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>> The Real Deal, episode 156, DSLR Specs.
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>> Welcome to CNET.com's The Real Deal. I'm Tom Merritt.
>> Hi, I'm Rafe Needlemen.
>> And Stephen Shankland is joining us today.
>> Hi, Steven.
>> Hi, guys.
>> Hey, welcome.
>> So we're doing the show today on what you should look for in a digital SLR, not a cheapo point and shoot. And Stephen here is our expert, him being the Google reporter, and also shutterbug extraordinaire. He knows of what he speaks.
>> Yes, he does.
>> And --
>> We're very happy that you could take some time to chat with us about some DSLR specs, especially because I know absolutely nothing.
>> Yeah, well --
>> About DSLR. Really.
>> It's a big market. Everybody's getting into it now. The compact camera market's kind of saturated, and so all the growth is happening in the SLR market. Smaller, but it's hot.
>> These things are expensive, though.
>> Well, they're less expensive than they used to be.
>> You can get them now for less than 500 bucks. So --
>> But, dude, a point and shoot is, like, a $110.00.
>> Yeah. So --
>> And --
>> Do you want nice images? Or do you want a point and shoot?
>> And a point and shoot will fit in your pocket.
>> Yeah. And as the classic expression goes, you know, the camera you have with you will take better pictures than the, you know, wondrous $1,000.00 marvel that you left at home because it's too bulky to carry around. But that said, there are a lot of people who care about their photos, especially their photos of their, you know, children, their kids at the soccer game, their daughter at the ballet recital. And you know, an SLR's gonna do a lot better with those kinds of -- those more challenging pictures.
>> Tom, are you convinced?
>> I am absolutely convinced. I understand the idea. We actually have an SLR that my wife uses. But what, when you're buying them -- we -- let me just tell you how we bought our SLR. We chose our SLR because it was the one we could afford with points in the catalog from our credit card company. So if I were to actually go out and mean to buy one, what kind of specs do I actually need to look at?
>> Yeah, let's ask, what's the most important spec? I mean is it -- it's megapixels, right?
>> Oh, yeah, megapixels -- no, megapixels is not the most important spec. So megapixels is nice. You know, a few years ago, five years ago, eight years ago, you had to worry about not having enough megapixels. Today, you have enough megapixels. Unless you are a professional or a serious amateur, you're probably not gonna be constrained by having enough megapixels. You know, the smallest number I think you can get today is six megapixels on a Nikon D40. And that's plenty for an eight by ten photograph, which is all most people are ever gonna print. So megapixels is not something you have to worry about, really, these days. The megapixel race is still alive and well. Canon says it's, you know, kicking up the -- you know, it'll add as many megapixels as it can. And, you know, you do get some advantages with better -- with more megapixels, but really, it's not what you should be focusing on.
>> So what -- which -- ha, ha. So what should you be zooming in on.
>> So there's not an easy statistic for image quality. You have to, you know, read some reviews and see what the sample images look like, but image quality is really what you want to be looking for. What you want to be looking for especially is low light image quality. That's when you're shooting at a high ISO because there are a lot of people who are --
>> Wow, slow down there, Hartford.
>> Okay, so here's the deal. You want to take a picture of your kid blowing out the birthday candles.
>> Yeah, what the hell is ISO?
>> It's dark.
>> So what you have to do is you have to turn up the sensitivity of your camera. Sensitivity is set with something called ISO. And --
>> What's ISO stand for?
>> Oh, it's actually for the International Standards Organization, which --
>> Okay. All right.
>> -- sits about a million other standards, but they got their name on the camera sensitivity. So basically what you get when you put your camera at higher ISO is you can shoot in the dark. What you lose is image quality, so that noises -- you get noise damage, these little color speckles, grainy -- it's kind of like film grain from days of yore.
>> It's like when you press your hands into your eyeballs, right?
>> Yes, it's just about as pleasant looking at it, too.
>> So a good camera will handle high ISO better. So if you look at detailed camera review sites, then you can look at the sample images and see how noisy the images get when you go up to ISO 400, to ISO 800, to ISO 1600. A lot of cameras will top out there. SLRs nowadays go higher, 3200, sometimes, you know, even well over that. So see how well the camera does at high ISO because that's where you're gonna be challenged when you're trying to take a picture of the birthday party of the kid that's indoors where there really isn't enough light.
>> All right. And so the unwritten, or the unspoken thing here is not to use flash.
>> Yeah, you can use flash, but you get -- you get -- often get a lot of washed out, you know, really bright, white faces. And, you know, the person who's in front of you is really white, and then the person who's a couple feet beyond that is invisible. You get inconsistent quality with flashes. But, you know; it works. A lot of people do it. And for their snapshots that's perfectly good.
>> So going back to sensitivity, or ISO -- is it eye-so or ISO?
>> I say ISO.
>> I say ISO; let's call the whole thing off.
>> Yeah. Is there a number or a spec or what do you look for that will tell me that? I mean --
>> Yeah, how high should I be concerned with with ISO?
>> Because camera A will -- has a dial that goes up to 6400 and so does camera B. Which ones' better?
>> Right. So the -- here's an interesting thing. So high how the dial goes is a very crude indicator of how well it actually performs at high ISO. So you actually should go, look at a camera review, and look at the sample images, and see what they look like at ISO 800 or 1600 and judge from there because just because the camera goes up to 3200 doesn't mean you're gonna want to use that, necessarily. So it's not just and easy check box, you can look at the side of the box and it says, oh, ISO 3200. Therefore, it must be good. You really do have to look at it, especially because once camera makers figured out that people were paying attention to this spec, they just added another, you know, another notch onto the top of the dial, and -- you know, so that they could play the spec game without actually improving image quality. So you really have to look beyond just the number, I'm afraid.
>> So I don't need to worry about megapixels so much. I just need to look at the ISO to find out how well it does, and I don't need to worry about anything above 3200, probably, right?
>> It depends on your budget. So, if you have money, then you actually can afford to look higher than 3200. And it's nice --
>> But I do I need to -- do I need to spend that much.
>> No, you don't need to. I mean -- it -- like I said, it's -- it depends on your budget. So I have a bigger camera budget than your average person, and I shoot at ISO 6400 fairly often because I'm in a situation where I need to, and I can't get --
>> You don't mean to brag, but --
>> Well, no. But -- but -- so the point is you will be able to use the higher ISO if you have it. But you have to pay for it.
>> Okay, yeah. So it's not wasted.
>> No, exactly.
>> No. It's not something like, oh, you're not gonna be smart or fancy enough to use that.
>> Right. So, you know, maybe in 1952, you thought a 50CC motorcycle sounded like a great idea. Today that seems pretty underpowered and anemic. So I'm not trying -- basically, what I'm trying to say is ISO 3200 seems like, you know, pretty good, high performance camera today. A few years from now, it might seem kind of middle of the road. And I can bet that, you know, if there's good image quality at higher ISO in a few years, you'll want to use it.
>> So one of the things I've been hearing about that's related to this, I think, is sensor size. Now, we know -- and I think we've discussed this before on the show -- that a pocket camera, you know, a point and shoot that slips in your pocket is gonna have a little, teeny-tiny sensor, which means the entire image has to get squoze down enough for that small sensor.
>> Squoze, eh?
>> Yes. It's a technical term. Look it up.
>> Squuze. I think it's squuze. Thank you.
>> You're standard consumer SLR has a bigger sensor. And then there are these pro SLRs that have even bigger, full print [phonetic] sensors.
>> So talk to us about the sensor size and why that matters.
>> Sure, so basically what happen when you take a picture with your digital camera is light goes through the lens and then hits the sensor. And the smaller the pixels are on your sensor, the less light each pixel can gather. The problem that that causes is you get more of this noise. It's harder for the camera to tell what is, you know, a little bit of orange that's coming of somebody's shirt from a little -- you know, some electrons knocking around in the sensor. So when you have smaller pixels, then you have more noise. What that equates to is, you know, a worse image. And so that's one of the reasons that more megapixels isn't necessarily desirable because it can actually increase your noise. But so compact cameras are pretty small, and they have small sensors. And so they don't do nearly as well handling noise. SLRs, mainstream SLRs have much larger sensors so you can get a much better image out of them. The professional level SLRs, such as the Canon 5D Mark II, the Nikon D700, and the Sony A900 are all full frame cameras, which means the sensor is as large as a piece of 35 millimeter film, 36 millimeters by 24 millimeters. And those do even better in the dark. And they have better image quality. And they have lower noise. And they have bigger pixels. So those are for, you know, very high quality images.
>> They're also really expensive, aren't they?
>> And the lenses are expensive.
>> Yeah, there's a funny thing. Back in the old days, you know, if you wanted to shoot with a larger piece of film, you know, medium format camera, these funny things that art students carry around. You know, a larger piece of film costs a little bit more than a smaller piece of film, but you know, not a huge amount. But when you're building an image processor -- you know, this is a chip that comes out of a fab. It cost a lot more to make a big chip. So image sensors cost a lot more. Full frame cameras cost a lot more than regular mainstream SLRs, which have a smaller sensor. Now, there's one interesting point here, actually. The compact cameras mostly have very small sensors. But some compact cameras have slightly better, slightly larger sensors. For example, the Canon G10, the PowerShot G10, it has a bit more surface area there, so you actually get a bit more quality. So you can look for the sensor size. It's a funny statistic. You can't usually find it easily, but good reviews will have it. And it'll be -- it'll have something about sensor size. It'll either measure it in -- you know, this many millimeters by that many millimeters or in the -- unfortunately, the industry terms, it'll be a one over some number, so one over one point eight, one over one point six.
>> What does that mean?
>> One over two point three three. It measures the diagonal of the sensor. So what you want is a smaller number on the bottom. So a one over one point seven inch sensor is better than a one over two point three three inch sensor.
>> Yeah, but if I'm, as a noob, going in to buy a DSLR, what are the three to five things that I need to pay attention to the most, do you think?
>> You know, it's a funny thing. One of the things that actually very important is the lens. And a lot of people just don't pay any attention at all to the lens. And --
>> Well, yeah, a lot of times you can buy it without the lens.
>> Well, actually, you know, the top ends ones you can't buy with a lens because the professionals already have their speed of lenses.
>> So make sure you get a lens would be first thing.
>> No, you know, you're gonna get a lens. If you're an entry-level customer, you're buying your first digital SLR, it will come with what's called the "kit lens." And it's a -- you know, it's a fairly inexpensive lens, usually 18 to 55-millimeter, zoom, sort of a moderate wide-angle zoom. And, you know, those lenses are usually okay. But what you want to make sure your SLR has -- there are a few things. The first is you want to make sure that it has image stabilization. Canon calls it IS. Nikon calls it VR for "vibration reduction." And this is now pretty universal, even in low-end cameras because it really does improve the quality of your pictures. This is something that compensates for your shaky hands. And everybody has shaky hands; I don't care how steady you are. That's something that really helps. And, now, even entry-level Canon and Nikon cameras have that. So that's --
>> Yeah, if you don't have shaky hands, you probably should be getting a job in Hollywood somewhere, you know, doing field shoots or something.
>> Now, there are cameras that have image stabilization in the lens, and there are cameras that have image stabilization in the body so they -- you can use them with all lenses. Which should -- what do you prefer?
>> Well, I'm a -- it cuts both ways. So it -- from the reports I've looked at, the lens-based image stabilization actually performs a little bit better.
>> That is to say it can compensate a little more for your -- for camera shake. The problem is you have to have it built into every lens, which means you have to pay for it every time you buy a new lens. If you look at the way Olympus and Sony and Pentax do things, they build the image stabilization into the camera body itself, which means every lens you put on it has image stabilization. But by the tests, the studies I've looked at, it actually doesn't work quite as well. They're getting better, but it doesn't work quite as well, so -- especially on big, telephoto lenses and things like that. So it's not an easy either -- it's not an easy answer, but the market leaders, Canon and Nikon, both built it into the lens. And that's a good way to go.
>> Now, one of the things I'm terrified -- I've been using SLRs since I was in college, and the great thing about them is that you can change lenses. You can go from --you know, I always had cheap lenses because I couldn't afford the fancy zooms, so I would go from my fixed 18-millimeter to the 50 to the 85, whatever. And every now and then you get dust in there, but when you're shooting with a film camera, the image sensor is the -- either the back lens that you can brush off, or the film itself, which is -- you get a new one each shot. With an SLR, you get a dust on the sensor, and you've got it for every single picture. And they tell you don't touch the sensor or you'll ruin it. So what'll you do -- the great thing about SLRs is the interchangeable lenses, but what do you do about the dust problem?
>> It's a big problem. And in particular because dust actually sticks to a sensor worse than it stuck to film from back in the old days, so -- and it -- as you point out, it stays there once it sticks. Newer cameras have systems that will shake the sensor a little bit when you turn it on or turn it off, and that actually can knock the dust off. It's not foolproof, but it does help a lot. There are a lot of warnings about don't clean the sensor, and there's special kits you can get that cost 50 bucks, 80 bucks, 100-something bucks, that will let you clean the sensors, and they're all a hassle. And they're all kind of difficult to use. And it's hard. You know, you can send your camera back to the shop for repairs. A lot of local camera shops will do it for you. It's not an easy situation, but definitely look for a camera that's got some kind of mechanism in there to clean the sensor because it's definitely an issue. Most people who buy a low-end SLR who never changed a kit lens, they're not gonna have a big problem with that. But yeah, as soon as you get into the point where you're changing lenses, it comes up.
>> All right, anything else before we move on to the Dr. Carl questions?
>> Oh, I could ask dozens here. I mean it -- do I -- what else do I care about. I mean should I worry about frames per second? Or --
>> Frames per second is one thing that you can factor in. If you're gonna be taking pictures of your kids playing sports, then it's a relevant statistic. Cheap cameras will do three frames a second; more expensive ones will do four or five, and it goes up from there. But you know, I wouldn't focus too much on it. It's a nice thing, but it's not a critical thing.
>> How about RAW? I mean one of the things that digital cameras will output -- or high-end digital cameras will output their images in this format called -- I think mostly "RAW," which is, like, a billion times larger than a big JPEG.
>> It's three times larger than a JPEG. The problem with RAW --
>> Should I use it?
>> It depends on what you like. I use it exclusively. Every SLR -- every digital SLR supports RAW.
>> And what do you get with it?
>> Unfortunately, the first thing you get is a proprietary file format. So you get locked into somebody's onerous obstreperous data format. So the camera makers each have their own formats, and they change from camera model to camera model, so companies like Apple and Adobe are constantly, you know, buying the latest cameras and reverse engineering the RAW format. It's a big hassle. What you get out of it is a better image. When you create a JPEG from the -- so what a RAW is, is it's the actually data from the sensor before it gets processed into something more convenient like a JPEG file. When you process a JPEG, the camera makes a bunch of assumptions. It says well this is the kind of light it is. This is how dark it was. This is how bright it was. This is, you know, whether it was incandescent light or florescent light or sunlight or shade, and it bakes all these things in there, sharpening, things like that. If you use the RAW image, all that is left up to you. So if you like editing your photos, it's a much better starting point. If you --
>> Sounds like a lot of work.
>> It is a lot of work, but if you like photography -- and a lot of shutterbugs do -- you have a lot more flexibility. And it's a lot more fun, but yes, it's a hassle.
>> And just really briefly, what software do you use, then, to handle RAWs?
>> I use Lightroom and Google Picasa to an extent. Apple's iPhoto software and Aperture are other options.
>> So the main things will handle it.
>> Actually, I wouldn't quite go that far. You know, it's definitely awkward. It's not built into Windows, for example. You can download codecs, but it's definitely awkward.
>> Will GIMP use it?
>> The GIMP? You know, I don't know. I think the GIMP does support RAW. Maybe you have to use a plug-in, DC RAW. I'm not sure exactly, but, you know, it can be done on Linux as well.
>> I'm assuming that PhotoShop handles it easy, right? Yeah.
>> Yeah, PhotoShop has had this for years.
>> It's the only one we didn't mention yet.
>> It'll handle it one-by-one. So RAW is nice, but it's definitely awkward.
>> All right, we got a few questions. Actually Dr. Carl asked a lot of questions, but we're only gonna -- we only have time for a couple. Canon or Nikon?
>> Either. So one of the important things when you are buying a camera is to think about am I the kind of person who's gonna want to buy a whole lot of lenses for this? Am I investing in this as a hobby for the next ten years? Canon and Nikon are definitely the market leaders, and one of the things is once you buy a digital SLR, as soon as you buy your first lens for it besides the one that came with the camera, you're pretty much locked into that manufacturer. You can switch from Canon to Nikon or to Pentax or whoever, but then you have to repurchase all these lenses that you already bought, your telephoto lens, your macro lens for close-up work, your wide-angle zoom, your fast fixed 50-millimeter lens. So you -- it's really easy to get locked in. Canon and Nikon both have a great selection of lenses, and perhaps more importantly, if you're on a budget, there are a lot of people out there selling their lenses used. So if you're on a budget, that's a good way to, you know, explore. And you can also rent lenses from a lot of places, rentglass.com and local camera shops often do it.
>> Josh does that here all the time. He walks up the street to Gasser [phonetic] and comes back showing me this gigantic lens the size of his head. "Look what I got for 20 bucks for the weekend."
>> Yeah, it's a great way to try out new lenses, see if you like it, see if they work or not. So either of those market leaders are good. You know, there are a bunch of other alternatives. Sony is actually now third in the market, having acquired Konica/Minolta. And they have some respectable technology. They're making a big run at the market, but it'll take a long time before they can conquer, or at least contend with, Nikon and Canon. Nikon's gotten a lot more competitive in the last couple of years. They've actually taken market share away from Canon, which was the dominant company for -- really since the digital SLR era began, and, in fact, in the '90s during the film SLR era. So it's good to see there's some solid competition there.
>> And what do you shoot with?
>> I shoot with Canon.
>> Oh, you're a Canon guy. See, I'm a Nikon guy. How about you, Tom?
>> I'm a camera phone guy. Really, really adept with the -- I don't take pictures.
>> The next episode.
>> Yeah, okay.
>> I'm in pictures
>> But I -- yeah.
>> All right.
>> So, yeah, buy whichever suits you. I think right now, you know, it's kind of a price thing. I think at the low end, I think Canon comes out a bit ahead. In my opinion, if you're in the midrange, 1,000 bucks and something, the Nikon D90 is a really sweet camera.
>> Okay. And then Dr. Carl had another good question here. And this relates -- you mentioned Gasser just now, Rafe. And Gasser, for those out there, is a photo place up the street from CNET. It is not a, like, a bar or some place to get helium. And Dr. Carl asks, "As far as where I print my pictures go, Ritz went bankrupt. This makes me sad because they really offered superior quality and service. Where do I go now? Suggestions? Wal-Mart? Snapfish? I don't like either of those much. Where do I go to get good, quality pictures?"
>> And what's the deal with Flickr prints?
>> Well, I actually do print out of Flickr fairly often, so they work for me. You can also -- they have partnerships with assorted other companies like Qoop -- Q-O-O-P. So you can print from Flickr. You can upload there and print. So that's certainly an option.
>> Are they good? Do they do good jobs with prints?
>> I think they do a reasonable job. And you can get, you know, large-size eight by tens, eight by twelves, and other sizes for --
>> Printing is really much cheaper than it used to be, isn't it?
>> Yeah, you know, a buck for an eight by ten, or something.
>> It used to be like if you wanted a print of -- a photo print, it cost, like, 13 bucks or something.
>> Right. And actually, I've used -- there's another place I've used, Fotki -- F-O-T-K-I -- dot com. I've gotten some poster-sized, or you know, medium, 24 by 36-inch prints there. Made off -- I might add, we were talking about the megapixel issue. That's off an eight-megapixel image, 24 by 36 inches.
>> And they look okay?
>> Yeah, they're fine.
>> So there are a number of places. And another option is, you know, Kodak EasyShare Gallery. I kind of moved off them a while back because they're beating up on customers who don't periodically buy new stuff there, so they're kind of on my no list, but they do a good job printing.
>> All right, one last question before we take a break. Amanda would like to know which point and shoot cameras have the quickest shutter. She's not up for spending DSLR money, but always hates missing the moments.
>> You know, I'm gonna take one this. You know the trick, right everybody, which is the -- almost all point and shoots have two steps on the shutter. You press halfway down to --
>> -- to pre-focus and lock in the exposure, and then all the way down to take the picture. And if you pre-focus, which might take a half a second, then when you press all the way down, it's nearly instantaneous. Is that right?
>> That's right.
>> That's what I do, and I generally -- I hardly ever miss the moment if I have enough time to pre-focus.
>> If you know it's gonna happen --
>> -- if you know the kid's gonna blow out the candles or unwrap the present or something, that works well. For the fleeting moment when your baby was smiling and you missed, you know, you can be out of luck. But that's definitely the best way to try to compensate for the shortcomings of compact cameras. They're getting better, but it's still definitely, there's that lag where it has to focus and set the exposure and it's a real drag.
>> And this is how -- by the way, how I managed to convince my wife that we needed an SLR was --
>> It's the main reason people use SLRs.
>> -- because we were having a kid, and it was like, "I don't want to miss any moments." And the SLRs are just plain fast.
>> They focus fast.
>> They take the picture fast. You can flip the on switch and take a picture less than a half a second later. You don't have to wait for any pesky start-up time. They just -- they focus faster; they shoot faster.
>> All right. Very excitingly, Real Deal is once again a moneymaking opportunity for CNET. So we have to take a break. Play a commercial, and we will be right back.
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>> All right, and we are back with some Android apps for you. We had a guy was very upset that we had left Android out of the smartphone show. I don't think he quite caught on to the fact that everything in that show was user submitted. We just didn't get anyone send us Android or Palm apps. And Steven was -- the Palm is still a phone. I don't know if you -- yeah, I know you were surprised to hear about that. The Pre is -- there is a legend that the Pre will be coming out sometime this year. But, you know, that's lost in the mist of time at this point. Anyway, we did get some Android apps because we put a call out on Buzz Out Loud to be sent in to us. Tom, from Westland, Michigan, preordered the G1, has used it for over five months now. By far his favorite application is Dogg Catcher -- with two "G"s. D-O-G-G C-A-T-C-H-E-R -- podcast client that has freed him from the tyranny of iTunes and synching to get his podcast onto a portable device. They download in the background over Wi-Fi or 3G right to the phone. Always has something to listen to. And Corey [assumed spelling] in Chattanooga, Tennessee, says we mentioned we wanted some Android apps. "I can't see myself functioning without now, but by far the most useful is "Locale" at Localeandroid.com. 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 users. This is background processing at its finest. You set up conditions and your settings change, and then 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, etcetera, which can adjust almost every possible setting. It also incorporates SMS and Twitter." And now, one of your beats at CNET News, Stephen, is Google. Do you have some knowledge of the Android apps?
>> I don't have deep expertise. I don't sit around trying apps all day long.
>> You were showing one off to me today.
>> But I will -- I do have a few that I like. So first of all, I've tried Locale, and I wasn't quite as smitten, partly because I just don't change the way my phone behaves based on my location, I think, as much as the Locale fans. But I do like the fact that you can do that. I can see how that would be useful for people. And I would add that I really do like the G1's ability to do background processing. So I typically run several apps, the Gmail app, a browser, and, you know, a couple other apps at the some time on my Android. And they're all running at the some time. Another one I like is Twidroid, which is a Twitter app. That's T-W-I-D-R-O-I-D. That works pretty well for monitoring your Twitter feed and tweeting yourself. And I think probably my favorite, though, is called "My Tracks," which is an application that turns your phone into more of a full-fledged GPS device, so you can keep track of where you are. It'll keep --
>> How do you spell it?
>> M-Y T-R-A-C-K-S, My Tracks. It's actually from Google. And, you know, it keeps stats on where you went, and you can email yourself or your friends a map of where you went. And it can export to GPS formats, like GPX. So that's kind of a nice app. I like it to tell you how far you walked, how much you climbed up the hill on your hike, that kind of thing.
>> Almost as good as the pedometer from Nintendo DSI, it sounds like.
>> It works better except for the accuracy of the G1's GPS chip, especially if you're in an urban area, or in the trees, is pretty bad. So you get mixed results. But I do like the app a lot.
>> We have more great suggestions for different apps for different smartphones on the blog and comments to last week's episode on smartphones, so go check those out. And add some Palm ones if you got them. We -- I mean, we would like -- you know, for all our kidding aside, we would like to see some good Palm recommendations in there as well.
>> Isn't it -- this is kind of the in between time now, between everybody giving up on Trios and getting Pres, which isn't out yet?
>> I guess that could be part of it. Nobody's really -- but there is gonna be the backward compatibility in the Palm Treo.
>> So Treo apps that you can't live without that you want to see on the Pre.
>> And then, of course, we got a question from Pool Slice [assumed spelling], who said, "Hey, you mentioned your chess app that you liked on the iPhone that you can play with other people. But which chess app is it? There's, like, a million of them in the App Store." It's called Chess with Friends. That's what you want to look up because that's the one that allows you to play over 3G against other people. Although it doesn't -- without the push notification, you have to launch it to check in and see if somebody's moved. It's not gonna tell you when they move. Rafe, you want to read that last one about the Songbird?
>> Yeah. John O. writes, "I absolutely love listening to The Real Deal podcasts 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 other listeners know that you need to navigate to the podcast page and enter in that URL --"
>> Oh, it's a manual thing.
>> "-- 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, also, 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." [Inaudible].
>> Have you ever used Songbird?
>> It's worth checking out. It's Open Source, absolutely free, and even in it's Alpha stage, it was pretty interesting. But they've come a long way. They've really upgraded it. So thanks for sending that along, John. And Stephen, thanks so much for joining us.
>> Glad to help.
>> We really appreciate laying down the knowledge. That was sweet.
>> Yeah, next time I'll do video.
>> Oh, yeah.
>> Oh, yeah. We should do that.
>> That's a --
>> We'll do [inaudible].
>> That's a deal. We'll absolutely do that. And I actually have a slight bit more knowledge of video cameras, but not much.
>> And I know nothing about video. Yeah, so --
>> And so we'll switch.
>> We'll flip-flop there. All right, thanks Stephen. Stephen Shankland, you can find his work at CNET News. News.com. Anywhere else? Do you have a blog particularly?
>> Yeah, I have a photo blog, news.com/underexposed, but it's not my primary livelihood, so it's not, you know, something I post three things a day or anything, but it's definitely up there.
>> Definitely worth reading.
>> So it's concentrated wisdom, is what you're saying.
>> Distilled essence.
>> Yeah, all right. Realdeal@cnet.com is our email address. You can send us email. Forum.cnet.com is where you can talk to other listeners of The Real Deal. And realdeal.cnet.com is were you can comment directly on this episode. You can also give us a call.
>> Old fashioned, but --
>> 877-600-cnet. See you later, folks.
>> See you next time. Bye.
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