Digital Photo Frame Buying Guide – Hints and Tips

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Digital Photo Frame buying guide – hints and tips to guide you towards the best product for you.

Digital photography has become so common these days.  With many of us having a digital camera close by these days, it’s not surprising that the next thing we want is a digital photo frame to show off these great photos.  Only a small percentage of digital photos ever actually make it to print, yet many of us would like to see our photos on display more often.  Rather than having a screen show on your computer, which may be setup in your bedroom, study or office, it is preferable to have a dedicated digital picture frame that also compliments your furniture and decor.

The digital technology market develops so fast that sometimes it can be difficult to decide what is best for you when looking to buy.

To keep it simple, the key things to consider are:

Screen Size

The larger a screen is, the more expensive a digital frame will be.  Digital photo frame screens mainly range in size from 1.1 inches to 17 inches.  This measurement is taken diagonally across the screen.  You must confirm these measurements to ensure that you’re getting a 15” screen rather than a 15” frame, which is when the screen might actually be only 10 inches diagonally.

Screen Resolution

Resolution can vary anywhere between 96 x 64 pixels to 1280 x 1024 pixels.  A pixel is the smallest part of a digital image.  When more pixels are used to represent an image, the image will become increasingly more accurate compared to the original.  Also, as the resolution or number of pixels increases, the more expensive the frame becomes. Please note that when you pay more you will have bought a far superior product that will display your photos with greater clarity and quality.

Supported file types and Multimedia support

There are many file types used to view pictures, audio and video.  A frame that supports many file types, giving you a complete multimedia experience will be more expensive than one that allows you to view pictures only. 

JPG is the most common photo file type and is usually supported on all types of digital frames. BMP, TIFF and GIF files are sometimes supported but are not as common because they are not commonly used to save photos.

MP3 and WMA are most commonly used for Audio, and you’ll find these files supported on superior digital frame models that have quality speakers.

You can watch video on some advanced digital frame models.  This would include the file formats MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4 , DIVX and AVI.  This functionality is very handy if you wish to display video for retail presentation or just to set the mood in your own home.

Wireless Wi-Fi / Network connectivity

Some recently released digital photo frame models offer the ability to connect wirelessly to your home or business network.  This offers a great advantage because moving photos onto the digital frame becomes as easy as moving files from one computer directory to another.  If you have this functionality, there is now no need to copy files from your computer onto a memory card or flash drive to get them to your frame.

Audiovisual components

Added extras such as stereo speakers are great if you are looking for a complete multimedia experience.  An audio input and output is convenient if you wish to listen with larger, external speakers.  Audiovisual (A/V) in and out connections can allow you to watch DVDs using the frame or display photos from the frame onto your television.

Built-in Memory

This feature adds a level of ease to your digital photo frame as it gives you the ability to move photos from your memory card straight to the frame where they can be stored.  This means that you can delete the photos from your memory card and take the card to some other device to use for another purpose.

Support of other storage devices

You need to be confident that you can plug your external storage devices into you digital picture frame.  Before you purchase, ensure that it has slots to accommodate your cards whether that be Compact Flash (CF), Memory Stick (MS), Secure Digital (SD), Multi Media Card (MMC) or Smart Media (SM) cards.  Also make sure that it has a USB connection so you can use your USB flash drive.

Look, design and feel

Remember that a digital picture frame is also a piece of furniture.  It can define a space in your room.  You can make it really stand out and a centrepiece by hanging it on a wall or it might be used as a warm welcome in your entrance hall.  Whichever way you intend to display the frame, you need to consider your other decor to ensure that the frame adds something special to your room.


Yes, when you buy, make sure it comes with a warranty.  This is an electronic device, and from time to time computer technology will fail for no particular reason.  A warranty will provide you with peace of mind and the confidence to go forward and purchase the digital frame that you want.  As a minimum the frame should come with a 6 month warranty.

Proven and Trusted sellers

When buying digital photo frames through eBay, check out a seller’s feedback to confirm that other people trust them and have found them to be prompt and courteous at all times.


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