I have to confess that the continued popularity of digital photo frames has surprised me a little to say the least. Initially I suspected that they would be a passing fad and would quickly loose their original appeal for users.
It's about a year since I last looked at a digital photo frame. The latest incarnation
from Kodak has a number of excellent innovations that make loading your images that much easier
and at the same time provide a marked improvement in the screen.
While a year or so ago a 7" screen was often the norm and a premium would get you an extra inch the Kodak Pulse provides a bright clear 10" LED backlit display. The screen is bordered by a modest black surround about an inch deep. The device includes an integral stand holding the display at about 85°. All configuration of the device is accomplished through the touch-sensitive screen - resulting in an almost button free product.
Not another Photo Frame, well yes and err no. Yes it is a Photo Frame from a name known for their panels but I doubt anyone would initially recognise the unit as it comes built into a stuffed toy, mine was a Polar Bear.
This Hannspree digital photo frame is 43cm from tail to the end of its nose. 30cm tall to the top of its head and a maximum of 9cm wide. It weights 1.5kilos. The screen fits into the body and its legs support it, the viewable screen area is 17.5x10cm giving the 8inch diagonal measurement. Before I talk about the screen I wonder if this is meant to be a toy or a talking point. If a toy then well….
On the surface, digital picture frames can look the same but beneath the hood lurks several differences.
In the past I have looked at several digital picture frames from various manufacturers. In every case these models all had one particular feature in common. These digital picture frames would only work when physically connected to a mains power outlet. Now that trend has been broken with the arrival of the latest digital picture frame from Kodak. This is the EasyShare S730 which features a built-in rechargeable battery and Quick Touch Borders.
Photo Frames have evolved, now they have multiple image inputs, the ability to play music, screen show formats that do not make you sick and this latest offering from Pandigital even has the ability to match your décor.
The total outside measurement of the frame is 29.5x25.5x3.5cm without rear support. However this maybe somewhat confusing as the image size is 16x12cm (8 inches). You are supplied with various screen surround blanks or you can extract the unit from the outer frame to use as a Perspex unit so as stated you can change it to suit your surroundings.
Around 18 months or so ago photo frames were are the rage, the new must have thing well at that time I was given one well almost one by Sony and now another has materialised by AgfaPhoto, so lets look at both.
First the explanation of my statement above. I attended a Sony event in the summer of 2007 where lots of new things were shown and indeed the camera division kept their word and you have heard about their offerings. However – despite numerous reminders – the PC side did not and while I asked for a 10inch photo frame this never happened.
When opting to display your digital images, you are almost spoilt for choice. Yet another digital picture frame demands by attention.
XSU-00850B is hardly the most memorable or descriptive title for a product. In fact it gives nothing away at all about the purpose of this particular piece of kit from Polaroid. To clear up the mystery, this is an 8-inch digital picture frame with Alarm Clock/Calendar functionality.
Blurb is self publishing book service accessible from the website www.blurb.com . The twist is not only can you produce photobooks for yourself, you can also self publish and sell them from the website at a profit!!
Unlike other photo publishing services I have reviewed, Blurb specialises in books and not all the other photo services. From the website you can download software to turn your own photos into very special books which will make great presents for friends and family. The books are true coffee table style and the end product is good enough to sell to the general public.
As in many areas of technology the humble digital picture frame, a fresh idea only a couple
of years back, has evolved to take on more functions.
This particular incarnation from Linx includes a slide-show picture viewer along with an MP3 and Video player. First of all the hardware. The screen is a bright 8 inch display with a viewable area of 18cm by 10cm givin it an aspect ratio of 16:9. Resolution is 800x600. All of the controls and connections are on the rear of the unit, including the two small 1.5W stereo speakers.
As part of its recent updating of its product portfolio, Polaroid has added to its range of digital photo frames.
In the past I have looked at a couple of Digital Photo Frames from Polaroid. These have been of the smaller (7-inch) variety. Now it is the turn of a larger model. This is the Polaroid 10.2-inch Digital Photo Frame (XSU-01050B model) with support for MP3 music files. The products 10.2-inch display screen, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1024 x 600, is surrounded by a bevelled reflective black frame that increases the unit’s dimensions to 12.625 x 8.25 inches (W x H).
Photos are meant to be seen which probably explains why digital picture frames are among popular purchases.
You can always rely on Sony to put emphasis on style with its products even when that product might be classified as being of the entry-level variety. An example of this tendency can be seen with the Sony DPF-D70. This is Sony’s entry-level 7-inch digital picture frame offering. Surrounded by a reflective black frame, the 7-inch diagonal screen has an aspect ratio of 15:9. It can be positioned in either portrait or landscape orientation.
Regular readers may well feel this is very similar to the cenOmax offering recently reviewed. It is a 7inch photo frame that comes with a cream surround and a clear Perspex outer, it has two additional sleeves for that different effect.
The HP DF750A2 Digital Picture Frame is 22x16.5x3cm; the inner display area is 15x9cm giving the notional diagonal measurement of 7 inches. While a lot of the controls are the same they are found in different places and to me anyway they appear a better layout. It can be used to display either landscape or portrait with the same rotating support arm (this unit does not have the ability to be wall mounted).
This is a 7inch offering from the people who I recently told you about a 3.5inch photo frame (21-09-08) this is a unit that offers the ability to play MP3 files while viewing images and even possible to view movies.
While this looks like a fairly conventional photo frame with a cream inner border and a clear Perspex outer one it is also supplied with a couple of sleeves black and orange, these clip over the clear Perspex to give a total of three totally different looks. It is 24x17.5x3.5cm the inner display screen is 15.5x8.5cm giving the notional 7inch diagonal screen measurement. This is actually a wide screen display but of course most people's photos are not.
There are digital picture frames that will enhance your enjoyment of your digital images and then there are other digital picture frames that do little in this respect.
While some digital frame modules have taken the basic premise and enhanced the performance with increased functionality; some other products, fortunately in the minority, offer little in the way of innovation and just deliver an extremely basic performance. The NuVue 710 digital picture frame from Digital Spectrum definitely falls into the later category as became immediately obvious on unpacking the product.
While most photo frames are larger maybe there is a place for a smaller one. Secondly a solar mobile phone charger that can hold enough charge for two complete charges of almost any mobile phone.
This is a unit from Cenomax. Mine was cream in colour with a reflective surround to the viewable area. It is 9.5x7.5x1.3cm. The actual screen is 7x5.4cm giving the notional 3.5inch diagonal measurement. It has a rechargeable battery but even though the charge method is USB no PC is required as the lead goes to a special 13amp plug so all that is required to recharge it is a mains socket.
While this is a digital photo frame it also plays music and can even play .AVI movies both sound and video, in fact it is a rather nice product all round. There has to be a minus point and my tests have produced two.
It is 32x21cm around the outside, if you have it flat against something it is 4cm thick if you use the fold out flap stand this adds another 11cm. The viewable area of the screen is 22x13cm giving the notional 10.2inches. In theory it can be controlled from the buttons on the rear of the unit, in fact to start a screen show you need the supplied remote control. This is the watch/clock battery type with ten buttons and of course the ubiquitous five position joystick.
While in our time zone it may be at the end of August as we ponder on what became of summer this year; manufacturers and service providers seem to exist in a totally different chronological time period.
Companies are already well up to speed with their Christmas push of a range of offerings aimed at tempting us to part with our disposal income. Increasingly I am being asked (coincidentally the writing of this sentence was interrupted by a phone call from a PR agency attempting to make a pitch on behalf of one of its clients Christmas plans) what my plans are for Christmas features.
Following the recent Polaroid event I was able to check out one of the new products on display. This combined the ability to display digital images and report on the weather.
The tasks covered by multi-function devices continue to expand into new areas. A recent example of this can be seen with a new digital photo frame from Polaroid. Not content to displaying favourite photos, this device, with the less than memorable designation of XSU-00770B, brings together a 7-inch digital photo frame combined with current weather information.
Kodak combines images and music with touch border technology in its new digital picture frame series.
With its long standing reputation and experience in the field of photographic development, it was a natural progression for Kodak to get involved in the manufacture of digital displays. The result is the Kodak Easyshare Digital Picture Frame series currently consisting of 7, 8 and 10-inch models.
With summer holidays just around the corner what will you do with all the digital snaps you take? This digital frame is perfect to keep the memories of sun and sand alive.
click to enlarge
The Falcon Fridge Magnet 'Digiframe' £29.99 from
I Want One of Those I was sorting out some boxes recently and came across a collection of
old photos. I managed to waste a delicious hour or two being transported back
to lovely holidays and numerous Birthday parties. Since I started to use a
digital camera I just don't look at the photos much.