon R6||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4k/60p||24.2||14.3||3394||90|
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|8.||Leica SL2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|10.||Nikon D780||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Olympus E-M1X||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|13.||Panasonic S5||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Panasonic S1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.5||3333||95|
|15.||Panasonic S1R||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/60p||26.4||14.1||3525||100|
|16.||Panasonic S1H||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||6K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|17.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SL2-S provides a higher video resolution than the Stylus 1s. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the SL2-S offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the Stylus 1s (5760k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica SL2-S and Olympus Stylus 1s along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1440||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
One feature that is present on the SL2-S, but is missing on the Stylus 1s is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the SL2-S is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Leica SL2-S and the Olympus Stylus 1s both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SL2-S and the Stylus 1s write their files to SDXC cards. The SL2-S features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the Stylus 1s only has one slot. The SL2-S supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the Stylus 1s cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica SL2-S and Olympus Stylus 1s and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Olympus Stylus 1s||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the SL2-S has a microphone port, which is missing on the Stylus 1s. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the SL2-S and the Stylus 1s are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The Stylus 1s replaced the earlier Olympus Stylus 1, while the SL2-S does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Olympus websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica SL2-S and the Olympus Stylus 1s? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Leica SL2-S:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 11.8MP) with a 45% higher linear resolution.
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/60p vs 1080/30p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (5760k vs 1440k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.58x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2100k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (510 versus 450) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 2.0).
- More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards on both slots.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 7 months of technical progress since the Stylus 1s launch.
Advantages of the Olympus Stylus 1s:
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the SL2-S necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (116x87mm vs 146x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the SL2-S).
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2015).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2-S is the clear winner of the match-up (28 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica SL2-S and the Olympus Stylus 1s place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SL2-S or the Stylus 1s perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Leica SL2-S||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||Dec 2020||4,895|
|2.||Olympus Stylus 1s||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2015||699|
|3.||Canon R6||5/5||+ +||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2020||2,499|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|8.||Leica SL2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2019||5,999|
|9.||Leica SL||4/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|10.||Nikon D780||5/5||..||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2020||2,299|
|11.||Olympus E-M1X||4.5/5||o||..||4.5/5||..||Jan 2019||2,999|
|12.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699|
|13.||Panasonic S5||4.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2020||1,999|
|14.||Panasonic S1||4.5/5||+ +||88/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||2,499|
|15.||Panasonic S1R||4.5/5||..||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||3,699|
|16.||Panasonic S1H||..||..||90/100||..||..||May 2019||3,999|
|17.||Sony A9 II||..||..||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Leica SL2-S vs Olympus Stylus 1s
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Leica SL2-S||Olympus Stylus 1s|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica L mount lenses||28-300mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||December 2020||April 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 4,895||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Leica SL2-S||Olympus Stylus 1s|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||7.6 x 5.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||11.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||3968 x 2976 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.00 μm||1.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.78 MP/cm2||27.26 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 50,000 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 100,000 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Maestro III||TruePic VI|
|Screen Specs||Leica SL2-S||Olympus Stylus 1s|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||5760k dots||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||2100k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica SL2-S||Olympus Stylus 1s|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||20 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica SL2-S||Olympus Stylus 1s|
|USB Connector||USB 3.2||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||full HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Leica SL2-S||Olympus Stylus 1s|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||510 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
146 x 107 x 83 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 3.3 in)
116 x 87 x 57 mm
(4.6 x 3.4 x 2.2 in)
|Camera Weight||931 g (32.8 oz)||402 g (14.2 oz)|
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