Testing, One, Two, Three…….

After first trying out the two ‘new to me’ cameras that I had purchased off ebay, at the Ice Fishing Derby, I was waiting for a real nice day to give them a proper test. The weather at the Derby was no kind of weather to be testing anything, although I was encouraged by the performance of these cameras under those dreary conditions.

Today was promising to be cold, but mostly sunny, so I had in mind to do a hike up to the Lookout Tower, with the main intention being to make this a testing trip for those cameras. However, I’m always open to what might happen along the way, and I have no problem with changing things up, if the need should arise.

As I was hiking up the Lookout Tower Road, I noticed a snowshoe trail, leading off to the left side of the road. I’m always interested in finding, and exploring new trails, and the fact that multiple people had snowshoed in this way created a fairly solid surface for me to walk on, without sinking too deep in the snow. So off I went.

The map above shows the route I took, and you can see that this snowshoe trail, eventually, came out onto one of the mine site roads. Then I looped around, came back to the Lookout Tower Road, and went all the way up to the Tower, taking pictures as I went.

Canon A495

Canon A495

This panorama, which was taken right in front of where I parked the truck, is from the Canon A495. It’s relatively low on the totem pole of Canon point and shoot cameras, but I had read that the image quality was excellent.

Canon A495

Canon A495

As I walked up the Lookout Tower Road, I saw this snowshoe trail heading into the bush, so I decided to follow it. If I stepped off the packed down trail, the snow was up to my knees.

Canon A495

Canon A495

As I headed into the bush, it looked like a real nice trail, and I was glad to find a trail that I hadn’t been on yet.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Not too far into this trail, I found this old 1950’s car buried in the snow. You have to wonder how the hell they got that car in there. This must have been a very different place years ago.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Just because there is a snowshoe trail there, don’t get the idea that this was a walk in the park. It’s hard work walking up and down hills in the snow, but it would be a lot harder in knee deep snow.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Looks like a low bridge ahead.

Canon A495

Canon A495

This turned out to be a really nice peaceful trail, and I was wondering where it was headed. I know the area, and it seemed like it was headed towards Dumbell Lake.

Canon A495

Canon A495

I could see Lacnor ridge through the bushes up ahead, but the trail makes a sharp right turn up there, which again, would suggest Dumbell Lake.

Canon A495

Canon A495

I continued along the trail, and I was working up a head of steam now, with all the exercise, so my internal furnace was pumping heat through my body, warming even my hands.

Canon A495

Canon A495

For the most part, this trail was a gradual uphill grade. I’ve learned to always take note of the grade that I’m walking on since, if I have to come back this way, I will know if it’s uphill, or downhill. If it’s a long hike that I’m doing, and I know I have to go uphill on the return trip, I might not go as far as if I knew it was downhill on the way back.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Turns out this is an official trail, and it’s classed as ‘Intermediate’ in difficulty rating.

Canon A495

Canon A495

The trail, eventually, came out onto a little used road, in the Lacnor Mine site, and I knew exactly where I was. From here, I picked up a snowmobile track that went up hill, across a field, towards Lacnor ridge.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Here you can see the snowmobile track that I followed, right up to the top of that hill there.

Canon SX240

Canon SX240

I didn’t realize, when I left home, that only one of the two cameras I brought had an SD card in it, so I had to keep switching out the SD card, from one camera to the other.

Canon SX240

Canon SX240

I was expecting the Canon SX240 to perform really well, since it uses the same Digic 5 processor, and has the same Backlit CMOS image sensor as my larger Canon SX40 cameras.

Canon A495

Canon A495

However, I was totally unprepared for the quality of pictures I was going to get from this lowly Canon A495. For those not familiar with point and shoot cameras, they come in three basic categories. There are ordinary point and shoots, of which the Canon A495 is in the lower part of that category. There are, what they call, ‘Enthusiast’ point and shoots, which tend to have more features, and controls, especially manual controls. The Canon SX240 is a member of this category of higher classed cameras. Then you have, what they refer to as ‘Bridge Cameras’ which is the class that my two Canon SX40’s fall into. These cameras are considered a ‘bridge’ into the next higher class, which is the DSLR’s.

For the record, I would never have, nor could I ever afford, a DSLR camera. I can do so much more with the much cheaper cameras. They are lighter to carry and I don’t need a bunch of very expensive lenses to bring along. If I damage one of my cameras, it’s not the end of the world. I get most of my cameras off ebay, and I only pay pennies on the dollar for them.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Many times the cameras I buy will have defects, that I know I can fix, like a stuck lens, or the battery door doesn’t close properly. Many times, I have them fixed in minutes after receiving them.

Canon A495

Canon A495

If needed, you can buy parts very cheaply from China, in order to fix these things. I got my Samsung Galaxy Tab for $36. on ebay, and it needed the flex cable for the off/on switch, and the volume switches. I purchased that flex cable for two bucks, again, on ebay, from China, with free shipping.

There are all kinds of videos on YouTube that describe how to fix these electronic gadgets. There are some more difficult jobs, but many times it’s not hard at all, and I always liked fidgeting with things anyways, so I enjoy it.

Canon A495

Canon A495

When I first got this Canon A495 which, by the way, I paid only .99 cents for, the lens was as dirty as any lens I’ve ever seen. I just put a bit of alcohol on my lens cloth, and brought that lens back to crystal clear.

When I tried the video out on the Canon SX240, I realized that I would have to make a wind baffle for it, the same way that I did on my larger Canon SX40’s. It wasn’t windy at all, but there is still a lot of wind noise in this video, and the built in wind noise reduction doesn’t work worth a shit.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Anyway, I went around the loop, and headed back towards the Lacnor Mine gate.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Taking pictures as I went, of course.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Throughout this hike, I’ve been walking on snowshoe trails, snowmobile trails, and human foot trails. If I go off those trails, I will be up to my knees in snow. This is definitely not a lot of snow for this time of year up here, but you wouldn’t be walking too far in snow this deep.

Canon A495

Canon A495

When I got back to my truck, I decided to do what I had intended to do when I came here, walk all the way up to the Lookout Tower. By the way, can you see the moon in this picture, just above my truck? Great little camera this A495!

Canon A495

Canon A495

A frozen pond, just along the Lookout Tower Road.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Looking back, as I walk up the Lookout Tower Road, you can see Lacnor ridge in the distance. You can also see that they plowed the road, very nice of them. They must have known that I was coming.

Canon A495

Canon A495

It’s a pretty good workout walking up here, but I do enjoy the exercise, especially in the winter when I can’t get out as much as I’d like to.

Canon A495

Canon A495

I took this shot just for testing purposes. Not bad for shooting directly into the sun.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Nice and quiet up here, just the way I like it.

Canon A495

Canon A495

Remember, I’m shooting south now, into the sun, so the pictures will be darker.

I was most interested to see how the video from the Canon SX240 was going to work out, since this was what was lacking on my Canon SX120. I will now be replacing my Canon SX120 with this newer SX240.

Canon SX240

Canon SX240

It will be nice to have the smaller SX240 when I can’t, or don’t want to, carry the bigger SX40.

Canon A495

Canon A495

The old Ranger Cabin. Wow, the Department of Lands and Forests. How long ago did they change that to the MNR? Suddenly I feel a lot older. 🙂

So, that’s it for this outing. I was very pleased with both cameras I tested today, but I expected the Canon SX240 to do well. I didn’t expect the Canon A495 to do so well, but I was very impressed with how it performed today.

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