Shooting On Film.

I’ve recently dipped my toes back into the really satisfying (and fun) world of film photography this page will serve as a place for me to collect & share info.

CAMERAS : Point & Shoot/Zone Cameras

Olympus XA Series

These are among my favorite film cameras. Compact, sturdy and with aperture priorty, these are great walking around or “throw in your bag cameras”. I initially turned to these as alternatives to the Lomo LC-A, which I fell in love with but is extremely fragile. They have a clamshell design which keeps the lens protected, and they also all take XA system flashes, of which there are a few available. There are 4 models:

  • XA: the original. This is an actual Rangefinder, so takes a bit more effort than the rest of the line, which are all zone focus (but gives more control). Includes backlight exposure compensation, self timer. 35mm 2.8 lens.
  • XA1: Avoid these. A cheaper, inferior version of the XA2. Worth it if you can pick it up for $5 or something. One useful feature is that it is batteryless.
  • XA2: the first zone focus model. Instead of actually focusing, you can choose close, mid or far. This model has aperture priority, so it very much feels like shooting with a much more sturdy LC-A. Includes a self timer. 35mm 3.5 lens.
  • XA3: an improved XA2, the XA3 has all the same features plus DX (so you don’t have to set the film speed you are using, it reads it from the roll – that’s what those little boxes are on the side of film rolls) and backlight exposure compensation lever. 35mm 3.5 lens.
  • XA4: a XA3 with wider 28mm lense and a 4th focus zone – 0.3m macro. Harder to find than the other models, this is a great budget street photography camera.

More info on the XA line available at: (great resource) | CameraQuest | Camerapedia | Photoethnography