Without having film developed, or printing your images on photo paper, you can enjoy and share those shots that are sitting on your camera or hard drive by displaying them on a digital picture frame. Pretty nifty, huh? Set those vacation photos to display at set intervals in a customized slide show, show off those great photos that you just took of your dog, or display those funny snap shots that your best friend just e-mailed you.
You’ll find many digital picture frames on the market today. They range from small models that look great on your desk at work, to larger, more expensive models that you can hang from your living room wall. When shopping for a frame, there are several things to keep in mind:
1) Image file transfer – How will you transfer photos onto your new digital frame? Well, different frames utilize different transfer methods to suit the needs of the buyer.
Today’s frames are easier to work with. The older models required the installation of software onto your computer. Photos were then transfered through the use of a slow serial cable. The introduction of USB has sped up what would other wise be lengthy transfer process, especially if you have a big batch of photos to load onto your frame.
You will notice that many photo frames have slots for memory cards. If you use CompactFlash, MemoryStick, SmartMedia, or another card type for your digital camera, you can easily plug it into your frame, and access your new shots. It may benefit you to look for frames that accept multipe card types. Versitility is most often best, and if friends or family want to share photos, their cards will probably be compatible with your frame.
Many top electronic frames utilize WiFi wireless networking. This allows you to transfer photos from your PC in the basement of your house to the electronic frame on the wall in your master bedroom. How cool is that?! No cords to connect, no fuss, just select, and transfer. Wifi can also allow you to go online with your digital frame. I’ll expand on that toward the end of this article.
2) Size – Digital picture frames come in a wide range of sizes, from small landscape screens, to 10 inch square-screened models.
It’s important to not confuse a digital photo frame’s size with it’s actual screen size. This could cause disappointment, especially if you are ordering a frame online, without being able to view a store display model. If the frame is 6 x 8, the screen may be only 4 x 6 inches.
Also look for models that fit inside standard photo frames. This is a great feature that allows you to display your digital photos in the favorite frames that you already have.
3) Screen quality – Digital frames can be somewhat dark. A model with a wide range of contrast settings can work to prevent this. If your picture frame still seems too dark, it may be defective.
Some digital picture frames look fine when viewed head-on, but they lose clarity, and seem to gloss over when viewed very close up, or from an odd angle. It will help to do some research on this before buying a frame.
As always, the higher the screen resolution, and the more colors the frame has the ability to show, the more crisp and accurate your photos will be when viewed on your digital frame.
4) Internal Features – Do you want a photo frame with a large internal memory to store your photos, or are you willing to leave your flash card inside the frame? You may want to spend the extra bucks for more space.
Perhaps you are interested in not only displaying your photos, but in playing movie files, music files, and connecting to the internet, as well. Today’s top-of-the-line models give you ample space and abilities, allowing you to store literally thousands of files on your digital picture frame. Versitle frames accept image files in JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, and BMP formats, MPEG, QuickTime, and DiVX movies, MP3 and Wav audio files.
Want to e-mail your digital photos directly from your digital frame? Wireless networking makes this possible. Send photos to your family and friends at the touch of a button. Digital picture frames have come a long way from the small and clunky power-corded desktop models that first became popular around 1999, and 2000. e-mail photos, display weather reports, and breaking news, all while your favorite tunes play in the background.