The shutter can be a little tricky. It's very sensitive to pressure, and has a very short travel. Sometimes, though mine won't fire at all, and then will click when I'm just handling the camera. They are sweet cameras, though. I always carry mine in my briefcase. (or in a plastic bag when I'm out kayaking) It uses a dedicated flash, the A11 or the A16. There are lots available on ebay, but be careful... I bought one at a great price, and it never worked well. (and it was worse after I tried to fix it. :rolleyes: )
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
I got one bought in 1979 I didn't have any problem with it until I sold it in 1984. I have 3 others bought used from ebay and the 2 of them still work but the meter doesn't move any more. The yellow rangefinder is also fading out and is very hard to see.
The most comon problem is a sticky shutter. I have two XAs and one very occasionally doesn't release - the meter needle trips so the electronics has tried to release the shutter, but it's stuck. Another couple of presses of the release button usually fires it, but it can be a nuisance. Otherwise I think they're pretty reliable. I've not heard of the self-timer issue, but you should be able to check this quite easily. If the self-timer is set, when you press the shutter release the LED on the front of the camera will light and the shutter will trip 10 seconds later. The XA is a great little camera but they're all getting quite old now, and I don't know what the availability of parts is like.
Dirty battery contacts can cause a variety of strange things to happen too.
+1 on this. I used some very fine crocus cloth on the end of pencil eraser, it made all the difference. No response to depressing shutter button can also be the advance wheel has not been advanced all the way, firm turns until it stops seem to end that one for me.