Digital photo frames
By Leslie Scanlon from February 2014 Issue
Credit: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Thinkstock
How to get the "wow" factor you want
For many of us, photos capture the very best of life: travel, adventure, the beauty of nature, and the faces of those we love. One device for displaying favorite photos (short of covering every square inch of every flat surface of the house with frames) is a digital picture frame. It offers the advantage of showing a collection of favorite photos in a compact, uncluttered way.
Depending on the exact model, there can be several options for getting photographs into the frame—including by uploading to the frame's built-in internal digital memory, or by storing the photographs on a USB stick or a memory card (which may provide capacity for more photos than the internal memory).
Less expensive models typically display lower resolution photos, and some models allow the user to lower the resolution of pictures to take up less digital storage space—so give some thought to whether an image's sharpness is important to you. Think also about whether most of your pictures have a horizontal orientation or a vertical one, and look to see if a particular model of digital frame allows for both.
Most digital frames allow users to set up a slideshow—rotating the photos so they change after a set period of time. Some come with a remote control, so a user can switch from one slideshow to another or move back and forth to particular photos.
Some models offer the option of adding sound as well, so you could upload your favorite music to play in the background as the photos cycle through.
Moving photos in and out
Check to see whether the memory card or USB stick needs to remain attached to the frame to supply the photos. If so, that might mean purchasing an extra one dedicated specifically for the frame.
Also, make sure that the model of frame you're considering has a port for the type of memory card that your camera actually uses—not all frames take all types of cards. And make sure the model has enough memory capacity for the amount of photos you want to display.
Where to install, when to test
Think about whether you want the frame to stand on its own or be hung on a wall—both styles are available—and then consider the power source. Will the frame need to be plugged into an outlet? Is there an outlet close enough to the spot where the frame will sit or hang? Or does the frame run on batteries? That can be important if you want the frame to be portable so you can take it along to the family reunion, or use it on a display table at work or home.
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