If you aren’t aware of exactly what digital picture frames are, you’re in for a treat. As their name suggests, they’re picture frames that allow you to show off your digital pictures and some of them even support music and movies. They usually take a memory card of some sort that you load your pictures onto and will automatically cycle through them in a slideshow fashion. The nicer models generally include several nice transition effects.
I purchased the 8″ Ziga model for my Mother for Christmas and she loves it. She’s really into her grandbabies and the digital frame was the perfect way for her to see many different pictures of them without having to sit at her computer.
There are only a few things to take into account when looking for a digital frame. The size of the frame is of course important, but anything 8″ or larger will cost you somewhere in the range of $150 or more. 7″ frames by comparison can generally be found for $100 or less. The resolution of the frame is a lot like the resolution of a computer monitor – the higher the resolution, the better the picture quality. The Ziga frame I purchased her from Amazon has a resolution of 640×480, which from what I’ve seen, is fairly high, even for an 8″ model. When I last checked the Ziga 8″ frame at Amazon was out of stock, but they did have a 7″ model (widescreen model) in stock.
The other important aspect to take into account is format; standard 4:3 or widescreen 16:9. My Canon SD550 takes pictures in standard 4:3 format and most of my Mothers pictures are from my digital camera. This meant I either needed to take the time to crop all of the photos going into her frame, allow a widescreen format frame to stretch the pictures, or go with a standard 4:3 format frame; which was the route I chose. I recommed this for most people who just want to use the frame and not take the extra time required for picture cropping.
Most of the digital frames have a more modern look to them. While this is unlikely to be a problem for most young people, the more established folks (our parents) may have other decor that doesn’t match up too well with the look of most digital frames. Be sure to find one that will look good in the room it will be in.
Some of the available frames offer a choice of running from batteries in addition to standard AC power. The possibility of not needing a cord and the option to go portable will appeal to some users. Be sure to make note of the battery type(s) supported as some only take proprietary and somewhat expensive Lithium Ion batteries.
If you’re unsure where to look online for digital frames, here are some solid retailers for you to choose from: