The exported pdfs from M-x org-beamer-export-to-pdf and C-c C-e l o give different results. I have frames set to be created at level 1 headers (options: H1), but these headers only create frames when using M-x org-beamer-export-to-pdf. Using C-c C-e l o the level 1 headers are treated as sections. Setup below:

#+startup: beamer
#+LaTeX_CLASS: beamer
#+LaTeX_CLASS_OPTIONS: [presentation]
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    C-c C-e l o exports to pdf through latex. You need C-c C-e l O (capital O) to export to PDF through beamer. – NickD Aug 31 '18 at 14:04

The latex and beamer exporters are invoked differently. If you look at the latex part of the menu after C-c C-e, you will see that under the l latex menu, you have:

[L] as latex buffer, [l] as latex file, [p] as PDF, [o] as PDF-and-open


[B] as latex buffer (beamer), [b] as latex file (beamer), [P] as PDF (beamer), [O] as PDF (beamer) and open.

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