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The Real Deal 156: dSLR specs

Stephen Shankland drops by to talk about the specs you should look for when buying a dSLR camera.

Stephen Shankland drops by to talk about the specs you should look for when buying a dSLR camera.

Listen now: Download today's podcast

Real Deal 156

dSLR spec discussion

Specs that matter if you want to take serious pictures.

To talk about
Sensor size
Light sensitivity
Lens focal length (recommendations for snapshots, portraits, macro, tourism, general-purpose)
Sensor dust-removal system
Vibration reduction
Flash spec (not a big deal for built-in flash)
Frames per second
Focusing method
Live view
LCD specs
Memory card formats

Camera handling speed / control layout

What about rangefinder pro cameras (Leica, others?)

Brands to look at
The big guys: Canon, Nikon
How to the nonpro brands stack up: Sony, Oly, Pentax, etc.

How good, what do you give up?


Dr Karl asks (in addition to a bunch of stuff we’ve already covered):

I'd like to get a dSLR, but I'm a dSLR n00b. Canon or Nikon? Is now a good time to invest in one?

As far as where I print my pictures... Ritz went bankrupt!! This makes me sad because they really offered superior quality and service.

So where do I go now?! Suggestions? Walmart? Snapfish? (I don't much like either of those.) Where do I go to get good quality pictures?

What's Flickr's deal with prints?



AmandaAC1 — I’d like to know which point and shoot cameras have the quickest shutter. I’m not up for spending dSLR money but I hate always missing the moments. Thanks.

***********COMMERCIAL BREAK*******************


Hi Tom and Rafe,

I pre-ordered my G1 and have used it for over five months now. By far my favorite application is DoggCatcher. It is a podcast client that has freed me from the tyranny of iTunes and syncing to get my podcasts onto a portable device. They download in the background, over Wi-Fi, or 3G, right to the phone. I always have something to listen to.

Thanks guys!

Westland, Mich.


You mentioned on BOL to send you a few Android apps since you neglected to mention them last week. Well there are several I can’t see myself functioning without now, but by far the most useful is Locale. I would say every G1 owner knows and uses this app, but I mainly wanted to mention it to rub it in the face of all the iPhone owners. This is background processing at its finest. You set up conditions and your settings change when those conditions are met. For example, every time I get to work Locale automatically identifies this with GPS and sets my phone to vibrate. There are endless combinations of conditions based off location, power, time, etc., which can adjust almost every possible setting. It also incorporates SMS and Twitter (for example: every time you go to a restaurant it automatically tweets how much you love their dinner rolls). I have TONS of conditions set up on my phone but I will refrain from rambling and direct you to their Web site to see all the possibilities. Thanks guys. Love the show!

Corey in Chattanooga, Tenn.

More great suggestions on the blog — Need Palm suggestions, too!

Stephen recommends Twidroid for monitoring Twitter.
MyTracks - GPS stat keeper.


by PullSlice April 1, 2009 7:24 AM PDT Which iPhone chess app are you talking about, Tom? From their descriptions at the App Store, it doesn’t seem like either Chess Lite or Chess Pro can do the “play a game with Contacts” iPhone-to-iPhone thing you were talking about, which is the most important part of the app for me. “Chess With Friends” maybe? Which specific one do you use?

A: Chess with friends


Hey Tom and Rafe,

I absolutely love listening to The Real Deal podcast and have finally found an alternative to iTunes or Zune. Songbird, while it took me a bit to figure out how to get it to work, is my new podcast consumption application. If by chance you mention it please let the other listeners know that you need to navigate to the podcast's page and enter that URL in as the podcast URL. It seems to only work for sites that contain the MP3 links. I am still a bit new to it so I could be mistaken. This is important to me since I was looking for an alternative media device and podcasts are a big deal to me. I intend to get a Sony Walkman and now I won't have to manually download every episode I want to listen to. Also, Songbird organizes the playlist for you in an already familiar way.

Love the show!
Jon O.


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