Olympus XA

What is the Olympus XA?

The Olympus XA is a film camera that is compact and at the same time it has a great design. It shoots 35mm film and you can set the ASA from 25-800. The aperture is from 2.8 to 22 and the focusing starts from 2.8,4,8 feet till infinity.

It is a clamshell design and the size fits my palm. I always do a thorough research on cameras no matter how much cheap the camera may be. Thankfully there were lots of good reviews about this camera. I bought it for about $80 Singapore dollars at that time.

It is still consider a rangefinder camera.One of the tiniest actually. 70’s camera  with solid body that fits well in your pockets.


What made me buy it?

My only film camera at that time was a lomography sprocket rocket and it shoots and exposes two frames. Out of 36 exposures i will get 18 shots. So i thought i needed a film camera that shoots 36 exposures too. I needed something  that does not feel like a toy and all plasticky. At that point in time i did not know much about cameras and the terms. But the price was right and not too expensive. At that time the Lomography LCA was the alternative and that cost $500 plus and it makes more sense to get this instead. To read reviews where it is described as the pro’s go to camera when they are on holiday sounds good to me.

How is it over the past few years?

I can’t recall exactly when i bought this, but i’ve brought it with me to my trips from NYC, Boston, London, Oslo,Bangkok,Dubai and Malaysia. The size is wonderful and i bring it with me on a daily basis wherever i go. It fits in your pocket and it does not feel like a burden to carry it everywhere  i go. It is very dependable. It uses a very common LR44 batteries which last a very long time.

Pictures wise, i have quite bit of films that are not yet developed. The ones i develop for New York was alright. I was experimenting with the ASA and didn’t quite match it with the iso speed of the film. I did like some of the shots. The ones i like the most was the London trip in 2015 where i used the turquoise film from lomography.

What is the ideal job that it can do?

I think this camera is great for anything. I would even use it for shots of wedding. But where it excels is the fact that it is small and the shutter is nearly silent, people will not hear anything. Therefore it is a good street photography camera.

Would i recommend it?

I would recommend it for anyone who wants a sharp camera that they can carry around anywhere they go. I absolutely love this camera. The viewfinder is small, but most of them recommend to just set it to one setting and just go and shoot pictures in the streets. If you are starting to get into film, you can get this camera. They set the shutter speed for you. All you need is to set the aperture and the focusing.So chances are that you will have a good success rate.

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