But not all companies hopped onto the newly invented Autofocus-cameras bandwagon, instead choosing to concentrate on pushing the concept of mechanical ultra-compact cameras to unknown heights.
But not all companies hopped onto the newly invented Autofocus-cameras bandwagon, instead choosing to concentrate on pushing the concept of mechanical ultra-compact cameras to unknown heights. So it happened that in 1979 Olympus released the legendary Olympus XA, described as the compact camera professional photographers would take on a vacation. The Japanese amigo featured truly excellent optics and a range of new functions. Akin to the Minox, it bore a sort of automatic exposure where you only had to set the aperture and the camera chose the shutter speed and even added a function that regulated the exposure to avoid backlighting. Its innovative design and easy-to-use principle made the Olympus XA a successful camera that still has many fans around the world. Whereas most of the preceding compact cameras (excluding the RolIei 35 and Minox series) were regarded as amateur cameras, accommodating only medium class lenses, the Japanese new-comer was welcomed both by professionals and amateur snappers.
Last but not least the Cosina entered the stage. Released in the early 19805 and clearly inspired by existing compact cameras such as the Minox, the Cosina CX-I and CX-2 featured an automatic exposure and long exposure function, compact black casing, a hotshoe-mount and the very useful zone-focusing option. The Cosina presented with this four-level distance switch a true Innovation – by quickly pushing the lever to one of the four distance settings you could happily snapshoot without the need to re-focus each time. Does that sound familiar? It certainly does, as the LOMO LC-A is more or less an exact copy of the Japanese Cosina. The two cameras, the Cosina and LOMO LC-A, resemble each other greatly, only differing in the little details (such as the different closing mechanism and the LOMO LC-A’s Minitar 1 lens).
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