The Olympus XA series of cameras were a range of very compact cameras in a clam-shell case. They were designed for Olympus by Maitani Yoshihisa

[1] . The series was largely replaced by the Stylus/mju series in 1991.


The XA, introduced in 1979 was the benchmark of the series containing a true rangefinder focusing mechanism and an aperture priority exposure system within its tiny case. It had a six element Zuiko 35mm f:2.8 lens, a CdS exposure meter and a shutter to 1/500.

A detailed summary, technical specification, review and analysis of the XA can be found here.

XA 2[]

The XA2, introduced in 1980, was a simplified version of the XA with zone focusing and a programmed exposure system. It had a four-elements-in-four-groups Zuiko 35mm f:3.5 lens. The exposure meter was a CdS exposure sensor above the lens. Shutter speed range was 2 secs. to 1/750. The minimum focusing distance was 3,3 feet or 1 meters. Its film speed range was ASA 25 -800. Limited supplies in white, red and blue were also produced, and extremely limited numbers (probably only a few hundred) in pink. Fake pink XA2s have been reported.


The XA1, introduced in 1982, was the cheapest and simplest of the series. It had a fixed focus four element 35mm f:4 lens, a shutter from 1/30 to 1/250 and a programmed exposure driven by a selenium meter. The only film speed settings were 100 and 400 ISO.

XA 3[]

The XA3, produced from 1985, is an updated XA2 which adds DX film coding support, an extra manual ASA setting of 1600, and brings back the "backlight compensation" feature from the original XA. The built-in light traps around the door were completely redesigned and improved over the XA2. A limited edition in red was produced.

XA 4[]

The XA4, from 1985, was an XA2 with a five element Zuiko 28mm f:3.5 lens focusing to 0.3m. The special strap that came with the camera allowed easy measuring of 0.3m and 0.5m distances for close focussing. For the US-market, the XA4's distance scale was marked in feet.


Four different types of flash units were offered to use with the various XA models. All must be screwed to the left hand side of the body, and are very compact units. All auto flash models have settings for 100 or 400 ISO films.

  • A9M, a purely manual flash intended for use with the XA1. Uses one AA battery.
  • A11, an auto flash with settings for ASA 100 and ASA 400. Uses one AA battery. The A11 was also produced in red, white, blue, and pink, to match the coloured XA2 models. A11 User's Manual Courtesy: acolla
  • A16, a more powerful auto flash than the A11. Has settings for ASA 100 and ASA 400. Uses two AA batteries.
  • A1L, lithium batteries not replaceable by the user without dismantling the flash.

A macro attachment was available for the A-11 and A-1L to use with the XA-4 at close focusing range.

Cases were sold for both the body only, and for the body with a flash attached.


  1. The name is given in the Japanese order, with family name followed by the given name.


In French:

In Japanese:


Classic Compact Cameras
Canon IXUS | Minox 35 | Olympus XA | Penti
Olympus Classic Cameras
Semi | Semi II | Six | Chrome Six | Flex | Standard | 35 | Ace | Pen | Pen F | FTL | OM-1/2/3/4 | OM-10/20/30/40 | OM-707 | OM-101 | XA