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I already have a digital photo frame and don't really need another! Thing is I have this problem…I se something and want it. I was browsing Play.com the other night (I know huge mistake) and decided that it would be rather good to order a few unnecessary but luxurious gifts with my larger than normal pay packet. The Philips frame seemed like a good buy at the time, it still is although my bank balance does not agree.
APPEARANCE --------------------- The frame is very stylish and it does look like a 'normal' picture frame. It looks very good on a shelf and to the 'untrained' eye would look like any normal frame. In fact my Kodak frame looks quite artificial but this looks like a very normal, bog standard but stylish frame.
Without wanting to sound 'stuck up' this frame does look stylish and 'refined' it does look like an expensive wooden frame. I have been looking around a lot recently for 'normal' photo frames for thank you presents for family and friends following my graduation, and have noticed that the cheaper frames do look tacky.
The 9" frame is large enough to place in a prominent place providing an interesting focal point and generating some great conversations. The ability to use with rechargeable batteries as well as mains electricity means that wires do not have to be trailing from the back.
FEATURES ---------------- This frame is very simple compared to the others on the market. It does not come with a remote control or a huge doorstop manual. It is very easy to use. Pictures can be easily managed into files and a simple but useful clock displayed.
The frame does not support MP3 or MP4 files and although I always refused to buy a frame without these capabilities I am impressed. I have never used the video/music playback functions on my Kodak frame and I use it purely for viewing my pictures. The fact that the frame looks and works brilliantly means I am not bothered by the lack of music with my pictures.
The frame also has a timer which turns the frame off at a certain time. This is very useful as I don't have to worry about climbing up each time to turn it on and off. I can set the time for 10pm to turn off and turn on at 11am meaning that it will only be on when it is likely to be seen, so not wasting electricity/ battery power.
EASE OF USE -------------------- The frame is very easy to use it takes a large variety of removable media so will obviously display pictures direct from a camera. The frame takes Compact Flash Card (type 1), a USB memory stick, Multi Media Card, SD Card or an XD-Picture Card This is obviously ideal when showing off holiday snaps to a large audience. The frame stores up to 150 pictures on its internal memory but it is obviously a lot better to buy a separate memory card if you have a very large collection.
The functions are easy to get used to and take little getting used to. In fact I barely opened the manual. I would make the statement in fact that even my mum could use this frame and she is a real technophobe. The slideshow function is very effective with different picture transitions, which obviously makes the pictures more enjoyable to watch. The transitions can also be set between 5 seconds and a whole day meaning that you can see the same picture for as long as you want.
There is also the ability to edit, rotate and delete images making it a lot easier to manage pictures without a computer. I am keen to get my nan and grandad one of these as it means they have a way of seeing all of their photos without having to worry about developing, computers and fiddly frames.
PICTURE QUALITY ---------------------------- This is probably one of the only digital frames that I have seen on the market (so far) that displays pictures as they would look in printed form. Some frames do look a little grainy but this one is very crisp and clear.
The colours in the pictures are vibrant and clear, viewing pictures on this frame is easy and quite enjoyable. The frame is large enough to display on a wall and be viewed from all angles of the room. I like the fact that I can place the frame in a central place so that all guests and visitors can see the pictures without crowding the frame.
COST AND AVAILABILITY --------------------------------------- Unfortunately the frame does not come cheap. This frame cost me a rather large sum of £149 and was a bit over indulgent of me. I would say however that you do get what you pay for and if you are quite happy with grainy pictures or poor quality then you can pick a similar frame up for £80 but the quality is great and Philips is a highly trusted name.
The size is another factor in the cost; a 7" frame would be a fraction of the price and would still offer quality pictures. The frame is available from most stores such as Jessops, Amazon, Play.com and Pixmania for £120-£189 so I would advise that you take a look at the prices before you make a purchase.
SUMMARY ----------------- Overall this is an excellent little frame. The pictures are clear and crisp and the colours are amazingly vibrant. With Christmas approaching I would say that a digital frame is a great present for almost anyone, especially a photography enthusiast or someone with a large collection of photos. Why clutter up a shelf with several frames when you can just have one?
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I waited for the January sales to look for one of these, and I agree - the Kodak does look plasticky doesn't it. I even looked for the ones that said they had 'wifi' thinking that I could let it scroll through all the pictures on my PC remotely, but no, you had to sing up to a web site to store your pictures. Yours sounds like the best of the bunch in its size range.