XA2 – Bargain Compact
In an earlier post, I gave the original XA a good bashing. Whilst it’s a very good camera for some, I found it went against what a compact was about, ie. ease of use and full automation. (And I personally don’t like rangefinders)
In truth, with decent XA2/3’s being in around the £50 mark at present, I probably wouldn’t have bought one. But I found this XA2 on my local market for £10 so I couldn’t really say no.
It came fully boxed, with all instructions. Put some batteries in and it fired straight up. Battery compartment of the flash needed a little de-rusting but sorted now.
I would consider the XA2 to be a good backup camera. It has a decent lens, and the two LR44 batteries will last years. Its not 100% automatic, in the fact it still needs you to use the zone focusing. If your taking planned shots on holiday etc, this is simple and easy to use. If you are taking ‘spur of the moment’ stuff then you have to remember what to select otherwise you might get the odd blurry picture.
I like how unlike the MJU2 it doesn’t need fancy batteries and unlike alot of later cameras it isn’t super fragile. Whilst no camera would do well from a drop, I can be confident that the XA2 will stand up to alot of bashing about in the average camera or holiday bag. Or pocket for that matter. A MJU2 ususally cracks just by looking at it 🙂
The flash is a bit ‘clunky’ and adds to the size of the camera, defeating why so many people like the XA series, their size. In lower light conditions, I tend to use a camera phone anyway. Whilst I love film, I’m not a digital-hater and it has its place for me for quick or lower light stuff.
I’ll be away on holiday for a staycation this year in august, and I think I’ll take the XA2 as a backup to my Super A for some nice holiday snaps. With the MJU2 being so fragile, and having that bloody annoying flash, I tend to just keep it for street photography, or when I know I’m going out specifically for a shoot and don’t want to look a Berk (idiot) with a big SLR in public.
Should I tell you to buy one? If you don’t have a small fixed lens compact camera then yes. If you already have an MJU2 or a PC35AFM then I probably wouldn’t bother unless you find a bargain or like collecting.