Olympus XA1 – why it is the best analogue camera ever

Today I want to quickly share with you the best analogue camera I have ever had. This post is not going to be technical as there is plenty of those around.

Instead I will foucs on practical reasons this camera beats all other analogue cameras I own.

It is this small Olympus XA-1 – and I understand it may not look like much, but actually it is a brilliant camera, mostly for one reason: I can have it always with me.

I own and owned a lot of analogue cameras, but this one wins every time when it comes to having it handy when I need it.

This is obviously because of its size and the way it is built, but not only.

You see it has a f2.8 apperture lens and shots in apperture priority mode. It has rengefinder focussing wchich is extremely accurate and allows you to shoot wide open.

It is worth noting that later versions like XA2 have a zone focussing and f3.5 lens to make up for inaccuracies of zone focussing. If you are buying XA1 you should make sure you are getting the right version.

In this really small package you are getting almost fully functional full frame slr that you can have with you without thinking much about it.

XA1 also has self release timer – and I use it a lot. I just place the camera somewhere and can shoot while being included on the photo. Most of my holiday slides are shot this way.

Self timer is also excellent in low light conditions. It turns out that with even very long exposure times like a second or two slides can still be sharp if you stay still enough. It is the camera, not the subject movement that contributes to shaky photos the most.

The camera can be bought with flash unit and it works well with it, but I never use the flash. I prefer shooting with self timer and the camera placed somewhere where it does not move.

I shoot slide film almost exclusively and I use the camera the way people use to do back in the days – just to record memories. I shoot family photos, holidays, events, places I visit.

The quality of slides coming out of XA1 when projected on the wall is fantastic. You are getting very nice low depth of field if you like – just as if you were using a large slr camera.

Overall – the best camera is the one you have with you when the right moment comes – and for me XA1 is the winner.

I truly recommed this camera to you even though it can get a bit pricey these days. Mine shot lots of rolls and still going strong so the build quality is there.

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