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Category: Photography With XA
  1. Given the many other camera types - especially SLRs, what are the befefits of an XA?
  2. I've just bought an XA1. It looks a bit basic to me - will it be any use.
  3. Apparently, the XA can be used like a point and shoot camera (without focusing) if the "orange positions" are selected. I've never tried it and wonder how are the results. Also, is there a way to use the camera in this manner with the flash?
  4. When I want to take a picture with my recently bought XA2, sometimes I see a green light in my viewfinder. Not always. What does this mean ?
  5. Is it possible to intentionally multi-expose on an XA-2 by simultaneously holding down the rewind button and advancing the film? Best to ask in case I wreck something!
  6. 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?
  7. I have just acquired stunning XA4 at a bargain basement price (30) and am amazed by it's capabilities. It has no measuring strap. Is the minimum focus distance measured from the film plane or front lens element or what? It seems that the best thing to d
  8. How do you do a time exposure with an XA? I have an XA which I understand goes down to 10 seconds and an XA4 which goes down to 2 seconds. But, I don't see any controls to use to set the time exposure. Thanks, David
  9. recent vacation pics are overexposed but flash shots were good. A-76 Batteries tested low (1.35 volts) but red led lights and buzzer sounds. Was it low batts or defect in mechanism?
  10. Just bought my first XA (XA-3) and manual not really clear. When first opening the dust cover and after each film winding I get a small green led in lower right corner of view finder. thinking it may change color to red or something else to indicate low light I have tried covering the photo cell as well as taking the camera in a dark room and the light remains green...going off after 30 seconds or so. What is the purpose of the light? Shutter speeds seem to be fine depending on light intensity falling on sensor Thanks all, Steve
  11. Hello! Ran into this site a while back and it almost single-handedly influenced me into getting something from the XA series for street photography. After acquiring an XA today I decided to test it out. According to your site, the XA can handle an exposure as slow as 10 seconds. So I tried stopping down to f/22 and adjusting the ISO down to 25 before walking into an almost pitch-dark room to fire a few shots. I consistently heard the shutter open for around 4-5 seconds, never going any longer than that. Assuming the room is indeed dark enough, is there any reason why the camera will not keep the shutter open for a maximum of 10 seconds? The shutter seems to fire correctly in less extreme lighting conditions.
  12. I've got the XA 2 and the manual isn't that clear on the three focus settings. Seems very difficult to get a well focused shot. I wind up taking three shots of each scene using all three settings. What's the best setting to get a tight focus everytime? Best, James
  13. I've had an XA for 5 years (£3 on a car boot sale!) but it has never given correct exposure. Normally I'd put 100ASA film in but set the meter to 800ASA and even this can cause some overexposure. I've just been testing it against an RC which gave a reading of 250th/f8 @ 100ASA from a blank wall - the XA recommendeds about a 90th/f8 when set to 800ASA. I can just about live with this, the camera is just a pocketable notebook anyway but it would be nice to get everything near accurate. Any one else encountered this and who or what fixed it?



  1. Given the many other camera types - especially SLRs, what are the befefits of an XA?
    Where to start? Ease of use, simplicity, quality, portability and unobtrusiveness as starters. Sure, SLRs can have lots of lenses so you can make a bad picture better but if like me you just love Cartier Bresson's work, you'll appreciate that it is the moment that makes the picture. XA helps you capture that moment so easily - all you have to do is see it. Take a look at the Left Bank picture in the gallery to see what I mean.
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  2. I've just bought an XA1. It looks a bit basic to me - will it be any use.
    Actually, yes. It is not as good as the other XA cameras, but it's dead easy to use, no wretched batteries and fixed focus lens. Nice easy programmed shutter. Lens is OK too. Shutter release a bit clunky though and catches on your pockets - the flat electronic release is a real plus point on the other XAs. Run a film through it - I think you'll be surprised. If you can get an XA2 though, I'd use that and keep the XA1 as a spare. I usually carry an XA1 in my bag just in case anything happens to my XA.
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  3. Apparently, the XA can be used like a point and shoot camera (without focusing) if the "orange positions" are selected. I've never tried it and wonder how are the results. Also, is there a way to use the camera in this manner with the flash?
    The orange positions work fine in reasonable daylight and it's good practise to keep the camera set there in case you need to grab a shot. The only thing that can catch you out is if you do a low-light or night shot which includes far-away items - shots of lights in a city for instance - then the far-away items will be bit out of focus if you use a wide aperture on the XA or let the XA2 do it's own thing. As for the flash, you could set the focussing at 2/3 of the flash range (say around 6 ft) for flash grab shots. The XA incidentally has an orange f5.6 aperture setting - because this is a good compromise for most use. The XA's 2.8 lens is very good at 5.6 or 8 and there is adequate depth of field so you'll get away with using the orange setting on the focussing. I tend to use the orange settings on my XA all the time unless I need to change - for example a wider aperture in low light or a smaller aperture for extra depth of field.
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  4. When I want to take a picture with my recently bought XA2, sometimes I see a green light in my viewfinder. Not always. What does this mean ?
    The green light indicates that your XA2 has had to use a low shutter speed and therefor there is a risk of camera shake. The design of the XA means that if you touch the shutter button lightly there is less chance of camera shake than with most other cameras. If you are shooting in poor light, you could use 400 film if you are not already doing so.
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  5. Is it possible to intentionally multi-expose on an XA-2 by simultaneously holding down the rewind button and advancing the film? Best to ask in case I wreck something!
    Never tried! In theory you could do this because the rewind button is just mechanical. Problem could be that it may not pop out again after the second shot. You could try it at the end of a film and see what happened but at your own risk!
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  6. 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?
    Ouch - I don't know the answer to this and as I haven't a manual or an XA3.......
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  7. I have just acquired stunning XA4 at a bargain basement price (30) and am amazed by it's capabilities. It has no measuring strap. Is the minimum focus distance measured from the film plane or front lens element or what? It seems that the best thing to d
    You did really well to get an XA4 for 30 - you could expect to pay three times that. Don't know where the measureing is from - in theory the film plane but they may have done it from the front of the lens. You could try a couple of test shots at full aperture. Do let us know the result! The XA4 is a terrific camera - I hope you enjoy using it. If you get some good shots, perhaps you could post them to the site.
    252 visitor(s) thought this was helpful. Do you? Yes, it was helpful No, it was not helpful


  8. How do you do a time exposure with an XA? I have an XA which I understand goes down to 10 seconds and an XA4 which goes down to 2 seconds. But, I don't see any controls to use to set the time exposure. Thanks, David
    With the XA, you select the aperture and the auto exposure system works out the shutter speed - and you see the speed in the viewfinder. Although the viewfinder appears to only go down to 1 second, the needle actually goes down slightly below this, and although it doesn't show as such in the viewfinder, as far as 10 seconds. So, if it's dark enough you'll hear the shutter stay open for up to 10 seconds. Put another way, the time exposure is just a continuation of the normal shutter speed range over which you have no direct control. In such conditions, I suggest using the self timer and putting the camera on something - anything that won't move.
    174 visitor(s) thought this was helpful. Do you? Yes, it was helpful No, it was not helpful


  9. recent vacation pics are overexposed but flash shots were good. A-76 Batteries tested low (1.35 volts) but red led lights and buzzer sounds. Was it low batts or defect in mechanism?
    The XA should use SR14 or equivalent with a voltage of 1.55 volts. Using cells with 1.35 volts means that the total voltage will be 2.7 volts against the required 3.1 volts. This will affect the exposure but the amount does not seem to be constant from XA to XA. Strongly suggest getting the correct silver oxide battery. Unfortunately the battery check assumes that the battery is either working or not working - it doesn't recognise the voltage.
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  10. Just bought my first XA (XA-3) and manual not really clear. When first opening the dust cover and after each film winding I get a small green led in lower right corner of view finder. thinking it may change color to red or something else to indicate low light I have tried covering the photo cell as well as taking the camera in a dark room and the light remains green...going off after 30 seconds or so. What is the purpose of the light? Shutter speeds seem to be fine depending on light intensity falling on sensor Thanks all, Steve
    This green light comes on when the camera decides the exposure will be 1/30 or slower. It should not be on if you use the camera in decent daylight. If it stays on, listen to the shutter speed - does it sound like a slow click? Bottom line - if the pics are OK it may be a fault you can ignore, but try a few pics in daylight and check for slow speed (blurred movement, camera shake etc)
    190 visitor(s) thought this was helpful. Do you? Yes, it was helpful No, it was not helpful


  11. Hello! Ran into this site a while back and it almost single-handedly influenced me into getting something from the XA series for street photography. After acquiring an XA today I decided to test it out. According to your site, the XA can handle an exposure as slow as 10 seconds. So I tried stopping down to f/22 and adjusting the ISO down to 25 before walking into an almost pitch-dark room to fire a few shots. I consistently heard the shutter open for around 4-5 seconds, never going any longer than that. Assuming the room is indeed dark enough, is there any reason why the camera will not keep the shutter open for a maximum of 10 seconds? The shutter seems to fire correctly in less extreme lighting conditions.
    XAs are not very consistent about their maximum exposure time. I've found times of between 5 and 10 seconds on mine. I wouldn't worry about it. It still takes great pictures! Opening up to the maximum aperture might make a difference but this is a long shot.
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  12. I've got the XA 2 and the manual isn't that clear on the three focus settings. Seems very difficult to get a well focused shot. I wind up taking three shots of each scene using all three settings. What's the best setting to get a tight focus everytime? Best, James
    When you open the front cover, the camera is set to it "middle" range. In decent outdoor light pretty well everything from about 1.2 mtrs to infinity should be sharp. If it's less than 1.2m, things get trickier - espectally in low light. The close up setting is from 1.2 to 1.8m - not much of a range! and quite difficult to measure. The XA2 isn't really very good at close-ups at all !!! The XA has a rangefinder which is exactly what is needed. My advice - avoid anything closer than a half length picture of a person.
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  13. I've had an XA for 5 years (£3 on a car boot sale!) but it has never given correct exposure. Normally I'd put 100ASA film in but set the meter to 800ASA and even this can cause some overexposure. I've just been testing it against an RC which gave a reading of 250th/f8 @ 100ASA from a blank wall - the XA recommendeds about a 90th/f8 when set to 800ASA. I can just about live with this, the camera is just a pocketable notebook anyway but it would be nice to get everything near accurate. Any one else encountered this and who or what fixed it?
    Fixing an XA2 is going to be very difficult and not likely to succeed. Sorry, but getting a new one is probably the best answer. Try ebay.
    203 visitor(s) thought this was helpful. Do you? Yes, it was helpful No, it was not helpful




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