Olympus has announced the Japan-only release of the Stylus 1s, a successor to its Stylus 1 enthusiast compact camera and one of our favorite cameras in that category. Maintaining almost all of the same hardware as the Stylus 1, the Stylus 1s offers an OM-D based design with a fixed lens. The latest Stylus 1s brings minor software improvements to the table, debuting a year after its predecessor was launched. There is currently no word of the Stylus 1s being announced outside of Japan.

The Olympus Stylus 1s offers mainly software updates, while using almost all of the Stylus 1's existing hardware. Users can now enjoy step zoom with 9 steps, as well as an indication of equivalent focal length of the lens, instead of the magnification amount. Photographers can also now take advantage of an additional autofocus mode for the Stylus 1s, denoted as 'small target', along with the addition of interval shooting'.

Those who rely on manual focus will also welcome the ability to control focus via an enlarged display and new peaking mode. The Olympus Japan press release also cites improvements to grip and control design, which appears to have translated to a more leather-like grip treatment.

The Stylus 1s is the same size and weight of its predecessor, but carries the newer BLS-50 battery from Olympus, promising around 450 shots per charge (a small step up from the Stylus 1's 410 shots per charge). The camera's 28-300mm equivalent zoom range, F2.8 maximum aperture, TruePic VI image processor, 12MP 1/1.7" BSI-CMOS image sensor, 7 fps burst shooting rate, and 3 inch 1.04 million-dot LCD / 1.44 million dot EVF all remain the same.

The Olympus Stylus 1s will be available in Japan only this mid-November. At this time, the suggested retail price is currently unknown.