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Digital Photo Frame Buying Guide

posted on May 17, 2010 in Cameras and Photography, Photo / Video Sharing, Family and Parenting, Back to School :: 2 comments

Woman with digital photo frameCameras and photo-storage went digital some years ago, so it only makes sense that displaying them would too. Gone are the cheap-looking plastic frames. Today’s digital photo frames look like any regular frame you’d buy at a photo shop, but offer the capability to display thousands of your photos, and even videos.

And, digital photo frames with built-in wireless Internet access have their own email address, which makes it easy to update grandma's frame with photos from the latest trip to the playground or to send photos to the kids at home while you're traveling.

So if you're looking to pick up a new digital photo frame, check out the Important Features and Our Recommendations before you buy.

Important Features

Frame Size
The first thing to consider when shopping for a frame is size. They're available in everything from key-chain sized 1.5 inchers to massive 22 inch displays appropriate for mounting on a wall. A 7 or 8 inch frame is generally a good choice. It’s large enough to see photos clearly from a short distance, but small enough to put on a table or a desk without consuming too much space.

Resolution
After settling on a size you'll need to consider resolution. The larger the display, the higher resolution you'll want. For a 7 to 8 inch model, settle for no less than 640 x 480, though 800 x 600 or 800 x 480 (the widescreen equivalent) is preferable.

Shape: Widescreen or Regular
Some frames are widescreen, like an HDTV. However most people don't take pictures in this format, even if their cameras are capable of widescreen shots. The result is either black bars on the sides of your photos or images that are cut off the top and bottom. Of course some of this will naturally occur, as you display vertical images in a horizontal frame or vice versa.

Method for Loading Pictures
You can buy frames with photos preloaded from services, like Snapfish, save pictures onto a memory card and insert it into the frame, hook the frame up to a computer and copy pictures onto the frame or send them to the frame wirelessly, via a built-in celluar modem or Wi-Fi connection. Once a wireless frame is set up, it can receive photos or pull them directly from a photo-sharing site or computer.  

Our Recommendations

Kodak PulseKodak Pulse 7-inch Wirelss Frame 
This attractive frame uses your home's Wi-Fi wireless network to pull photos from the Kodak Gallery photo sharing service or receive picture emailed to its own email address.The frame's 7-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 800x600 pixels.
Retail price: $130. Check the price on Amazon.com.

Pandigital 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with PanTouchPandigital 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with PanTouch 
This reasonably priced 8-inch frame has 800 x 600 resolution, video and audio playback, touchscreen controls and a remote control. It lacks Wi-Fi, but has 512 MB of internal memory, which can hold about 300 images (or 3,200 resized with included software), and a 6-in-1 card reader, which can read almost any type of picture card your camera uses.
Retail price: $130. Check the price on Amazon.com.

 

Sony DPF-D92Sony 9-inch DPF-D92 Digital Photo Frame
In addition to its roomy 9-inch widescreen display, this frame has a built-in alarm clock, auto image rotation, and an 1GB of internal memory, in addition to the usual card slots. 
Retail price: $150. Check price on Amazon.com


Discussion loading

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I have had three different

From George on February 09, 2011 :: 11:55 am

I have had three different digital photo frames throughout the years. One of the main features I recommend is very important if programming/loading pictures. This setup can get complicated, so purchase one that is easy to understand and fast. Being able to download the photos without any problems (slow, complicated multiple screens, etc.) is the biggest thing for me. As an amateur photographer I spend a lot of time taking photos, so I really don’t have the time to spend putting the picture on the frame.

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Mr.

From Andy T on March 14, 2011 :: 10:25 pm

I just dont understand why they dont simply make the digital frame square. Verticals would display fully with bars on either side, and horizontals would display fully with the bars above and below. They could even have color choices for the bars. A nice beige looking mat would frame each photo.

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