Another camera thread: SLR
Sorry for creating another camera thread, but I know there are people here who know cameras.
I need a small, light 35mm camera (no digitals!) with good optics. After talking to some people and doing my own research, it seems that the camera I'm looking for is the classic Olympus XA. I can buy one of these used, but it is a 25-year-old camera. My question is, is there a contemporary SLR that is comparable to the Olympus XA and has a similar rep? I'm not a big camera geek, so it's possible that "They" have made a camera just like this recently, only that lets you fly and turn invisible, and I don't know about it. The alternative is to buy a used XA on ebay, where they seem to run between $25 and $40. That's totally fine with me, but with an old camera there's the question of how long it's going to keep working.
I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Small? Light? You're looking at rangefinders and point-and-shoots, not SLRs. SLRs are big and bulky.
If you're not a camera geek, you may want a camera with autofocus and automatic exposure. If that's so, look at the Olympus Stylus Epic.
It's got a fast and sharp 35mm/f2.8 wide angle lens. It's weather-resistant so you can take it canoeing or whatever. It also has on-camera flash for those times when someone has a gun to your head and you're forced to shoot in the dark.* It's about $80 from a reputable NY dealer such as www.bhphoto.com or www.adorama.com
* - on-camera flash is most useful for fill-flash: balancing light levels when you are shooting people with strong backlighting so that both the people and the background are equally bright. Otherwise, the people just come out as black silhouettes against the sunset.
As Roger says if you're looking for something very light and compact an SLR is not what you're looking for, but something like a regular point & shoot camera. If you're looking for really super small film (instead of digital) you could go with a Canon APS film camera, though the film is much smaller than 35mm (24 or 26mm IIRC).
I hear from some guys that the Pentax Espio 24EW is a fairly good 35mm point & shoot, 24-105mm, illuminated LCD, etc. Does cost around $370 though.
World's End Supernova
If you want to spend lots of money to support the German economy you could get a compact Leica. Not that I've actually used one of those but the old big Leica I've inherited from my dad was a great camera!
Thanks guys. The Olympus looks good. You're right - SLR shouldn't have been in the title. I just should have put "non-digital."
To clarify, I have a Canon Powershot G2 which works great, but not for this application. Cost is not an issue here, but it doesn't seem like it's worth spending too much on a point-and-shoot when $100 can take care of it. Unless I'm wrong, in which case it is worth it. Leicas are great -- we had an old, old one when I was little.