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Category: XA Cameras
  1. Which is the best XA for me?
  2. What can I expect to pay for an XA in the UK and where can I get one.
  3. Where's a good place to get a decent XA?
  4. Not really a question. In your answer to "Which is the best XA for me?" you suggest the XA1 for more control. I presume you mean XA. Nice site, very informative. Cheers Michael
  5. Can I do fill-in flash with my XA?
  6. What did an XA cost when new i.e. in the 1980's?
  7. The XA2,3 and 4 has a programmed exposure system. What exactly does that mean?
  8. I've been enjoying your beautifully designed website. I have an opportunity to buy an XA from a local dealer. It seems to be in good condition, but because I have nothing to compare it to, I do have a couple of questions. The little lever that adjusts the
  9. I recently purchased an XA-3, with databack and A-11 flash for NZ$60,- (About Euro 30,-) I have a few questions: 1) In the viewfinder, on the left, I can see a small flash symbol. Is this supposed to light up when the flash is switched on/ ready/ f
  10. Hi, is there information available that would enable the date/year of manufacture to be established from the serial numbers on the cameras? Thanks. Tony
  11. I'm taking an interrail this summer and I intend to look for a xa while I'm travelling (the second-hand camera market is still very small and high-priced in portugal). In which central europe country do you think I would get the best price for one: german
  12. I recently acquired a second hand XA4. Do you know where I can find the operation manual of XA4? online pdf version is OK.
  13. Dear all: I have some shutter problem with my Olympus XA and XA 4 camera. The problem is that the shutter is not working anymore. When I press the shutter release red button, the shutter is not working,and the winding is also locked. Both my XA and XA
  14. My shutter release is stuck in the down position. I read the repair tip about the cover interlock switch and followed the instructions but that did not help. What should I try next? Thanks, David Price
  15. I have two xa's and am wondering why the apertures do not seem to be the same. Neither are the needle light readings, or the shutter speeds. The camera with slightly larger apertures and light readings(i gather there are two light meters in the camera) has longer, more sluggish speeds in the same conditions. I have yet to shoot some pictures but can't see how they would perform the same. Which is correct? Could the aperture switch be wrong? If the needle reading is the same why does the slower camera better approximate a second, for example, but at high speeds sound too slow? Thanks!
  16. Hello: My wonderful XA was working beautifully, but all of a sudden the shutter speed needle has disappeared. The shutter seems to be firing at appropriate speeds, but there is no indicator in the viewfinder window. I think I see something that might be the needle way up in the top left corner of the viewfinder. I could be wrong. What has happened? How do I fix it? Thanks for any help you can give.
  17. I WOULD LIKE TO USE ASA, 800 BUT 500 WONT HANDLE VERY MUCH LIGHT; CAN I USE AN ND FILTER ON THIS CAMEREA? IF YES, WHERE DO I PURCHASE ONE?
  18. where can I get a copy of the instructions for using an XA
  19. Film counter won't return to 0 is this a possible adjustment ?
  20. Are Rayovac 357 (silver) suitable for my XA? Thanks for a very useful site.
  21. Not so much a question, I've a comment on the question " I am confused a bit by the DX operations of the XA-3. When is the camera in "DX" mode, and when is it using the manual ISO selection settings? Can I switch back and forth? Does the DX override manual settings when a new cassette is put in? " This question is in the "Photograohy with XA" section. Puzzled by the same question I conducted a little test which to me would seem to be quit conclusive. For this I used an XA3, indoors in average light conditions. I did not load it with film, which implies that DX-coding can not be read by the camera. I then put the ISO setting to 25 and fired the shutter. As might be expected the audible and visible (when looking into the lens) exposure time was rather long. I then changed the setting to 50, 100 and so forth, each time firing the shutter. Again as might be expected the exposure time decreased. Next I put a film casette with DX coding (200 ISO in this case) into the camera without actually advancing the film onto the sprockets, you might need to rewind the film sticking out of the cassette a little to avoid it being taking up. Closed the camera an repeated the above mentioned steps, again changing the ISO setting from 25 upwards and firing the shutter each time. Now no change to the exposure time was discernible, regardless of the manual setting. This indicates to me clearly that the automatic setting when using DX coded cassettes overrides the manual setting. I suppose one could avoid this if so desired by putting some thin tape or a piece of paper over the coding on the cassette or maybe just black out the whole area with a felt tipped pen. I did not try that, don't know whether you could damage the contacts that way. Well that's all, perhaps this information can be usefull to you or visitors to your splendid site. many kind regards, Joan Könings (The Netherlands)
  22. The shutter release button on my XA has become very insensitive and requires considerable pressure. Are there any remedies?
  23. The shutter on my XA will only close automatically on the flash setting. On all the other apertures it stays open after the button is pressed until the dust cover is closed very slightly when it finally closes.
  24. I have an XA2 and all of the pictures I take are way over-exposed. The red button pushes down smoothly and the aperture clicks open but, takes a long while to pop back up again and close the shutter, about 4 seconds. The battery is ok. Any ideas? J.Lees.
  25. Hi, I'd like to know what is the base of the rangefinder on the XA.
  26. Hello~ I have a xa2. But my xa2's shutter can work when its barrier close. It's wrong something, Isn't it? How do I fix it? Please answer my question. Bye~
  27. Hi there, I see there are posts about a problem that I have with my new XA2: it only shoots in self timer mode even when the ST switch is not flicked on. Also, it fires with the clamshell closed. Has anyone figured out how to fix these? Thanks, Csaba
  28. What sort of paint would you recommend using for minor touching up of small scratches on the back of the Olympus XA 2?
  29. i have a troublesome xa 2. i just put in new light seals & the camera worked fine for the 1st 10 shots. then the shutter wouldn't depress, so i took the roll out & now (without film) it's working fine. did i do something wrong when i pulled the bottom plate off?
  30. Given that almost everyone now uses a digital camera, what digital would you suggest for someone who loves XAs?
  31. I have a new to me XA. It seems that the aperture switch will take an excess of force to move it up to underline the "flash" setting. Is this normal? Or is it supposed to be as easy as switching between the other apertures? Thanks!
  32. got an xa in as new condition* with flash but no box ;is there still a market for this? * have not used it for a decade or so



  1. Which is the best XA for me?
    XA if you want the most control. XA2 (or 3) if you want more point and shoot but still with excellent quality, and low price. XA4 for very wide angle (but rare). XA1 if you really hate batteries.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  2. What can I expect to pay for an XA in the UK and where can I get one.
    I bought an XA2 at a boot fair last Sunday for £15 with case and flash. I have another XA2 also £15 from a boot fair that has been all round the world with me, and also with it's previous owner. I have an XA1 that cost me £5 again at a boof fair. My latest XA cost £35 from a dealer, but my first one was £75 also from a dealer.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  3. Where's a good place to get a decent XA?
    Ebay but make sure the seller will take it back if it doesn't work.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  4. Not really a question. In your answer to "Which is the best XA for me?" you suggest the XA1 for more control. I presume you mean XA. Nice site, very informative. Cheers Michael
    oops - of corses, XA NOT XA1
    Category: XA Cameras
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  5. Can I do fill-in flash with my XA?
    Thanks to Andrew Yue (xyz2000@mail.utexas.edu) for this response: My experience with using the XA's flash unit for fill-flash is that its range is pretty limited. For the A-11 your subject has to stand with 3 to 6 ft when using ISO 100 film. The Olympus XA's A-11 flash has a guide number of 10m/33ft @ ISO 100. Multiply by 1.4 for ISO 200 and the guide number for the flash is 14m/46ft. When ISO 400 film is used the guide number for the flash becomes 20m/66ft. The flash is set to its manual mode for the above values. If the subject is standing 4ft from the camera, then you divide the Guide No. by the distance to the subject for a recommend aperture to use for a flash only exposure. GN 33 divided by 4 is approximately f/8. To do an outdoor fill-flash pop the aperture to flash, which turns on the flash. Then shoot the photo at f/16, the camera. At 6ft from the camera the recommended flash setting is 5.6, so at that point one would shoot at f/11. When using ISO 400 film in full sun, the use of a fill-flash is limited by the upper range of the shutter speed unless one wishes to shoot at f/22. Here with the A11 flash the subject would ideally stand approximately 8 ft from the camera and select f/16 to make the shot. That in a nut shell is about all one can do to use the A-11 flash for an outdoor fill flash. The larger A-16 flash unit has a guide number of 16m/52ft @ ISO 100, which would allow the subject stand between 5 and 10 ft from the camera. I hope this helps and I assumed that photog wishes only to brighten the shadow details so they could be recorded on film.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  6. What did an XA cost when new i.e. in the 1980's?
    It cost around US 280 dollars with a flash - say around UK £180. The XA2 on the other hand cost around UK £ 70 new - also with a flash.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  7. The XA2,3 and 4 has a programmed exposure system. What exactly does that mean?
    Simply that the camera's exposure metering system sets what it considers to be the best combination of shutter speed and aperture for the light conditions. According to Olympus, it works like this as the light increases: With the aperture at full open (f3.5), shutter speeds decrease till they get to 1/60 sec - about the minimum for good shake-free shots. The pattern is now: 1. Stop down 1 stop. 2. Stop down another stop 2. Move the shutter to 1 faster and open up a stop. Go back to step 1. This equates to 1/60 3.5 1/60 4 (would have been 1/60 5.6 but now shutter speed increases so:) 1/125 4 1/125 5.6 1/250 5.6 1/250 8 1/500 8 1/500 11 1/500 16 1/500 22 I recon Olympus got it dead right!
    Category: XA Cameras
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  8. I've been enjoying your beautifully designed website. I have an opportunity to buy an XA from a local dealer. It seems to be in good condition, but because I have nothing to compare it to, I do have a couple of questions. The little lever that adjusts the
    The information in the viewfinder can be a little difficult for eyeglass wearers - try the camera in daylight and see if you can operate it - indoors will be more difficult. The focussing lever should not be appreciably stiffer as you move it across the range but a tiny bit of resistance would be OK. Best thing is to borrow the camera (against a deposit) for an hour and shoot off a roll of film including close-ups. That will tell you if it's OK or not and also if you can use it with eye glasses.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  9. I recently purchased an XA-3, with databack and A-11 flash for NZ$60,- (About Euro 30,-) I have a few questions: 1) In the viewfinder, on the left, I can see a small flash symbol. Is this supposed to light up when the flash is switched on/ ready/ f
    The databack is quite rare - few if any were exported outside Japan as far aw we know. The flash just works when you connect it to the body and flick the flash lever over - the symbol just tells you it's connected and you've flicked the lever - not that it is charged. I don't have a DX XA so I can't help on the speeds point - perhaps someone else can. You've got a nice camera there - I do hope you enjoy using it and get some great pictures.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  10. Hi, is there information available that would enable the date/year of manufacture to be established from the serial numbers on the cameras? Thanks. Tony
    Not aware of any such information though I guess Olympus must have it. I'll talk to them.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  11. I'm taking an interrail this summer and I intend to look for a xa while I'm travelling (the second-hand camera market is still very small and high-priced in portugal). In which central europe country do you think I would get the best price for one: german
    If you look on Ebay, you'll find that there are lots of XAs for sale in Germany. Prices also tend to be lower in Germany than in UK. I suggest you look on Ebay and get some idea of the prices being paid. Presumably because there are more for sale on Ebay, the same will be true of camera shops. Good luck - I hope you enjoy your travels and find a good XA.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  12. I recently acquired a second hand XA4. Do you know where I can find the operation manual of XA4? online pdf version is OK.
    Well done - XA4s are pretty rare and darned good cameras - I wish I had one. I don't have access to an instruction book although if anyone reads this and has one, I'p appreciate a scan. Meanwhile, the XA4 is very similar to the XA2 and that manual is on the site.It's a DX model so it'll set it's own film speed, and the focussing scale is marked differently. Beyond that, there's not much to it. I'm sure you will very soon get the hang of it. Do send us some results!
    Category: XA Cameras
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  13. Dear all: I have some shutter problem with my Olympus XA and XA 4 camera. The problem is that the shutter is not working anymore. When I press the shutter release red button, the shutter is not working,and the winding is also locked. Both my XA and XA
    Assuming the battery is OK, it may be the cover interlock switch problem. How do I fix the cover interlock switch on an XA? The problem prevents the shutter from firing. Thanks to Simon sje@lrc.ruralwales.org and the Olympus FAX from R.Lee Hawkins. Actually repairing the shutter release problem is fairly easy and within the abilities of most people who are reasonably handy. The problem is usually caused by the cover interlock switch. This switch keeps you from firing the camera when the cover is closed and is somewhat subject to getting dirty contacts from dust. If I remember right the switch is under the cover on the top right (as you look at the front of the camera) and is accessed by removing the bottom plate and then removing the sliding cover. Be sure not to loose the little ball bearing the cover rides on. I always recommend working over (or in) a dish to catch the little parts you drop. Only tool needed is a good "0" or "00" phillips screwdriver and maybe some tweezers. You'll see the switch when you remove the cover. I think it may be necessary to remove the top to clean the contacts, it comes off with a couple of screws, and the rewind crank plus I think the release button must be pried off (it's just glued on). All this is somewhat intimidating, the actual repair is not all that bad... Category: Repairs
    Category: XA Cameras
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  14. My shutter release is stuck in the down position. I read the repair tip about the cover interlock switch and followed the instructions but that did not help. What should I try next? Thanks, David Price
    I'm assuming the battery is OK on the self-test, and that the wind-on is complete. If the red shutter button is physically stuck down i.e. it does not spring slightly when pressed, you would need to disassemble it. To do that I believe that you need to remove the top cover (which you've done already) and then take the shutter release button apart to clean the contacts. I think it is glued together so you'd have to be careful.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  15. I have two xa's and am wondering why the apertures do not seem to be the same. Neither are the needle light readings, or the shutter speeds. The camera with slightly larger apertures and light readings(i gather there are two light meters in the camera) has longer, more sluggish speeds in the same conditions. I have yet to shoot some pictures but can't see how they would perform the same. Which is correct? Could the aperture switch be wrong? If the needle reading is the same why does the slower camera better approximate a second, for example, but at high speeds sound too slow? Thanks!
    It's not uncommon for the XA's indicated shutter speeds to disagree with the actual shutter speed by up to a full stop or so - as you say they are driven by separete cells. But two XAs should give the same actual shutter speed in the same light conditions - for a given aperture film speed of course. My advice is to beg, borrow or steal an exposure meter or other known reliable camera. In an evenly lit room with everything pointing to an evenly lit wall, see which of the XA's actual shutter speeds agrees with the reference meter or camera. You can usually hear this clearly at around a 1 sec exposure. That'll tell you what exposure the XA will actually give and what is indicated. Now, given that repair costs are high, you can compensate for an incorrect exposure with the film speed setting. You's have to use your head to compensate for what is indicated though. At the end of the day, modern films have a very wide latitude - certainly more than 1 or even 2 stops so the problem may not even notice.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  16. Hello: My wonderful XA was working beautifully, but all of a sudden the shutter speed needle has disappeared. The shutter seems to be firing at appropriate speeds, but there is no indicator in the viewfinder window. I think I see something that might be the needle way up in the top left corner of the viewfinder. I could be wrong. What has happened? How do I fix it? Thanks for any help you can give.
    That's a real shame. The XA has two separate metering systems - one for the shutter and aperture, the other totally separate systems drives the needle that you used to see. So, everything will still work fine - it's just that you won't see what the shutter speed is going to be. I'm assuming it's not a battery problem. It's always worth trying a little brute force and tapping the base of the camera fairly hard against the palm of your hand - it might possibly dislodge the needle - but don't blame me if it does any damage (it shouldn't though). Ir give the camera a sharp rotation back and forward just with your wrist. If none of that works and the batteries are OK, could be a repair job. There are some repairers on the FAQ page on the r. Lee Hawkins FAQ. perhaps some other folk will have some other ideas.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  17. I WOULD LIKE TO USE ASA, 800 BUT 500 WONT HANDLE VERY MUCH LIGHT; CAN I USE AN ND FILTER ON THIS CAMEREA? IF YES, WHERE DO I PURCHASE ONE?
    There are no filters that would fit an XA - because it doesn't have a screw fitting on the lens. You could try to improvise something perhaps by taping a Cokin type filter to the camera.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  18. where can I get a copy of the instructions for using an XA
    On this site - on the XA page (The full manual is here). It's a PDF. If you want it as just a web page then go to http://yandr.50megs.com/olympus/xa/xa.htm
    Category: XA Cameras
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  19. Film counter won't return to 0 is this a possible adjustment ?
    Common problem this. If a sharp tap won't fix it (not too hard though please!) you'll have to take the top off - see the manuals section of the site. Could just be stuck or dirty - only taking the top off will reveal that!
    Category: XA Cameras
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  20. Are Rayovac 357 (silver) suitable for my XA? Thanks for a very useful site.
    Yes, they are Silver Oxide batteries - equivalent to the SR44 which is the "standard" battery.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  21. Not so much a question, I've a comment on the question " I am confused a bit by the DX operations of the XA-3. When is the camera in "DX" mode, and when is it using the manual ISO selection settings? Can I switch back and forth? Does the DX override manual settings when a new cassette is put in? " This question is in the "Photograohy with XA" section. Puzzled by the same question I conducted a little test which to me would seem to be quit conclusive. For this I used an XA3, indoors in average light conditions. I did not load it with film, which implies that DX-coding can not be read by the camera. I then put the ISO setting to 25 and fired the shutter. As might be expected the audible and visible (when looking into the lens) exposure time was rather long. I then changed the setting to 50, 100 and so forth, each time firing the shutter. Again as might be expected the exposure time decreased. Next I put a film casette with DX coding (200 ISO in this case) into the camera without actually advancing the film onto the sprockets, you might need to rewind the film sticking out of the cassette a little to avoid it being taking up. Closed the camera an repeated the above mentioned steps, again changing the ISO setting from 25 upwards and firing the shutter each time. Now no change to the exposure time was discernible, regardless of the manual setting. This indicates to me clearly that the automatic setting when using DX coded cassettes overrides the manual setting. I suppose one could avoid this if so desired by putting some thin tape or a piece of paper over the coding on the cassette or maybe just black out the whole area with a felt tipped pen. I did not try that, don't know whether you could damage the contacts that way. Well that's all, perhaps this information can be usefull to you or visitors to your splendid site. many kind regards, Joan Könings (The Netherlands)
    Thanks Joan for this useful information.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  22. The shutter release button on my XA has become very insensitive and requires considerable pressure. Are there any remedies?
    very common problem - 2 of mine do this! You need to do a repair as follows: Thanks to Simon sje@lrc.ruralwales.org and the Olympus FAX from R.Lee Hawkins. Actually repairing the shutter release problem is fairly easy and within the abilities of most people who are reasonably handy. The problem is usually caused by the cover interlock switch. This switch keeps you from firing the camera when the cover is closed and is somewhat subject to getting dirty contacts from dust. If I remember right the switch is under the cover on the top right (as you look at the front of the camera) and is accessed by removing the bottom plate and then removing the sliding cover. Be sure not to loose the little ball bearing the cover rides on. I always recommend working over (or in) a dish to catch the little parts you drop. Only tool needed is a good "0" or "00" phillips screwdriver and maybe some tweezers. You'll see the switch when you remove the cover. I think it may be necessary to remove the top to clean the contacts, it comes off with a couple of screws, and the rewind crank plus I think the release button must be pried off (it's just glued on). All this is somewhat intimidating, the actual repair is not all that bad...
    Category: XA Cameras
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  23. The shutter on my XA will only close automatically on the flash setting. On all the other apertures it stays open after the button is pressed until the dust cover is closed very slightly when it finally closes.
    Hummm. This sounds like an electronics problem. Or perhaps the light sensor is not working, so it's waiting for light that never comes to determine when to close the shutter. You can try the repair manual on the site for clues but it doesn't sound easy to fix to me.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  24. I have an XA2 and all of the pictures I take are way over-exposed. The red button pushes down smoothly and the aperture clicks open but, takes a long while to pop back up again and close the shutter, about 4 seconds. The battery is ok. Any ideas? J.Lees.
    It sounds as if the shutter is simply staying open for it's maximum time. This could be because the cell is faulty and simply isn't registering any light. I assume you've set the film speed and that the cell - just above the lens - is not obstructed. Repairs are just too expensive - suggest you get another one on ebay and hope it works OK - they mostly do.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  25. Hi, I'd like to know what is the base of the rangefinder on the XA.
    I'm told it is just 5/8 of an inch. Amazing it works, but it does seem to do so very well.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  26. Hello~ I have a xa2. But my xa2's shutter can work when its barrier close. It's wrong something, Isn't it? How do I fix it? Please answer my question. Bye~
    This is a fault. Without seeing the camera it's difficult to find out the cause. Suggest you look at the XA repair manual - you can download from the site under manuals - XA Repair and see if you can see what is not happening on yours. I would not be optimistic that you could repair it - suggest a new one off ebay.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  27. Hi there, I see there are posts about a problem that I have with my new XA2: it only shoots in self timer mode even when the ST switch is not flicked on. Also, it fires with the clamshell closed. Has anyone figured out how to fix these? Thanks, Csaba
    Sorry, I do not know the answer to this problem. Do keep an eye on this site in case one of our visitors knows, or look on the Flickr XA forum.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  28. What sort of paint would you recommend using for minor touching up of small scratches on the back of the Olympus XA 2?
    The surface of the XA is a rather special baked-on surface with a semi-matt surface. It's hard to make a touch-up without it showing. I think that whatever you try will end up looking worse! Why not just treat the scratch as a trophy. My best XA2 has some scratches gained when I slipped on some rocks in Italy, and I thing of that holiday whenever I handle the camera.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  29. i have a troublesome xa 2. i just put in new light seals & the camera worked fine for the 1st 10 shots. then the shutter wouldn't depress, so i took the roll out & now (without film) it's working fine. did i do something wrong when i pulled the bottom plate off?
    Hmmmmm.... It sounds as though the battery might not be making contact - removing the base plate could have disturbed it. The battery test would prove that. Otherwise it's not obvious what would have happened. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  30. Given that almost everyone now uses a digital camera, what digital would you suggest for someone who loves XAs?
    This is the big one - the elephant in the room! Film is still good and the XA is still a great camera - you will get better pictures with your XA than any digital camera. Digital cameras are festooned with buttons and menus which is a hinderance from picture taking. The canon IXUS 95 is a nice little camera and it has an optical viewfinder - Canon are generally good - I still love my IXUS30, 3 megapixel but this just proves that megapixels are for the gullible.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  31. I have a new to me XA. It seems that the aperture switch will take an excess of force to move it up to underline the "flash" setting. Is this normal? Or is it supposed to be as easy as switching between the other apertures? Thanks!
    It's normal as this action also mechanically flicks-up the flash charging neon button.
    Category: XA Cameras
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  32. got an xa in as new condition* with flash but no box ;is there still a market for this? * have not used it for a decade or so
    Take a look on ebay to get an idea of prices. XA2 will be the lowest price, XA itself will fetch more. Good luck!!!
    Category: XA Cameras
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