Digital Photo Frame Review Introduction
You want to know what goes into a digital photo frame review process and the kinds of things that are evaluated when looking at which digital photo frame to recommend as the best. What exactly do we look at and what should you look at when you decide on frames like these (which you can buy right now if you like):
|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
Some of the key points are mentioned in our article here but I’ll elaborate and go into a bit more detail in this article to show you how you can review a digital picture frame and how we look at assessing the top products in the various ranges.
One of the key things people talk about, and that will be of concern to you, is the resolution of the electronic photo frames. The bottom line is that the resolution determines how good the picture quality is.
You have to bear in mind that you will be displaying pictures taken on a digital camera that may have multimillion pixel resolution, with mobile phones having 5 or 6 MP and proper cameras having over 10 this is a lot. When you look at a digital picture frame with an 800 by 600 resolution (which would be pretty standard fare) then you are only looking at under half a million pixel resolution!
Hold on a minute though! Half a million pixels, that’s a pretty big number too and a lot more than we were very happy with not so many years ago.
(Did I mention that a pixel is just a fancy term for a dot on the screen? The pictures are made up of lots of little dots but you probably knew that already right?)
You will see acronyms bandied about such as VGA, SVGA and WVGA (wide VGA). More detail on these can be found at sites such as Wikipedia but the upshot is look at the numbers since even SVGA may be 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768. And that brings up another thing, although at this point you might be thinking ‘hang on a minute, half a million pixel resolution isn’t that great compared to my camera’ just stop and think a minute. The quality of picture on your computer screen looks pretty good to you yes? Maybe you have a 23 inch screen with a 1024×768 resolution and that is pretty hot. Remember you can get 15 inch digital photo frames with the same resolution so the picture is going to look a lot crisper on that size screen.
Additionally there is a big difference in the uses, if you have gone for a keyring type picture frame you are not going to be as worried about the resolution, it doesn’t matter so much as it is more the warm reminder of your child or whatever that you can look at anywhere or the novelty value ( keyring digital photo frames make great gifts and you can get some from here). These will probably only have a resolution of 128 x 128 but again the size is really small so the picture will look better than that suggests.
There is a lot of buzz these days about ‘HD’ and all our TV’s are expected to be up to the wonderful HD display standard. It is true that an HD display does look better but do you have any idea what resolution is listed as the official standard for an HD display?
It’s 1920 x 1080, so yes, that is not that far from what you get on your average mid range digital photo frame!!!
And you can also pick up HD quality picture frames that, again, probably have a smaller screen size than your TV, for example:
You also need to consider the aspect ratio. That is basically how wide and high the pictures are meant to be shown. If the aspect ratio of you frame is different from your digital pictures then they will either look squashed or stretched which is not good.
That brings us nicely onto size. The size is something you want to consider. It is also something we look at when reviewing. For a picture frame you want something that is about a standard size for picture display. Have a look at the photos around you now. How many of them are larger than your computer or TV screen? I bet not a lot! But I bet you also have some convenient wallet sized ones or keyring photos. Those are ones you can trot out anytime you want.
In a review we look at the sizes that most people are likely to want and you have to look at what fits in with your home or lifestyle needs.
What size electronic picture display gadget do you want? Or is it a gift you want to give? Digital picture frames make great presents as they are something that people can enjoy every day and that they see all the time to remind them of you.
Obviously for the size there is no right answer, it all depends on what you want and why you want it. Also on where you are going to put it. Many of the frames seem to focus on the 7 to 10 inch range. As an example we have the Kitvision 10 inch digital picture frame reviewed here.
What file formats are you going to be able to display? You might have pictures in a variety of formats. JPG, RAW, PNG or more, can you show all these? What movie formats can you show? MPG4? What about sound files if you want it to be playing background music?
A key consideration is the formats as you don’t want to have to be translating between formats. That would be work. You want these for fun and enjoyment.
At the very least you (and we) expect to be able to support JPG/JPEG format picture files.
How about your videos from that holiday? Do you want to have that thrilling grizzly adventure as a regular reminder?
Talking about file formats the different ones take up different amounts of room. The room is memory. We have got spoiled now. In the past it was OK for a picture frame to just hold the one picture. Now you expect to be able to show more than one. Even the ads on public transport have started using digital picture slideshows! Why should you have less in your home?
Another consideration is how many pictures you can store and at what quality. It’s no good storing 100 lousy pictures, you’d rather have 10 good ones on display to enjoy.
Some of the digital picture frames in the review have built in memory, typically from 2 to 4 GB. Some can take memory cards you can swap in and out. The memory cards might be useful to you if they match what you use in your camera at the moment. Easy is good people!!
What do you want from your picture frame? As you have a digital picture frame it’s a waste to just display the one photograph so at the very least you want a slideshow. But do you want to have effects when it changes pictures? Do you want an adjustable or random time between changes? Do you want it to play mood music at the same time?
What about changing the pictures? Do you want to be able to do that from a computer far away? How about if Aunt Mabel from miles away can send pictures online so you can display what she is doing in her life on your family photo wall? How great would that be! We talk about using Wi-Fi or wireless picture frames on another post on this site here at wifi digital picture frames.
Sometimes you might want to just change what is happening without moving from your seat so you’d need a remote control.
It’s a waste of power being on all the time and digital picture frames with motion sensors are smart enough to only switch on when someone is there to see the pictures they display.
Don’t forget features like the digital photo frame motion sensor which only change or switch on when they detect movement.
Well, power is one of the things to think about. For most display size frames you need a mains outlet. This means they have to be somewhere near a plug socket. A few mainly smaller ones will run on battery power. Choosing the frame you want may involve thinking about where you want to put it.
The manufacturer is important. Are they a company you can trust? You may want them there for warranty or replacement bits and repairs. You want any parts or servicing to be easy to find if you have to.
The supplier is another thing for you to think about. Will they deliver? You want a supplier of your digital photo frames that has a good track record. You want someone that will be able to handle refunds or replacements if you have to do them. I hope you won’t but it’s an insurance policy and that is never a bad thing. A good supplier has got to be Amazon (affiliate link by the way)
Don’t be put off by any of the points above though. If you think about it what could go wrong once you have it up and running? There are not a lot of moving parts in a digital picture frame to break, in fact none!!!
That does bring up another point though. Ease of use. Do you need to get more software just to use your picture frames or can you simply copy files you have already. Plug and play is what you want here.
Did we really need to mention this? Yes, you’ll need to look at what the cost is but more than cost look at the value. The value you are getting in terms of the features and benefits you want. The great thing is there are a whole range of digital picture frames available at pretty much every price point. You can get your small keyring ones for pocket money or you can go the whole hog, HD route for a more significant amount.
‘You pays your money and you takes your choice’ as the saying goes.
You can see there is a lot you can consider when you go out and buy a digital picture frame. That doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. All that means is you now have, hopefully, a longer list of things you can tick off to make sure you get just what you want.
Pictures can really make a home or keep a memory. Digital pictures let you get even more out of the same amount of real estate. They let you control what you see and how and when you see it. Just like so much else in this increasingly connected world they can also let you share in real time (or close to) by sending images of far off people to your digital picture frame.
Which digital photo frame you wind up going for is up to you. Maybe serious and stylish, maybe a novelty cartoon themed one. Whatever it is should be the best digital picture frame for you.
When it comes time for you to make your own, personal, digital photo frame reviews I certainly hope I’ve given you some more info to chew over and some thoughts about how to get the best you can.
Good luck on your journey and happy memories!!!