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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Which is the best mirrorless camera? We rate the best CSCs
Once upon a time, keen photographers bought a DSLR – it was the established order of things. But the mirror mechanism of a DSLR is complex and noisy and adds to the weight of the camera, and that’s where the mirrorless camera, or compact system camera comes in. They keep the big sensors and interchangeable lenses of DSLR cameras but ditch the mirror to produce a smaller, lighter and simpler camera.
In fact, there are still pros and cons to both designs. If you want to find out more, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: key differences.
Some mirrorless cameras have a compact, rectangular body, some are styled like DSLRs with a ‘pentaprism’ on the top – though this houses an electronic viewfinder rather than the optical viewfinder you get with a DSLR.
Be aware, too, that cheaper mirrorless cameras don’t come with viewfinders at all – instead, you compose the photo on the rear screen, just as you do with a compact camera or a smartphone. (If you’re still not sure what kind of camera you need, read our easy to follow guide: What camera should I buy?)
No two photographers are exactly the same – we’re all looking for slightly different things, so we’ve ranked the best compact system cameras you can buy right now based not just on specs, handling and performance, but size, simplicity and value for money too.
Don’t forget, with Black Friday just a few weeks away, the savvy buyer can expect to find some great deals.
Not much else
Fujifilm’s update to the X-Tmay look similar at first glance, but there have been some big improvements and perhaps the biggest of all is the autofocus system. It’s a huge leap forward compared with the system found in the X-T1, with AF tracking of moving subjects now much more precise and swift, while the level of sophistication and customisation is impressive too. Add in frames per second burst shooting, a clever double-hinged rear display, bright EVF, Fuji’s excellent 24.3MP X Trans III CMOS sensor and plenty of body mounted controls that’s all wrapped-up in a tactile body, and you’re left with one of the best cameras available today.
No XQD card slots
The Alpha Adoesn’t fail to impress. The AF system Sony has blessed its flagship camera with is not only incredibly quick, the tracking performance needs to be seen to be believed. Partner that with incredibly fast 20fps burst shooting, and a large and bright EVF that doesn’t blackout when you’re shooting, and you’ve got a camera that can mix it with the best that Canon and Nikon have to offer when it comes to shooting action.
Like the look of the X-Tat the top of our list, but don’t quite want to shell out that much for it? Fuji has the answer in the shape of the X-T20, which manages to distill many of the key features of the X-Tincluding the excellent 24.3MP sensor and advanced AF system, but into a slightly more compact and affordable camera. The X-T20 feels very similar to its bigger brother in terms of build quality, while the tactile controls and polished handling make it a very satisfying camera to shoot with. The X-T20 will certainly hit the sweet spot for many photographers.
While the design follows that of the original film Pen-F camera from the 1960s, that’s pretty much where any similarities stop, with this modern-day Pen-F featuring Olympus’s latest 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor. Unlike previous Pen models we’ve seen which rely solely on the rear screen for composition unless you want to invest in an optional attachable electronic viewfinder, the Pen-F incorporates a high-quality OLED EVF integrated into the body with with a resolution of 2.36m dots. There’s also an advanced 5-axis image stabilisation system built in to combat camera shake, while no Olympus CSC could be complete without a selection of Art Filters – the Pen-F has 2to choose from. Offering plenty of customisation and a host of clever features, there’s also built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to boot.
Doesn’t use the latest 20MP sensor
With the GX80 (known at the GX8in the US), Panasonic’s taken the well-liked GXand streamlined some of the features to end-up with an appealing alternative that’s more competitively priced. Despite sacrificing the clever tilting EVF, resolution is actually improved on the fixed EVF on the GX80, and while it also forgoes the 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds sensor and replaced by the older 16MP chip, the AA filter has been removed for sharper images. The GX80 also comes with 4K video capture, with the ability to capture 8MP stills from recorded footage – it’s like a ultra-fast 30fps burst mode). Handling could be a bit more polished, but AF is fast and accurate, compact body and lens combination, very effective in-body anti-shake control and 4K video make this a very well-rounded camera.
You’ll need a second battery
With 2million pixels the Amay not be able to able to capture quite the same amount of detail as its high resolution sibling, the A7R II, but as it has the same sized sensor you get the same level of control over depth of field. That means you can make your sharp subject stand out from a blurred background, while the level of detail is excellent. This second-generation model benefits from a number of improvements, including 5-axis image stabilisation, an all-magnesium body and a wide selection of supported video formats.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on how it’s different from Apple and Google
Size & Weight
DSLR camera bodies are comparatively larger, as they need to fit in both a mirror and a prism. The body of the
Nikon D3400, for example, is a rather bulky inches deep before you put the lens on the front. With the 18-55mm kit lens, the camera weighs about 1.pounds.
A mirrorless camera body can be smaller than a DSLR, with simpler construction. The Sony A6300 has a body just 1.inches thick and weighs 1.7pounds with its 16-50mm kit lens.
You can carry a mirrorless camera more easily and fit more gear, such as extra lenses, into a camera bag.
DSLRs used to have the advantage here, because they use a technology called phase detection, which quickly measures the convergence of two beams of light. Mirrorless cameras were restricted to a technology called contrast detection, which uses the image sensor to detect the highest contrast, which coincides with focus. Contrast detection is slower — especially in low light — than phase detection.
This is no longer the case, though, as mirrorless cameras now have both phase and contrast detection sensors built into the image sensor, and can use both to refine their autofocus. The Sony a6300, for instance, has 42phase detection autofocus points its image sensor, while the Nikon D3400 has 1phase-detection sensors in its separate AF sensor, and uses the entire image sensor for contrast detection.
Sony A6300 and the
Olympus OM-D E-MMark II, can capture 4K, or Ultra HD, video with four times the resolution of HD footage. The technology is slowly trickling down to lower-priced mirrorless models. Currently, only higher-end DSLRs, such as the
Nikon D, shoot 4K/Ultra HD video. Video professionals, if they use a still-photo camera at all, tend to prefer DSLRs, because the cameras have access to a huge range of high-end lenses. Autofocus isn’t a concern for pros because they can often focus in advance, knowing where their subjects will stand in a scripted scene.
Generally, DSLRs offer longer battery life, as they can shoot without using the LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder, both of which consume a lot of power. However, both types will have similar battery lives if you use the LCD screens to preview and view captured images a lot, as this consumes a lot of power. However, all DSLRs and mirrorless cameras come with removable batteries, so you can carry a spare.
Lenses & Accessories
Choosing a DSLR gives you access to a plethora of lenses from a number of manufacturers, ranging from cheap and satisfactory to professional and wildly expensive. Mirrorless models are more restricted, offering access to a small number of lenses from the camera maker, though the selection is growing.
The proprietary mirrorless systems from manufacturers like Sony (A series) and Pentax (Q cameras) have the fewest lenses, because these companies have only recently introduced mirrorless models. Sony offers more than three dozen E-mount lenses, for instance, while Nikon has hundreds of lenses available for its DSLRs. Mirrorless cameras such as the Olympus PEN series using the Micro Four Thirds sensor format have the widest selection of mirrorless cameras because they have been around the longest and are available from several companies. Olympus and Panasonic make the cameras and lenses. But Sigma, Tamron and other companies also make Micro Four Thirds lenses. You can generally purchase adapters to use DSLR-size lenses on a mirrorless camera that’s made by the same manufacturer (such as for Canon or Sony). But that often comes at a price of altering the focal length and zoom characteristics and sometimes disabling or slowing functions such as autofocus.
There is no spec that tells you which camera is best. And few specs can be taken at face value.
Resolution (“megapixels”) doesn’t matter unless you’re a pro or already understand why. Sensor size, autofocus system and image-stabilization system are among the features that do.
Don’t get hung up on making sure you’ve got the “best” or newest in a particular class. The truth is, one camera rarely beats the rest on all four major criteria — photo quality, performance, features and design. And last-year’s (or even the year before’s) models tend to be perfectly fine as well as a lot cheaper.
Try before you buy. Make sure it fits comfortably in your hand and that it’s not so big or heavy that you’ll prefer to leave it at home. It should provide quick access to the most commonly used functions, and menus should be simply structured, logical and easy to learn. Touchscreen models can allow for greater functionality, but can also be frustrating if the controls and menus are poorly organized.
Inspect the Back
The back of your old mirror also reveals much about its age. Antique mirrors typically feature a wood rather than a paper backing. Examine the construction to ensure all nails, screws and hangers are true to the period. Hand-forged fasteners will look extremely crude and irregular compared to modern, machine-made versions. Inspect the back for a mark or tag indicating the maker and place of origin.
Look for Clues in the Frame
The overall condition and material used to make a mirror frame plays an important role in valuation. Look for imperfections that differentiate a handmade mirror from a pristine reproduction. The frame should show reasonable signs of wear and even minor damage. Old frame materials include solid wood, wood veneer, plaster composition or metal. Examine the mirror frame for extensive restorative work. An sloppy or obvious repair job will detract from its value.
Take Note of Fakes
There are some really talented people out there whose sole purpose is to fool us into thinking we own a valuable an antique mirror, when in fact it is a artfully crafted reproduction. They do an excellent job replicating old mirror glass, frames and even hand-wrought hardware. If you find yourself completely stumped when examining your old mirror, try some of the following tips to further determine if your mirror is the “real deal”.
Research Online Antique Sites
Check reputable online antique sites for similar mirrors. A broad search of “antique mahogany mirrors” can produce millions of results and leave you highly frustrated. Look at online photos of old mirrors to identify a time period and style. Once you have a rough idea of the age and style of your mirror, use a combination of descriptive keywords to narrow your search as much as possible.
Words such as “Georgian”, “Regency”, “Empire”, “Louis” or “Victorian” will refer to the monarchy at the time the mirror was made. You can also use keywords like “baroque”, “directoire”, “gothic” or “neoclassical” which indicate the style of the mirror and also point to a time of manufacture. In addition to giving an idea of value, online antique sites often include details about each mirror—information that may provide insight into the history and rarity of your mirror. Corroborate your findings by consulting multiple online antique and auction sites.
Hire an Appraiser
If your investigative work to this point suggests you might own a valuable, old mirror, consider investing in a certified appraisal. An antique appraisal will lend credibility to your research and establishes value. Written appraisals consist of a complete item description, an opinion of fair market retail value and an indication of replacement value for insurance purposes. Appraisers charge flat fees or hourly rates, which can set you back several hundred dollars based on the amount of information requested.
Collimate w ith a homemade tool
Get an old plastic film canister and pierce the base in the centre with a 1-2mm drill bit. Put a paper-reinforcing ring on the exact centre of the telescope’s main mirror.
Take out the eyepiece and replace it with the collimation tool. Adjust the set of screws on the secondary mirror that aren’t on the back of it so that the paper ring is in the centre of the view, seen through the tool.
Make sure that the secondary mirror appears circular, not slightly elliptical, when seen through the collimating tool by adjusting the same screws on the secondary mirror.
Centre the main mirror by adjusting the screws on the back of the mirror holder. Look directly through the collimation tool. The view should look like the third image above, with the hole in the collimation tool in the middle of the paper-reinforcing ring. Your scope is now collimated.
Use Different Grades of Abrasive
Coarse abrasives can rip through old varnishes and thin paint layers fast but will leave ugly scratches in wood or stucco. Finish with fine abrasive paper, and the surface will be mirror smooth to the naked eye.
Remember, if you are stripping old, thickly layered paint, you will need to remove the paint with a chemical stripper first. Oil based paints quickly clog abrasive papers.
For most home decoration, three grades of abrasive are all you need. Usually makers give codes like this: P60, P80 and P120. The P stands for ‘particle’ and the number tells you how many particles there are per square centimeter.
P60 is coarse, P80 medium and P120 is fine. P180 can be useful for sanding between coats of paint or varnish.
There are two ways to fix abrasive sheets to a sander
If you have a lot of work to do, using rolls or sheets is much more economical.
You cut the right size and attach it to the sander with clips. These clips are critical in the long term use of a sander, so look for a model with robust features. If the clips break, the sander is useless.
Abrasives with a backing that includes cloth reinforcement is more durable than a purely paper backing. Thin, non-reinforced sheets break easily on rough surfaces or edges.
Makita is the only maker that I could recommend.
Makita sanders are quiet, low-vibration, and powerful. Not only is the motor good, the clips on a Makita sander are durable and hold the paper tightly, even after years of use.
Vibration and noise are especially important if you are working for a long period. Inferior sanders can leave your hands numb and your ears ringing. Excess vibration, common with cheap sanders, also means slow, very tiring work as you force the abrasive to its task.
Pressure indicator lights on a Skill sander
Round sanders are easy to use on big surfaces. They sweep back and forth more smoothly than their square or rectangular cousins and many people find it easier to get a flat finish as a result.
Some sanders of this kind have a brake that automatically cuts in if you apply too much pressure. This prevents you from accidentally damaging the surface and also eases pressure on the motor, giving it a longer life.
Skil is one manufacturer that has a system of indicator lights to tell you how much pressure you are applying. This is very useful for beginners who might otherwise find it hard to get a flat finish. It gives you feedback on the best technique for steady, even sanding.
Some uses of a belt sander.
Belt-sanders are not suitable for fine finishing but they are invaluable for tougher work.
If you are stripping a large wooden floor or deck of its old finish, a large drum sander that you push back and forth is the best option. A smaller, handheld belt sander is needed to reach edges and into corners.
A small floor or deck can be sanded with a handheld belt sander on its own, with a little patience.
Belt sanders can also be used to true up bent boards, flatten warped or buckled table tops or strip tough finishes from furniture.
Femtoline laser mirrors are designed to be used in femtosecond laser applications with fundamental wavelengths of Ti:sapphire and Yb:KGW/KYW lasers and their doubled, tripled or quadrupled frequencies. Nd:YAG laser mirrors are designed for Nd:YAG Laser fundamental wavelengths and its harmonics: 1064 nm, 532 nm, 355 nm, 266 nm.
See us at Photonics West in San Francisco, Jan 2– Feb. 1, 201(booth 639)!
NANEO Precision IBS Coatings GmbH
NANEO Precision IBS Coatings GmbH manufactures high-precision IBS-COATED LASER MIRRORS for kilowatt-lasers, high power BEAM COMBINING MIRRORS, phase-controlled mirrors, and dispersion-controlled mirrors for femtosecond lasers with high powers.
Advice on Laser Mirrors
Ask RP Photonics for advice on laser mirrors. Also, RP Photonics has the powerful
RP Coating software for designing optimized laser mirrors, taking into account a wide range of properties.
Definition: high-quality mirrors used in laser resonators and other optical setups
How to cite the article; suggest additional literature
The resonator of a laser contains mirrors, which must meet a number of criteria, in particular
In almost all cases, dielectric mirrors based on multilayer structures (mostly quarter-wave mirrors) are used as laser mirrors. (The article on dielectric coatings presents some details on the fabrication of dielectric laser mirrors.)
Normally, one of the mirrors, which is used as output coupler
Some mirrors can also be made as dichroic mirrors, allowing the injection of pump light into the gain medium of an end-pumped laser. (For some quasi-three-level lasers, the requirements on such dichroic mirrors can be demanding due to a close proximity of pump and laser wavelength.)
Dielectric laser mirrors.
The photograph has been kindly provided by EKSMA OPTICS.
Of course, laser mirrors can also be used to reflect light outside the laser resonator.
For example, it is common to use a pair of steering mirrors, each deflecting the beam by ≈ 90°, for sending a laser beam into some apparatus.
The mirror mounts of the steering mirrors typically have two or three adjustment screws, which make it possible to adjust the virtual origin and direction of the beam.
Even highly reflecting laser mirrors have some residual transmission.
Particularly in solid-state lasers, this can lead to additional output beams with substantial powers, which are sometimes used for diagnostic purposes, such as for monitoring the laser power without using a part of the output beam.
However, problems can arise from the nonuniformity of the residual transmission, which can be strong for highly reflecting mirrors.
Usually, laser mirrors are fabricated based on glass substrates (e.g. BKor fused silica), but it is also possible to deposit mirror coatings directly on a laser crystal (or glass), e.g. for monolithic lasers.
Typical mirror substrates are of cylindrical shape, with a diameter of e.g. 1 inch (≈ 25.4 mm) or 0.5 inch, and a thickness of e.g. 6 mm.
Even for highly reflecting mirrors, some substrate properties can be important, in particular the surface quality, but also high stiffness, a low thermal expansion coefficient and/or a high thermal conductivity (to avoid thermal bulging in high-power lasers).
For partially transmitting mirrors, it can also be important to have a high optical homogeneity (to avoid beam distortions for the transmitted light) as well as low absorption and scattering losses.
Mirror substrates may have curved surfaces, leading to focusing or defocusing laser mirrors.
The effective focal length is one half the curvature radius, assuming normal incidence.
For strong curvature, e.g. with a radius of curvature well below 10 mm, it can be difficult to obtain high-quality mirror coatings.
Some specialists can make good mirrors with radii of the order of 1 mm.
Mounts for Laser Mirrors
Laser mirrors are often placed on adjustable mounts (see Figure 2).
By turning two or three adjustment screws, one can align a laser resonator, for example.
High-quality mounts allow for stable mounting while applying little mechanical stress to the mirror substrate, and exhibit a long-term stable mirror orientation with little influences of temperature changes.
Many people are attracted to bridge cameras by their big zoom lenses without asking themselves whether they need such a lens. In reality, there are fewer uses for a 500mm or 1000mm equivalent lens than most people think. The most obvious applications for such lenses are nature and wildlife photography and sport. In these cases you may not be able to get close enough to your subject to fill the frame. If you want to photograph deer in the park, birds in your garden, or the kids playing in school sports tournaments bridge cameras come into their own (though with fast moving subjects the contrast detect AF system may struggle to keep up). Long lenses can be good for travel too, and for candid portraiture. But for most day to day shooting the vast majority of images are taken within the focal range provided by the average 10x zoom lens.
The size and shape
If you have big hands, and find compacts too fiddly, you may prefer the design and shape of bridge cameras which, like DSLRs, offer a substantial grip, a lens you can support more easily and a good number of decent sized buttons, reducing the need to keep going into the menu.
Here are other things to look for
GPS means your location as well as your speed is recorded. The GPS data syncs up with the video clips when played back in software bundled with the dash cam so you can watch the footage and see your location on a map.
Also, most manufacturers don’t recommend leaving the camera turned on when parked as it can drain the battery. Plus, many cars cut power to the accessory socket when you turn off the ignition, so you may need to get the camera hard-wired by a professional to use this feature.
Hardwire kits can be installed to give the camera power all the time, or in cars whose 12V socket remains on when you turn off the ignition. The latter is handy as it means the camera can’t drain the car’s battery if you accidentally leave it plugged in.
Accessories vary between dash cams, but you can expect a fairly long power cable which is designed to be routed around your windscreen and down to your 12V socket. It’s a shame that manufacturers don’t provide a long USB cable instead, as you’d then be able to use a 12V USB adaptor with multiple USB outputs.
If you use the included cable, you won’t be able to use your 12V socket for anything else, such as charging your phone. Also check out our Tronsmart USB Rapid Car Charger review.
The Nextbase 312GW is an excellent all-round dash cam. It offers great-quality footage during the day, is easy to use and has a convenient magnetic mount that allows you to quickly remove and replace the camera without unplugging cables.
It has GPS, and is very easy to install: all the options are preset so it’s as simple as mounting it on the windscreen and plugging it in.
As long as you don’t want your video recorded at 60 frames per second (it supports 30fps at full HD, which is fine), it’s the best choice for most people unless you are on a more limited budget.
Insight Retina Slit Lamp
InSight is a fully integrated, advanced laser delivery technology and slit lamp bio-microscope. This system uses Lumenis’ patented collinear (CoLin) design, which projects both illumination and laser beam on the same pathway. The CoLin mechanism is controlled directly through the InSight’s integrated joystick, which features their patented AcuGuide technology for fine movement and beam manipulation. The unit’s stereoscopic angle was designed to provide better depth perception and superior peripheral viewing. This system features a homogeneous laser spot at the target tissue with evenly distributed power across the full diameter of the spot. ClearView filters’ photopic balanced coating eliminates color distortion of the treatment site while optimizing white light transmission.
Lumenis 1000 Slit Lamp
This slit lamp is a fully integrated bio-microscope slit lamp laser delivery system. It comes with built-in LaserLink, parallel optics, magnification changer, micromanipulator and automatic eye safety filters (53nm, 56nm, and 65nm) and wheelchair accessible power table. This lamp is compatible with the Selecta Trio, Novus Spectra, and Novus Varia. It has 50 – 1000 um Z-Link containing SureSpot optics. It also has ClearView filters for enhanced visibility, a switchable physician elbow rest and an auto-sensing 100 – 240 V input power.
Lumenis 990 Slit Lamp
This is a diagnostic slit lamp bio-microscope that is compatible with Selecta II and Novus Spectra Laser Systems. It has convergent optics, a tonometer mount, locking caster wheels and a power table that is wheelchair accessible. It easily adapts to Convergent Optics LaserLink and has an auto-sensing 100 – 240 V input power.
Ultra GZoom Slit Lamp
Marco has redesigned the Ultra series utilizing a multi-layered, multi-coated system, which transmits light more efficiently, producing a 20% increase in optical resolution and clarity. The redesign also results in a 20% increase in light transmission, a 15% expanded field of view and a 14% increase in depth of field. The Galilean optics feature a 6-degree convergence angle for the binoculars. The high-eyepoint eyepieces create a field of view 1.3x wider than conventional slit lamps. The eyepieces are threaded and locking to eliminate slipping. They also feature individual adjustable dioptric rings for neutralizing refractive error. Magnification ranges from 5.9x to 35x. The Gmodel has a ‘flip-up’ magnification display mirror. This slit lamp also has a high-resolution motorized zoom optical system, adjustable by the fingertips to switch zoom/focus and illumination intensity. There is a specially coated reflection mirror that reflects harmful UV rays. There is an LED fixation light and an optional large patient headrest. Accessories include applanation tonometers, Hruby lenses, assistant scopes, beam splitters for full video equipment, and inclined oculars to reduce neck strain.
Slit Lamp SL-1800
This slit lamp has a Galilean converging binocular microscope and a wide field high eye point type eyepiece. It also has a yellow filter for easy observation and evaluation of contact lens fit in fluorescent light. The single joystick allows for smooth 3D movements.
XCEL 400 Slit Lamp
Like the 25slit lamp, the 400 operates with a Galilean microscope with 10x, 16x, and 25x magnification. Slit rotation is the same. It includes a neutral density filter in addition to the others on the 25model. Illumination is the same, as well as the dimensions.
SL-1E Slit Lamp
This slit lamp has a 14mm width and height slit illumination with cobalt blue and red free filters. It has 10x and 16x magnifications with the 10x eyepieces and 16x and 25x magnifications available with the 16x eyepieces. It uses halogen illumination.
SL 2G Slit Lamp
This slit lamp uses LED light instead of traditional bulbs. It has 10x, 16x, and 25x magnification. The oculars are Galileo convergence type and accept the attachment of a beam splitter. R-900 and 870 type applanation tonometers can be mounted. This unit also has red free and cobalt blue filters.
SL 3G Slit Lamp This slit lamp is a stereoscopic converging microscope using a halogen bulb. It has built-in filters: cobalt blue, red free, 13% neutral density and heat absorbing. It has an angular measurement scale for the fitting of astigmatic contact lenses. Magnification can be changed from 1x to 1.6x.
SL-DDigital-Ready Slit Lamp
The SL-Dis part of Topcon’s D-Series Digital Slit Lamps. It can be used as a conventional examination instrument or with the optional DC-integrated digital camera for megapixel imaging. There are magnification ratios of 10x, 16x, and 25.6x selectable with a Galilean-type drum.
How to Choose Your First Telescope
You’ll get lots of hype when trying to pick a telescope. But by knowing just a few basics, like the types of telescopes described here, you’ll be able to choose the one that’s right for your observing interests, lifestyle, and budget.
With a little guidance, you can pick a high-quality telescope that can last a lifetime.
A close second
The Honda CR-V has plenty of room for both passengers and cargo, drives well, gets best-in-class fuel economy, and costs the least to own in this category. But it doesn’t drive nearly as well as our top pick, and its interior isn’t as nice.
The safest one
The Subaru Forester provides a spacious interior, good overall performance, and many features for the money, including a reasonably priced array of the latest safety systems, but it isn’t as affordable, stylish, or satisfying to drive as our top pick.
Why should you trust me
I am proud to be the go-to guy among my circle of relatives, friends, and acquaintances for car-buying advice; I take it personally whenever someone I know buys a new car without consulting me first. Outside the auto arena I am an avid bargain hunter who over-researches even modest purchases, slavishly compares prices, and looks for coupons and discounts in search of the best deals.
Their inherent versatility makes them a great option for lots of people.
Crossovers are basically tall, car-based wagons that can carry more in the cargo space than can fit in a car’s trunk, especially when you take advantage of their split-folding rear seats. Most compact crossover SUVs are tall enough to carry potted houseplants or other odd-size objects that would never fit easily in an ordinary passenger car. Their inherent versatility makes them a great option for lots of people, including small families looking for a starter vehicle, empty-nesters who want to travel with a new grandchild (and the accompanying baby paraphernalia) on occasion, young millennials who have lots of stuff to carry around, and active people who need room for all their gear.
Their appeal is among the most wide-reaching in the car business, says Joe Lorio of Car and Driver: “I don’t think you can say that there’s one buyer for whom a compact crossover is perfect. Compact crossovers appeal to a wide variety of people, which explains their booming popularity.”
Thomas Mutchler of Consumer Reports agrees: “Compact crossovers will replace the midsized sedan in many driveways because they can do more things.” That’s true—they have about the same pricing, can carry more, sit up higher, and offer AWD across the board.
Because compact crossover SUVs are usually based on the same platform as compact cars, they also have relatively small exterior dimensions that make them easy to maneuver and park in tight spaces. For instance, the Ford Focus sedan/hatchback and Ford Escape crossover are built on the same car platform, which makes the Escape something like a tall, high-riding wagon version of the Focus with available AWD.
How we picked
We chose the Mazda CX-as our top pick among the 1compact crossover SUVs we considered based on extensive research that began with comparing each model’s specifications, projected ownership costs, fuel economy, safety ratings, and warranty coverage. We not only consulted the opinions of other automotive experts but also conducted our own test drives of each model under real-world circumstances.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Though excellent in most regards, the 201Mazda CX-does have a few peculiarities. Specifically, the vehicle’s otherwise slick Mazda Connect information and entertainment system could be more intuitive to operate, some road and wind noise becomes noticeable at highway speeds, and Mazda offers a few key features—including automatic climate control and some of the latest high-tech accident-avoidance systems—only on the top Grand Touring version.
Mastering the new “infotainment” system involves a learning curve.
While we were generally impressed with the look and feel of the CX-5’s new-for-201Mazda Connect system, which is included on all versions except the base model, its graceful graphic interface takes a while to master. Looking and feeling like similar systems in upscale Audi and BMW vehicles, it gives you a center-console-mounted rotary dial and a series of three shortcut buttons for entering commands. Among multimedia systems, it’s far from being the most onerous to control, as the secret, we discovered, lies in the series of icons situated across the bottom of the screen that serve as gateways to specific tasks. Had the menu icons been labeled, as they are in the Jeep Cherokee’s popular UConnect system, learning Mazda Connect might have been easier. Like many such “infotainment” systems in competing models, however, Mazda’s makes some ordinarily simple operations, such as changing a radio station, a bit more difficult—not to mention distracting—than they are with old-fashioned analog buttons and dials.
What to look forward to
Over the next couple of years, automakers will continue to attract buyers with new and revised compact crossovers that offer the latest features, particularly advanced connectivity and safety systems. Smaller, turbocharged engines will become widespread for their appealing combination of power and frugal fuel economy, with the last of the V6-powered models eventually phased out. Prices should continue to rise, especially in top trim levels with a full rack of added features; automakers will likely court price-conscious shoppers with the growing number of slightly more affordable subcompact crossover SUVs that are just becoming available, including the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-(Look for a separate guide to those models soon.)
A slew of models are expected to receive major redesigns for the 201model year. Honda is reportedly set to build the next-generation Honda CR-V on a new platform and likely to drop the current 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine in favor of a new 1.5-liter turbo four. The Kia Sportage is due for a 201makeover, though it’s expected to retain the same mechanical components. Reports suggest that MINI will make the 201MINI Countryman larger to better distinguish it from the rest of the line, and that the Countryman will receive new features such as a head-up display and assorted collision warning systems. The 201Volkswagen Tiguan is expected to be longer and wider than the current model to add much needed passenger volume and cargo room, with a third-row seat a possibility. A new European version of the Tiguan just debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it should be a lot like the one we’ll get in the US.
Wrapping it up
The Mazda CX-Touring is the best compact crossover SUV out of the 1models we considered because it does just about everything right and exceeds expectations. Tastefully stylish on the outside, it treats its occupants to a roomy, thoughtfully designed, and richly trimmed interior that makes it look and feel like a more expensive model. The CX-delivers energetic levels of performance that most drivers should appreciate, with peppy acceleration and precise cornering abilities that make it truly fun and engaging to drive. This affordable-to-purchase vehicle offers a full array of features, gets good fuel economy, promises good reliability, and should cost less to own over time than the others. For our money, no other compact crossover SUV excels in so many areas as the CX-5.
Things to Consider
I’m a simple guy. I only want one thing in a mirror: to show my reflection clearly. As long as a mirror doesn’t fog up too badly while I’m shaving, I consider it a success. Still, there are a few things you should keep in mind while shopping for a shaving mirror.
Location, location. Do you shave in the shower, or do you prefer to shave over the bathroom sink? Will your shaving mirror replace your main bathroom mirror or compliment it? Answering these questions will go a long way towards determining how big or small your mirror should be.
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The new-car market is bursting with activity; it’s incredible how many options exist from affordable subcompacts to high-end sports cars and midsize sedans filled with premium options formerly reserved for the very top of the luxury market. There are plenty of luxurious options as well, and we’ve covered them all right here.
All-new last year under Toyota’s departed Scion brand, the iM (pictured) transitions to the Toyota brand as part of the Corolla lineup. There are no changes for the Corolla iM except for the Scion badges being replaced by Toyota ones. The 137-hp, 1.8-liter I-can be paired to a six-speed manual or a CVT. The car comes with a generous list of standard equipment.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Handheld Mirrors wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Handheld Mirrors
- №1 — Unbreakable Stainless Steel Makeup Mirrors,Vanity Mirror for Purse Handbag Travel, Cosmetic Rectangular…
- №2 — Easehold LED lighted Folding Travel Makeup Mirror, 1X/7X Handheld Double Sided Magnifying Cosmetic Vanity Mirror, Black
- №3 — Soft ‘N Style Hand Mirror 4-1/2″ x 3-3/4″ 6 white 6 black (Pack of 12)