The Best Digital Picture Frame under $100
Written: Jan 31, 2008 (Updated Dec 1, 2010)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Crisp and Clear, High Quality, Easy to Use.
Cons:Always starts at picture number one, cheesy speakers.
The Bottom Line: If you're looking to spend $100 or less for a digital picture frame this is the best for quality and value, not to mention it's easy to use.
Digital Cameras allow us to get faster and better feedback from the pictures we take. Within seconds we can look at the pictures we just clicked and edit or delete them, save them and view them. The only thing we can’t really do with the camera is properly display them. Just about all of the big names in Digital Camera’s are getting into the Digital Frame or Display market. I was skeptical of the frames at first with high costs and some of them appearing difficult to use or set up. Then I jumped into the market and have found the Kodak brand to be the easiest, highest quality, and most affordable of the field. Not wanting to spend too much at first but wanting a decent sized display and quality frame I purchased the 7 inch Kodak SV-710 Digital Picture Frame and have really enjoyed displaying my digital photographs. I highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a quality and well priced Digital Frame including amateurs, beginners and professionals alike. Read on and you will see why...
-----------------------It’s Easy to Use:----------------------
This frame is incredibly easy to use. If you have a memory card handy and an electrical socket near, you can have it up and running within the first 30 seconds after opening the package. It is as easy as sliding in a memory card and viewing through them with either the remote control or the control buttons on the side of the frame. Of course it can be a little more complicated than that if you get into several pictures and music but it is basically made and designed for people like me who are new to the digital world of photography.
With simple directions and the ability to follow them, you should have no problem getting your Kodak Digital Picture Frame set up and running the way you want it. It is basically a plug and play system, just plug in the memory card or a MP3 player and scroll through selecting the photos or songs you want and it is set up, that easy!
------------------Reasons to buy it:---------------------
Quality Picture: I have checked out a bunch of these new digital picture frames from different companies. I have bought some and seen others in stores and at friends houses. I have seen others in offices and other places of business. Once I got into the market for one I really started paying attention to them and wanted to see which ones had the best picture quality and which are the easiest to use. There is the old saying, You get what you pay for, and this is certainly true with digital picture frames. I always like spending the least amount possible for things but have learned for certain products that is not a good idea. Electronics fall into the category of spending more and getting quality and not being sorry in the future. Kodak is a great name in photography and is a well established company, they have been for probably a century now. I have found the cheaper digital frames to lack sharpness and clarity with their pictures and display screen. I paid about $20-$30 more for the Kodak than the cheaper digital frames of the same size and did it happily knowing I was getting a much better product. This has the sharpest screen and clarity of any of the digital picture frames I have tested and compared. It just isn’t worth saving a couple of ten dollar bills sacrificing clarity and quality. I figured if I am going to spend the money for a digital frame I am going to get one with a great picture and spend a little extra on a name brand product.
Lets face it, Its cool: Probably the best reason other than quality I had for buying this frame was because it is cool. Now I know that sounds pretty lame but I am just getting into all of the digital technology and trying to play catch up with all of the new products. I really liked the Kodak Digital Picture Frame on first glance, finding it intriguing and interesting. Upon seeing it for the first time, the first thought I had was, Dang, why didn’t I think of that! It is truly a great idea, what better way to display your pictures and especially digital pictures then with a digital frame that can display all of your pictures.
The frame not only draws the attention of people that you want to see your pictures, it keeps them interested. I sometimes gaze at mine for several minutes watching the pictures cycle through. Variety is the spice of life and now we get a variety of pictures hanging on the wall but in one frame, with music!
Saves Wall/Counter Space: Let’s face it, we always want more, more, more. The Kodak Digital Frame offers us more wall space, and more of a display at the same time. I take a ton of pictures so naturally I like to display a ton of pictures. You would laugh if you saw the pile of old frames I have in storage or in the closet or the corners of some rooms. They stand almost as tall as I am. Some of them have been replaced by more modern frames, some didn’t go with the other decorations, and some didn’t go with either the pictures or the other frames. The Kodak Digital Picture Frame offers me the ability to hang one frame instead of 100. With this frame people will actually be able to see what my wall paper looks like. Granted, I now have several of these frames in different locations around the home and office, but it sure beats the quantity and quality of the old picture frames. The frame basically condenses my many picture displays into one smaller display. The technology can be compared to that of an iPod, storing so many songs compared to the CD’s, cassettes, and 8 tracks. Smaller yet holds more. I love new technology.
Great Picture Display: This is truly a great way to display your pictures. The pictures are always as crisp and clear as when they were taken, they will not fade or look old or stale like a printed picture can appear. You don’t need the countless frames that hold a single picture or a collage of pictures anymore. You don’t really need albums anymore if you have a handful of these picture frames. I have searched through album after album before switching to digital looking for particular pictures to show someone or display. It is only natural that since photography is virtually becoming exclusively digital, frames and pictures on display will follow suit.
Memory Cards: Another great feature about this particular digital frame is the fact that it is compatible with several different memory cards. It is very easy to use. Just slide the card into the slot and the pictures come up and you can scroll through them. If you have several cards you can actually use the frame to find out what is on each card. I have a couple different cameras and my family has several different Memory Cards and we have no problem using the Kodak frames with the different cards. I will list which ones are accepted by the frame.
Makes for a Great Gift: It seems like nothing these days to spend around $100 for a gift. This includes birthdays, Christmas, Weddings and even anniversaries. The Kodak Digital Frame is a great gift in that price range because just about everyone has made the transition to digital cameras and it is a cool new product that can be enjoyed by all. I particularly like to give them with or as wedding gifts and the couples seem to always enjoy sharing their wedding and honeymoon pictures in the digital frame.
------------------Display and Appearance:--------------------
The Frame: The frame itself is a nice looking frame, I would call it elegantly sharp . It is black around the outer edge, then beveled into a gray interior edge. The black is a semi gloss so it doesn’t stand out too much and directs the viewers eyes to the picture. The dark colors compliment the brighter and lighter colors usually involved with the photographs. The overall size of the frame is 10.3 inches by 7.6 inches and 1.5 inches deep. There are three different planes the frame portrays from the outer edge of the frame leading into the picture which also gives the appearance of a funneling effect gently bringing the viewers eyes towards the photographs and away from the frame.
Vert or Horz:One of the nice features about this frame is that it can be displayed either vertically or horizontally. This is important when decorating a house or a particular wall. While the frame is not overly large, in some spaces it does matter if it is hung length wise or width wise to become more aesthetically pleasing.. This also runs true for how it is displayed on a counter or table top. This is just one of those small features that is nice to have especially if you are like most folks who like to re-decorate their rooms or house often.
Tabletop: As previously mentioned, this frame can be displayed on a counter or table top if preferred to hanging it on a wall. It has the standard support rest that most picture frames have which folds from the back of the frame and supports the unit. This can be turned to display the frame either vertically or horizontally resting on the support.
Visibility: An important feature to this frame is that it has high visibility from all angles of the room. It wouldn’t be very good if you had to be standing directly in front of the frame to view it like poor monitors and televisions require. The Kodak company claims this ability is due to the Kodak Light Management Film which provides the frame with a bright clear display. One thing I really like about the display is that it is equally good in daylight conditions as it is at night or low light conditions. This is due to the backlight and LED technology utilized by the manufacturer.
Remote Control: The first thing I thought when I saw the small and thin size of the remote control was, this thing is a goner. We tend to misplace remote controls for extended periods of time, especially small ones. I was delighted to find the storage port located on the back of the frame where the remote can be stored easily and safely when not in use. I always know just where it is when I want to use it. The remote came with a standard CR2025 3 volt lithium battery. I have used the remote a fair amount and have not had to change the battery yet.
The remote allows you to control the pictures and music, turn the picture frame off and on, and navigate through pictures and windows. It takes a little getting used to as I was unaccustomed to remote controls for picture frames. All of the buttons are of pictures except the menu and back buttons which are spelled out. Play around with the remote a little bit and you will get used to it in a short amount of time. Who ever thought there would be picture frames with remote controls twenty years ago?
AC Power Cord: The Alternating Current power cord is the standard power cord for just about every household electronic device in the United States. Very simple to use just plug it into the frame and the other end into a power socket, nothing to it.
USB Cable: The USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. This is the popular and widely used port and cable for connecting nearly every external device to and from the computer. It supports data transfers of 12 megabytes per second. It is the same port that you probably have your mouse and keyboard connected into. I have confidence that you have USB capabilities since nearly every manufacturer has switched their parallel and serial ports to USB since its introduction in 1996. This particular cable that comes with the picture frame will connect the frame to your camera and home or personal computer.
Software CD: The software CD is provided with the frame and can be loaded to your computer for installation. Just insert it into the CD Rom drive of your computer and it is as easy as following the directions and clicking the next, install, and finish buttons and your software is loaded. This is really not necessary and you can skip this step of the set up. The first thing I did with my frame was to insert different media cards and see if all of them were accepted. I then plugged it into my computer and the computer picked up on the new product and loaded the info directly from the frame.
Getting Started Guide: This is simply the basic guide you get with any product that immediately gets shoved back into the box until you get stuck or can’t figure out how to use something then you refer back to the guide. I am a habitual offender of this. I find it much more fun to figure it out myself without the guide and directions. I somehow feel that I should be an expert in the field of using the product with no prior knowledge or usage by rights of purchase. This is similar to the man who will not stop to ask for directions when lost syndrome. The getting started guide is a very simple to read and informative guide for setting up your Kodak digital picture frame. I recommend it to those who have no prior experience in electronics or digital cameras and frames. Otherwise pitch it back into the box and explore for yourself, use it as a reference when needed.
7 inch Frames: The business side of the company would not be doing their jobs if they didn’t immediately come out with aftermarket accessories to customize your product at exorbitant prices. They did such with the 7 inch frames or faceplates at $20 each. I have seen them offered in three different selections. Frosted Floral Glass, Clear Glass and Whiteboard. The whiteboard is the same material used for dry erase markers so it can be personalized and messages left on your picture frame if you ever want them there. I just recently saw these for $15.88 at Wal-Mart.
USB Cable: If you ever need another USB cable, Kodak sells them for $25 for this model picture frame. They are listed as the U-5A model.
-------------------Memory Cards Accepted: --------------------
MMC Multimedia Card, SD Secure Digital, MS Memory Stick, xD Picture Card, CF Compact Flash, MD Micro Drive.
-------------------System Requirements: ------------------------
Windows XP or higher, Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, 600 MHz processor or greater, Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, PowerMac/PowerBook G3-5, iMac, eMac, iBook and macBook Pro, Safari 1.1 or higher, 128 MB Ram, 200 MB hard disk drive space, CD-Rom drive and USB port.
Display Size: This is considered a seven inch display which is measured diagonally. The true measurements I have taken are 6.1 by 3.4 inches. This makes the picture appear similar to a standard 4X6 picture.
Display Resolution: 480 X 234 pixels, 112,320 total
Display Brightness: 200 NITs
Display Backlight: LED
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Audio Formats: MP3
Video Formats: MOV, AVI, MPEG (Motion Pictures Expert Group)1 and 4
--------------------Things I don’t Like about it:----------------
With any product you review, unless it is perfect, it is important to report on the negatives or certain features which you do not like about it. While there are many features I really like about the 7 inch Kodak Digital Picture Frame, there are a few I do not like and some problems I have had.
Sound/Speakers: Although I love the fact that they combined the technology of digital photo viewing and MP3 players, Kodak didn’t really utilize a good sound system. Part of the problem might be that for aesthetic reasons, they mounted the speakers on the backside of the frame. This might be sufficient when the frame is viewed on a table or counter top but if you want to display it on the wall which I preferred to do with mine, the speakers face directly into the wall giving it a weak and echoing sound. Even when the Digital Frame is mounted on a flat top surface the speakers face directly away from the viewer and they are not very loud. I realize the speaker deficiency are to be expected for the price and since you are buying the product for the frame and digital display not for the speakers
Non scrollable?: One of the problems I am having with this particular digital frame is that I have not yet figured out how to set it up so it will start off where it left off when shut off. This means that when I program it to shutoff at night then it starts at the beginning in the morning and the first hundred pictures get much more hits then the last 400. It could be that this frame will not perform the function I desire or I have not yet figured out how to program it. If you already have one and are experiencing the same problem or you know how to rectify it let me know.
--------------------Things I Like about it:----------------
Great Clarity: Going with a name brand and spending a little extra money gets you a much better digital frame for sharpness and clarity. I find no distortion or loss of clarity from transferring the pictures from my camera to the media cards to the frame. They are just as clear and crisp looking as they are when taken. It fits with the old saying, You get what You pay for.
Easy to Use: I can’t stress this enough just how easy it is to use and set up this frame. I can’t think of any other ways the people at Kodak could have made this easier to set up and use. They certainly had the novice in mind when designing the steps to operate the frame.
Built in Speakers: Even though the speakers are not great, I love the fact that this frame has the capabilities to play music. It is very easy to set up and play music by connecting to your iPod or MP3 player and loading the songs where you want them played in accordance to the pictures displayed. Hopefully the future models will be equipped with better speakers even if they are just for background music.
Prints from the Frame: This is a nice feature and I use it a lot. I like to view pictures from my media cards on the frame and by simply hooking it up to my PictBridge printer I can easily print them. All you have to do is connect the USB cable that comes with the frame to a printer that is PictBridge enabled and you have the choice of printing the displayed pictures.
If you are looking to buy a quality reliable digital frame for around or under $100 this is the one. There are hundreds of vendors for these frames and the pricing is highly competitive. I spent a little over $100 for mine but they are selling for around $100 now and I have even seen them as low as $79. Wal-Mart is packaging this frame with a Kodak Easyshare Digital Camera for $179 which looks like a good deal if you need a digital camera for a low price. Like most things, the bigger they get the more expensive they get and I have purchased the same frames in larger sizes and am very happy with them as well, but for the price, this one has the best value.
copyright smallmouth 2008
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