How to buy digital photo frames? I was planning to buy a Digital Photo frame for my parents and after spending hours I’ve compiled a list of 8 things to look for when buying Digital Picture Frames.
1. Screen Size and Resolution
Digital Picture Frames are available in variety of screen sizes ranging from 6.5′ to 12′. The selection of size depends on your budget, but the 8′ Frame is the best selling at most of the popular online stores and is recommended.
Most of the picture frames come in 3 resolutions – 800×480, 800×600, 640×480. Larger frames tend to have higher resolutions. You should buy the one with 800×600 or more resolution – as higher the resolution is, better will be your picture viewing experience.
2. Aspect Ratio
The width to height ratio is what we call as aspect ratio. Three common aspect ratios are 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9, latter being the widescreen ratio. Since most of the images are taken in 4:3 aspect ratio, buying 16:9 widescreen frame will distort your images. So preferably you should buy frames with aspect ratio of 4:3 if you are a regular photographer.
3. Supported External Connections
These days most of the digital frames support memory cards like SD/MicroSD cards, Sony’s Memory Stick or Compact Flash cards. Support for USB port will be an add-on if you want to transfer images or videos from your computer. Always prefer USB 2.0 which transfers data faster than USB 1.0 or 1.1.
4. Wireless Connections
Very few of the digital frames comes with Wi-Fi these days. The Wi Fi gives an edge to your frame by transferring the images directly from your Flickr photo stream. So if you click photos from your camera and upload them to your Flickr account, your mom can see those automatically updated on your Frame without any geeky knowledge needed. Most of the other popular online photo management services (like Kodak Gallery) are supported to sync with their Wi Fi. You can also opt for a frame with Bluetooth support. This will be extremely useful if you have a camera or cell phone with Bluetooth capabilities.
5. Ease of Use
Look for a frame that has good interface and minimal keys to confuse you. Some of the frames have inbuilt software and controls to select the memory card reader or to adjust brightness and color. Most of them will have Remote Control too, allowing you to change images or to turn on the slideshows with very easy navigation. These days there are also very few frames having touch screen for better user experience.
6. Support for Audio and Video
Some frames allow picture slideshows with your favorite mp3 audio running in the background and some can play motion videos in most common .avi and .mpg video formats. These frames have inbuilt speakers with which you can even watch movies on your USB drive when traveling.
7. Extra Features
If you’d like, some frames have interchangeable outside borders to suit the decor of your room. Many of them have inbuilt clock, alarm and calendar. Some have inbuilt printing features allowing you to print your images with PictBridge Enabled Printers. You may like a frame that automatically switches off at night.
8. Power Consumption
All digital frames runs with AC power. If you switch off the power, then no display will be there and on restarting it will take few seconds to boot up. Some of the digital frames support optional batteries too. With batteries you can also hang your frame on the wall without any need to have those tangling wires.
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