Welcome to the XA forum. Feel free to post!
The XA is versatile, but you may find the rangefinder patch in the viewfinder a bit small. Choose it if manual focus and longer exposures are important to you.
The XA2 is much simpler to use, nearly focus-free, but less flexible in low-light conditions. Both have fine lenses. I own all of them but the XA1, and find them a lot of fun to use.
Dave is right, the rangefinder patch is very small on XA's. I wear glasses and in low light it is almost impossible for me to focus correctly. Sometimes it even takes me up to 20 seconds to focus. XA2's are almost focus free. Point and shoot, that's it, and you get sharp, well exposed pics. XA2 has a fantastic lens, up to 2 seconds long exposure for low light and an ultra quiet shutter. It is the perfect camera for street photography, for candid pics and unobtrusive pictures. I carry to XA2's everywhere I go (never use flash either, just carry a small tripod). One of the camera is loaded with Ilford XP2 and the other with Fuji 400 asa Superia. Almost every pics I take are well exposed and sharp. Now, I have to learn how to take memorable photos
I love'em both. Never get a bad picture with XA2 or take control with the XA. They never let you down. Why can't anyone else make a camera that does this??????????????????
Why no one else makes cameras this versatile? Simple: mass marketing. When the world went auto-focus, they left higher-end manual or zone-focus cameras behind. Zoom lenses on point-and-shoot cameras all but killed compact cameras with single focal-length lenses. Now digital photography has pretty much signalled the close of p/s film cameras.
Hang on to your XA, Xa2, XA3 or XA4 -- their kind won't appear again.
How true. Just purchased my XA from Keh Camera and it is so fun to use!! I love compact rangefinders simply becausethey are so unique today. The picture quality is stunning!! The only other compact rangefinder that thrills me lie the XA, is the original Contax T.
I am thinking of getting a 2nd XA just as a backup.
I have two XAs coming from ebay right now, and I intend to twin them in master-slave configuration and shoot stereo [3D] slides with them. For me the XAs were the easy choice vs XA-2s, because I can better control aperture and depth of field. I'm looking forward to them, they should be fun!
Several Eckerd drug stores in my town are ringing up Duracell 76S silver oxide batteries (single cell, blister-packed on a black-and-orange hanging card)at 47 cents each.
These are the cells that work so well in my Vivitar 35ES (diode-adjusted to run a 1.5 volt cell), Olympus XA/XA2/XA3/XA4, Nikon FM/EM/FG, and a few other cameras.
These batteries normally retail for up to $3.99 or more, in U.S. dollars.
How to tell which ones to buy? On the battery rack, the Duracell 76S batteries have a blue band and the word "PHOTO" in white letters. Those with a green band are alkalines, and it doesn't ring up the
IMPORTANT: there is apparently a switch in packaging. Older packs (47 cents) have four squared corners on the card. The newer cards have a rounded upper right corner, and they don't ring up at 47 cents each.
I don't know whether this is consistent at all Eckerd stores. It's worked at two in my town (Rochester, NY). I'd recommend asking the sales clerk to price scan a battery card before purchasing.