The Olympus XA3
Unfortunately, this is another charity shop dud. The shutter fired when I tried it in the shop, but when I loaded a film it no longer functioned, which is a shame.
I’ve had an XA before, the XA2, this is its replacement, they are exactly the same apart from the addition of DX coding on the newer model. My father had an XA2 when I was little, so they have a nostalgic bonus for me.
These little cameras sometimes get compared to the Lomo LC-A, Lomography’s original camera. The lens on these XA’s is sharp and contrasty, and can offer similar results to the LC-A. The Olympus’ can be found much cheaper though.
A few things annoy me about these cameras. The clam shell cover can often be awkward to open, needing both hands. The zone focus (XA1-2-3, The original XA had rangefinder focusing) is reset to the middle position every time the cover is closed. I also dislike the touch sensitive shutter button.
They often come complete with a little dedicated flash, A11, with bolts on to the side.
If you want a tiny 35mm point and shoot with a good lens and can’t afford a LC-A, and the far superior [mju:] models aren’t retro enough for you, then the XA’s are worth looking at. Just make sure you buy one that works.