If you like film and want a great little travel camera, then this is the one for you.
Not another Olympus XA review (groan).. True there are plenty of good ones on the world wide web. That’s why I won’t bore you with a long review.
What I like:
- Compact and light; made of durable plastic with a metal (aluminum?) base
- Has a proper rangefinder focus (3 stage zone focus for XA2)
- Feels good in the hand and fits right in your jeans or coat pocket
- It is pleasing to look at
- 1.5 stop backlight exposure compensation, self timer, and audible battery check (located on the bottom)
- Nice f2.8 35mm lens (f3.5 on the XA2)
Maybe not so great:
- Film selection only to iso 800; 1600 would be nice:-)
- Fiddly shutter button that sometimes seems to not want to trip when I want it to (I noticed this on my XA2 as well- maybe mine are a bit faulty. Or my technique?)
- It has a knurled film advance wheel like a cheap disposable- not the fastest and pros maybe didn’t like it much back in the day, but today who cares really?
- Supposed to take 2 x SR44 batteries. I use LR44 which supposedly changes the meter reading slightly- I have found mine to underexpose a bit so I compensate with the ISO selector switch. The XA2 was designed for the LR44 I understand.
- The XA2 vignettes a bit more than the XA I think. Depends what you like- I like it.
Film Advance and Zorki Photo have nice detailed reviews, so check them out if you want to learn more. There is a also a site dedicated to the XA called diaxa. There is no shortage of love for this little camera, and for good reason.
Because of their size and how much I enjoy using them I often take one with me when I am not specifically going out to take photos, and often this is when I come across something that makes me glad I have it with me. I enjoy using my XA and XA2 equally well. The XA2 is basically a point and shoot so the aperture and shutter speed are left up to the camera. You get to set the zone focus. This can be fun too! You can pretty well guess what the camera is going to do based on the light levels and film speed.
Go get yours today!
Here are a few photos that I have taken with mine over the last year or so that I like.