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Olympus XA - The Negative Side

I owned an XA and found it to be a good camera, but not a great one. You've listed most of its attributes. The downside includes the fact that the XA has a definite tendency to vignette when shot wide open. It can't use screw-in filters. Also, the lightmeter is not all that accurate over its exposure range, and the XA more than most cameras depends to a certain extent on the wide latitude of print film. I've tested several XAs that frequently over or under-expose a full stop at varying apertures, made worse by the fact that the the over/under-exposure is not always predictable or linear. Finally, the XA internal construction is 'modern', meaning it uses quite a bit of cost-saving plastic material in its operating mechanism, not to mention aging electronics, so at this late date it's probably not a camera to rely on as a primary body.

Posted by: Tom at July 17, 2005 04:29 PM
i took my XA camping last week & found it a joy to use. even in subdued light every picture came out perfectly exposed & clear as a bell. love my camera!

Posted by: mike a. at September 9, 2005 01:43 PM
Well, you left out the fact that the XA has a less than accurate lightmeter. It's not only inaccurate, often exposing + or - one full stop (even when properly adjusted within spec) but also, it isn't linear: it will under or over-expose at varying apertures. As a result, you can't use slide film in the thing without ruining frames on a regular basis. The Oly repair guy I talked to admitted this and said the camera depends upon the exposure latitude of negative film to obtain usable photos

Re: Olympus XA - The Negative Side

Pictures are soft at full aperture, otherwise, seems ok camera.

Re: Olympus XA - The Negative Side

i have added an anti-blue gelatine-filter(81a?) inside the film chamber. its enough space. slide films are blue. maybe not never ones(older ektachromes).
i had never problems with over or underexposure. i would only use it again with colornegative. new fuji natura 1600 is sensational. together with the camera of the same name(24/1.4 superbe lens-250 usd). you will be quicker and better than any other digital photographer...there are some sites around with images. only available in japan or asia.

Re: Re: Olympus XA - The Negative Side

I think the camera given its size and age is a pretty good deal, i aggree with the points u make but this was pretty much ground breaking at the time and be fair how many slr's of that age are still plodding on, the xa is out pricing most aged slr's on ebay now, my canon if sold wouldnt recover the cost of the flash gun in the kit. Best to take it for what it is, a well rounded 30 yr old camera which in honesty offers standards that many modern packages still struggle to better,

Re: Olympus XA - The Negative Side

i use a sony camera and it works well for this.