Tracking down the best digital photo frames
|NIX X12C||800 x 600||12 inch||4 GB||Motion sensor|
MPEG-4 / AVI video
|NIX X15C||1024 x 768||15 inch||4 GB||Motion sensor|
MPEG-4 / AVI video
|NIX - X18B||1366 x 768||18.5 inch||4 GB||Motion sensor|
MPEG-4 / AVI video
|Memory View HD||1920 x 1080||21.5 inch||SD, MS, MMC||Photo, video, audio|
AVI, MOV, MPEG, MP3, WMA
|KitVision Built-In Stand and Wall Mount||1280 x 960||20.0 inch||1 GB||MP3 background music||££££||3.9|
|KitVision 7 Silver||320 x 234||7 inch||SD/MMC/MS||JPEG|
|August DP150A||128 x 128||1.5 inch||Stores 107||Keyring size|
Built in battery
Clock & Calendar
|DIGIFLEX 7"||320 x 234||7 inch||SD||JPEG|
Free 2 GB SD
So you want the best digital photo frame? NIX 15 inch X15C, KitVision 12 inch Digital Photo Frame, Kodak EasyShare P725 7 inch high-resolution… There are so many to choose from these days that it can be a case of information overload!
There are so many the best way to choose one is to go through all the various options in the comfort of your home and zero in on the one that matches exactly what you need. One good option is to take a look at Amazon’s digital photo frames
(PS. If you really can’t wait to see what we think is the perfect digital picture frame then you can just scroll to the bottom of this page!)
Here we are reviewing all of the photo frames but if you are specifically looking for an affordable, budget frame take a look at our review on The best digital photo frame under 50. We also look specifically at wireless enabled digital picture frames on our page at The Best Digital Picture Frame WiFi
Let’s take a step back and review what digital picture frames are all about and why we are where we are.
The way we take and use photos has changed dramatically in recent years. In the past we used to trot out our still camera, take some pictures being very careful to only take the best shots so we did not waste any film. After we took the pictures we’d try to remember to take the film off to be developed which did not always happen. Then the best pictures might be saved in albums or put up on the mantelpiece.
When was the last time you took any pictures to be developed? Nowadays we are much more likely to take digital pictures, as many as we like. We can delete the images that don’t come out well at will. Sending photos by email and viewing them online on Facebook or on our blogs are much more usual now. The old time wasting snap, develop, print cycle has ended. We now take as many pictures as we want, as often as we want and happily edit what we have on the fly.
This leaves a gap. How do we fill the spaces on the mantelpiece? How do we display in our home pictures of our loved ones or our happiest moments? You want to look at the faces of your family as you pass the living room, it’s nice to be able to show someone receiving that trophy or award when guests come to the house.
Digital photo frames are the new way to do that. A digital picture frame is so much more versatile than the old static frames. They can display multiple images, they can have changing images, or video, or sound, or be updated online. The best digital photo frames will have crisp, clear images and will be able to provide us all the flexibility we’ve come to expect.
So, how do you decide what you want in a digital photo frame? How are you going to choose the best digital photo frame for your particular home and needs? Is Wi-Fi connectivity important to you? Are you more concerned with the quality of the image or the ability to be sent pictures from distant relatives? Will moving pictures do it for you?
This site will help you make that decision by showing you the best options available now. Now we are in the digital age it’s easy to make the decision to buy a digital photo frame, the difficulty lies in deciding which one will best suit you when it comes time to display the picture that matter to you. You also need to decide where to buy your picture frame, these days you can often find the best deals online with even cheaper prices than you get instore.
That’s where Which? can help. Unlike many other organisations, we actually put all the models we write about through rigorous lab testing.
You want to be able to compare all the various features of the digital picture frames in one handy location, here! The reason is there is so much to assess when deciding which one to go for, some questions include:
- What are the controls like? Are they easy to access? How responsive are they?
- Are the controls out of the way? Hidden at the top or on the back?
- If it’s a touch screen control panel are you likely to need to wipe it down regularly?
- Does it offer remote control? Sometimes this may be more convenient.
- How much storage does it have? How many pictures or movies can you display?
- What is the aspect ratio? Is it 4:3 or some other values?
- The resolution is important too, is this picture frame 800 x 600 or is it higher?
- Battery life or the ability to use mains or rechargeable batteries might come into the equation too. The larger frames are likely to need mains power and so you have to think about placing them near sockets. Remember to take into consideration the power source.
- Would you like a slideshow of the stored photos and if so what effects does it offer over and above the plain change of display? How flexible is the ability to change the time a photo is displayed for?
- If you change the orientation of the frame (turn it on its end for example) witll the picture automatically change from landscape to portrait orientation?
- And, of course, what have other users been saying about it? That is the kind of information you can’t get in a shop so it’s nice to be able to see and read reviews from real customers and get the benefit of their own experiences.
- Additionally there is the question of size. Do you need a large 15 inch (measured diagonally across the screen just like TVs and computer monitors) or are you looking for a miniature keyring sized one with a correspondingly lower resolution? The most popular sizes range from 7 to 15 inches.
- Do you need speakers and sound?
- Should the frame offer more functionality such as a clock and calendar as well? Does your best digital photo frame offer you more than just the picture?
- Do you need WiFi?
- Motion sensors?
Did you know digital photo frames have only been around since about 2005? For such a new technology they’ve already proved a huge hit with their versatility, features and convenience. The great thing is they are getting better (and cheaper!) every day.
The fact they are getting better is a good thing especially as cameras these days take pictures of an incredible resolution. It’s not unusual to have a 5 MP (mega pixel, so million pixels) camera just on your mobile phone. Currently most digital photo frames resolution is a lot lower than this.
We strongly recommend going for the highest resolution you can get. You really want your pictures to look as close to the same printed quality as you can get. As mentioned above only you can decide which of the other features are important to you.
When you are looking for a digital frame to display your pictures one of the first things you need to decide is where you are going to show them. Is this going to be a wall mounted picture in a hallway or something leaning on a shelf? The answer to this question will have an effect on where you want the controls, whether or not you need to have wall mountings and, depending on the background, what colour of frame you choose or whether it needs to have interchangeable inserts you can use to make it fit in with your décor in various areas.
Here is a quick checklist of some initial questions you need to ask yourself when you start out looking for your ideal digital picture frame solution:
- Are you a technophile or a technophobe? You need to consider the ease of use criteria and whether you want a list of jazzy features or the most basic updateable but static display.
- How important to you is being at the forefront of style and fashion? Do you want the one that says you are the cutting edge of today or are you happy with just doing the job?
- As we said earlier where is it that you want this display? On your keyring? In your hallway or pride of place above the mantelpiece? That will help you decide on the size.
After having looked at a number of options for electronically displaying your pictures we’ve come to a conclusion about the best digital photo frame to buy for your home. We looked at resolution, size, convenience, features… a whole host of things.
You want to have a good enough resolution to show your photos to their best advantage, you want to pay a reasonable price but you also want to be sure the frame you buy has plenty of support and has been tried and tested by the market.
If you are going to use it to brighten up a room with memories of times past or people far away in space but close to your heart then you want it to be large enough to be easily viewable across a room. Just about all the frames offer the ability to do a slide show and are easy to add pictures to so that can be taken as a given. For us having the frame do music as well was more of a distraction than a feature we wanted, we prefer to keep our music for pleasure and our pictures separate.
Your picture frame should not be too small but there is also no point in going too large until the prices come down as they are doing on an almost daily basis now.
In terms of where to buy from as you know the online competition is so fierce that the price of anything, including digital picture frames, is driven down. In addition we like Amazon because it is basically the biggest store in the world and that gives them the ability to buy in bulk cheap and provide the lowest prices to you for the top digital picture options.
In summary the clear winner and the number one electronic picture frame has got to be….
The Nix X15 C bought from Amazon!!
We really hope we’ve helped you decide which digital picture frame will be your ideal purchase and hope it gives you many years of pleasure.