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Olympus Stylus 1s vs XZ-2

The Olympus Stylus 1s and the Olympus XZ-2 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2015 and September 2012. Both the Stylus 1s and the XZ-2 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 11.8 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Olympus Stylus 1s versus Olympus XZ-2
Olympus Stylus 1s Olympus XZ-2
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-300mm f/2.8 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
11.8 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 11.8 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-12,800
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
7 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
450 shots per battery charge340 shots per battery charge
116 x 87 x 57 mm, 402 g 113 x 65 x 48 mm, 346 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus Stylus 1s and the Olympus XZ-2? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Olympus Stylus 1s and the Olympus XZ-2 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.

Size Olympus Stylus 1s vs Olympus XZ-2
Compare Stylus 1s versus XZ-2 top
Comparison Stylus 1s or XZ-2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus XZ-2 is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Olympus Stylus 1s. Moreover, the XZ-2 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the Stylus 1s. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Stylus 1s nor the XZ-2 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 450 n Apr 2015 699 i
2.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599i
3.
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
5.
 
Fujifilm X70 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799i
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
8.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
9.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 118 mm 66 mm 55 mm 405 g 300 n Sep 2014 1,195i
10.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
11.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 410 n Oct 2013 699i
12.
 
Olympus E-PL2 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599i
13.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599i
14.
 
Olympus XZ-1 111 mm 65 mm 42 mm 275 g 320 n Jan 2011 499i
15.
 
Panasonic LX100 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899 i
16.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The XZ-2 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the Stylus 1s, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.

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Sensor comparison

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Olympus Stylus 1s and Olympus XZ-2 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 11.8 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the Stylus 1s and the XZ-2 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the Stylus 1s is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 months) than the XZ-2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the Stylus 1s has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Olympus Stylus 1s has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The Olympus XZ-2 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

Stylus 1s versus XZ-2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p........
2.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
3.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
5.
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
8.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
9.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p........
10.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
11.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.617951
12.
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355
13.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952
14.
 
Olympus XZ-1 1/1.7 10.1 3664 2752720/30p18.810.411734
15.
 
Panasonic LX100 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
16.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the Stylus 1s has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XZ-2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the XZ-2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus Stylus 1s and Olympus XZ-2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s1440 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0 Y Y
2.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
5.
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
6.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
7.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
8.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
9.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 1092764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
10.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
11.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0 Y Y
12.
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
13.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
14.
 
Olympus XZ-1optional n 3.0 614 fixed n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic LX1002764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
16.
 
Pentax MX-1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0 Y Y

The Olympus Stylus 1s and the Olympus XZ-2 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.

Both the Stylus 1s and the XZ-2 have zoom lenses built in. The Stylus 1s has a 28-300mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the XZ-2 offers a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Stylus 1s and XZ-2 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the XZ-2 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The XZ-2 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Stylus 1s and the XZ-2 write their files to SDXC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

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 Olympus Stylus 1s and Olympus XZ-2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1sYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
8.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo---mini2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo---mini2.0---
14.
 
Olympus XZ-1Ymono---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic LX100Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the Stylus 1s offers wifi support, while the XZ-2 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The Stylus 1s is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the XZ-2 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the XZ-2 from Olympus. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus Stylus 1s or the Olympus XZ-2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Olympus Stylus 1s:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 340) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the XZ-2 launch.


Advantages of the Olympus XZ-2:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 116x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 56g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Stylus 1s emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 6 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.

Stylus 1s 08:06 XZ-2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus Stylus 1s and the Olympus XZ-2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Stylus 1s and the XZ-2 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s.......... Apr 2015 699 i
2.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
3.
 
Canon G5 X5/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
5.
 
Fujifilm X704.5/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799i
6.
 
Fujifilm X304/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
7.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
8.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
9.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109......4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195i
10.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
11.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699i
12.
 
Olympus E-PL23/583/10071/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599i
13.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599i
14.
 
Olympus XZ-14/5..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 499i
15.
 
Panasonic LX1005/5+ +85/1005/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i
16.
 
Pentax MX-13/5..74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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.

Olympus Stylus 1s:
Check Amazon price
Olympus XZ-2:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Olympus Stylus 1s vs Olympus XZ-2

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Olympus Stylus 1s Olympus XZ-2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-300mm f/2.8 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date April 2015 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Olympus Stylus 1s Olympus XZ-2
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 4.5x 4.4x
    Sensor Resolution 11.8 Megapixels 11.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3968 x 2976 pixels 3968 x 2976 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.91 μm 1.91 μm
    Pixel Density 27.26 MP/cm2 27.26 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VI TruePic VI
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 216
    Screen Specs Olympus Stylus 1s Olympus XZ-2
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.58x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus Stylus 1s Olympus XZ-2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Olympus Stylus 1s Olympus XZ-2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus Stylus 1s Olympus XZ-2
    Battery Type BLS-50 Li-90B
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge340 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 116 x 87 x 57 mm
    (4.6 x 3.4 x 2.2 in)
    113 x 65 x 48 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 402 g (14.2 oz) 346 g (12.2 oz)

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