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Saving great memories to a digital photo frame --need help

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / December 12, 2008 6:43 AM PST
Question:

I want to buy a digital photo frame for my mom. My dad passed away three years ago and she misses him terribly, so I want to fill a digital frame with many of the wonderful photos they took during their nearly 70 years together as they traveled all over the world. The problem is none of the photos was shot with a digital camera. I will need to scan, crop, and clean up traditional photos and upload them, something that seems, according to most online reviews, to send digital frames into paralysis. I have a good scanner and am reasonably adept at Photoshop. I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to get a digital frame that won't get cramps when it's filled with Photoshopped pictures. Any ideas? Recommendations?

I'd really like to give my mom the benefit of the latest technology rather than make traditional enlargements and put them into a collage in a standard frame to hang on the wall. I want her to be able to hold the frame in her lap and enjoy the memories as the photos scroll by. Can you help? Which frames should I consider? How should I save the photos to maximize compatibility?

--Submitted by Barbara C.

Here are some featured member answers to get you started, but
please read up on all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this member's question.

Saving for digital frame in Photoshop --Submitted by dbrad
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7809_102-0.html?forumID=75&threadID=320105&messageID=2929031#2929031

Digital photo frame... --Submitted by Watzman
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7809_102-0.html?forumID=75&threadID=320105&messageID=2926935#2926935

Digital Picture Frame Considerations --Submitted by Roger Deal
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7809_102-0.html?forumID=75&threadID=320105&messageID=2927643#2927643

If you have any addition solution or recommendation for Barbara, please click on the reply link and submit your answer for her. Please be as detailed as possible in your submission. Thanks!
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Digital photo frame .....
by Watzman / December 12, 2008 11:13 AM PST

Your question raises two separate issues, those being the frame itself and, in your case, conversion of the images from traditional photography (prints, slides and/or negatives) to digital images. As an aside, I'd add that it is WAY too late to be doing this as a gift for this Christmas, at least one that will be completed.

Lets discuss the frame first.

First comment, I'd simply rule out, out of hand, any frame that has a "widescreen shape". I can't understand where the manufacturer's heads are at on this issue (well, I kind of do know where ....) but photographs simply are not taken in "widescreen" mode.

Second, I'd go for a fairly large frame, 8" (absolute minimum, and preferably 10" ... as a MINIMUM) to 15". A 15" frame will cost $200 to $250, so size definitely gets pricy.

Not all frames are created equal, by a longshot. Some of them are, well, just plain crappy. Issues include viewing angle (some are TERRIBLE), contrast/brightness/color rendition, how the frame deals with images that don't fit the screen (God help you if it "stretches" ("distorts" would be a better word) images to force a fit), how the frame deals with portrait vs. landscape orientation, etc. Features are big factor ... some frames will play videos with sound, or music to accompany a slide show. Some frames come with a remote control. Some frames have internal memory only, some have no internal memory and use card slots for everything, and some have both internal memory and card slots. Some frames have other functions, like "clock", for example.

I don't want to recommend specific brands or models, but the best way to evaluate a frame is to take your own memory card in and see how your pictures look on the frame. But this isn't always possible or permitted.

Other factors include the type, size and weight of the power supply, the thickness of the frame, it's aesthetics, etc. Again, you have to do some evaluation of frames, because, as I said at the outset, they are NOT all created equal.

Now, as to the photos:

First, If you have the original film (negatives or slides), the conversion should ideally be done from those rather than from prints. There are two options there, doing it yourself or having it done. This subject has been discussed before on this web site, and I would refer you back to finding those. When a large number of photos are involved, there is no way to do this that is cheap, fast and low-risk (the "risk" here is sending your photot to a service that sends them to some 3rd world country for processing and they are never seen or heard from again .... it happens). If you do it yourself, you will spend hundreds to possibly over a thousand dollars on equipment that can do it well, and probably hundreds of hours doing the scans. If you have it done you will spend anywere from 15-cents to $1.49 per image, the media will be out of your posession for weeks (sometimes months), there is risk of loss, and the quality may or may not be good. Just one note, if you are doing it yourself, the only equipment that really does this (scanning film) well are film scanners made by Nikon and also some Epson flatbed scanners. Lots of other scanners (most of them, probably) can, nominally scan film, but none of them do a job comparable to the Nikon and Epson products. But all of these solutions are $300 to over $1,000 for the hardware.

If you are going to work from actual print photographs, most good scanners can do this, the quality varies with the quality of the scanner and, to be honest about it, very few people really know how to use a scanner .... how to use things like histograms to set things like brightness, contrast and gamma to really get the best quality out of an image (this applies to all scanners including film scanners). Also, it's not fast ... if you do this well, it's going to take at least a couple (and probably an average of 5) minutes per image. That doesn't sound like much if you only have a few to do, but if you have thosands of images (and just 50 rolls of film turns into thousands of images), it becomes a big deal.

One point also worth mentioning is that if you are doing this only for the digital photo frame, you really are after, surprisingly, a low-resolution image. Most rectangular frames are 800x600 or 1024x768, and both of those resolutions are well under one megapixel. But if you are doing it as part of a general archiving of your family photos, then you want to create 6 to 10 megapixel images of the entire film image, which will also not be the same shape as the photo frame. What I did in a situation similar to yours was take the archived high resolution images and "resample" an 800x600 "crop" from the 6 to 10 megapixel image. These cropped images "fit" the frame perfectly (e.g. the photo was now exactly the same shape as the digital photo frame), and it also took up relatively little storage (30 of the full size images would have filled the frame's internal memory, but by doing this the frame would hold over 1,000 images in the same memory). But, again, it was a lot of work.

If you are going to use a service for scanning film, the one I would probably recommend is scancafe. I don't have a specific recommendation on print scanning services. Ideally I'd get the image conversions done first so that you can put the digital images on a card that you use to test frames that you are looking at, but at this point that all but rules out having this in time for this Christmas.

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not entirely true...
by porsche10x / December 20, 2008 12:22 AM PST

Very informative and well-thought-out post! I would take issue with two things, however. First, regarding the risk of loss by sending out your pictures or film to someone else for scanning. Yes, the risk is real, but you take the same risk when you get your film developed in the first place, don't you? Of course, you usually only send out one or a few rolls at a time. You would be risking your entire picture collection at once if you send them all out for scanning. I suggest you inquire about how your stuff is handled before you send it anywhere. I'm sure you can find a respectable local processor that will do it "in-house" with lower risk of loss (and probably pay more, just like you would for premium developing).

Next, regarding widescreen frames, it's perfectly understandable why widescreen frames are available. People DO take widescreen photographs. Remember, the original question is about scanning non-digital pictures. This means ALL of her pictures are widescreen. A 4x6 or 3x5 picture has almost the same aspect ratio as a 16x9 frame. Some frames are available with a 16x10 aspect ratio, even better. So, for the most accurate rendition with a minimum of cropping of scanned photographs or film, not only is using a widescreen frame understandable, it is REQUIRED. By the way, while most point-and-shoot digital cameras have a 4x3 aspect ratio for better display on a computer monitor (before the advent of widescreen monitors), the more expensive digital SLRs all have native 3x2, which is, you guessed it, widescreen. Even if you take 4x3 digital pictures, when you get them printed at a store, they come back cropped, usually to 4x6, so nearly ALL photographs end up widescreen.

Also note, with a widescreen frame, the picture quality is better when the picture size doesn't match. For example, if you show an 800x480 picture on a 640x480 frame, and you don't want to crop, you end up with black bars on top and bottom, like letterbox on your TV. You also lose resolution; as the picture is compressed to fit, you lose lines. On the other hand, if you show a 640x480 picture on an 800x480 widescreen frame, you do get black bars on the side instead, but there's no compression and no loss in image quality.

If you take panoramic pictures, then it's even more important to use a widescreen frame for best image quality.

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Digital Photo Frames
by thesilvercygnet / December 12, 2008 11:39 AM PST

Make a great gift. I would look for one that reads a standard memory card such as a SD card. I would save photos from my computer to the SD Card and insert it into the digital photo frame for the gift recipient. I would then make updates to the photos stored on the memory card. That way the gift receipient can enjoy the photos without having to do the technical duties.

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Great Digital Frame - Also with MMS
by dgmiter / December 20, 2008 1:47 PM PST
In reply to: Digital Photo Frames

I agree that having a frame with the SD option is great, but there is one frame out there that is even better. It adds USB and the ability to send pictures to the frame via MMS. So the concept is you give this frame to a relative and when you take a picture from your cell phone you can send it as a Multi Media Message to the frame. The other option is to send it via email to the frame. Its currently available from T-Mobile and its called the Cameo Frame. You do have to sign up for a T-Mobile account with a data plan, but the rates are cheaper than regular cell account.

Here is the link to the information about it on T-Mobile's website.

http://search.t-mobile.com/inquiraapp/ui.jsp?ui_mode=question&question_box=cameo

Good Luck!

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Memory Card
by x4stjohn4x / December 12, 2008 12:07 PM PST

Most cameras have a small memory card about 1 gig in size. I don't know too much about digital frames, but my family just got one. I know that the one we have can read that memory card just like a flash drive. It is great and easy. You just put all the pictures you want onto a card like this and sync it up.

Here is a link to an image of the card I am talking about.
http://www.letsgodigital.org/images/producten/1501/testrapport/nikon-coolpix-p5000_5A.jpg

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Get One With a Battery
by retexan599 / December 12, 2008 12:16 PM PST

The disadvantage of many digital photo frames (to me) is that most need to be plugged in to an electrical outlet to operate. I bought the Philips 7FFIM4 which is the only brand (to my knowledge) that has a rechargeable battery. With the battery I can use the viewer for about one hour continuously before it needs recharging. This lets me use it in settings where it is not possible or inconvenient to have to find an electrical receptacle. Of course it will work continuously plugged in. Displays from either an inserted memory card or from internal memory to which you have downloaded photos. Reasonably priced from Amazon.

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Saving great memories to a digital photo frame
by susrexrode / December 12, 2008 12:16 PM PST

I bought my husband a digital frame Last year for Christmas it was one that consumer reports said was good. It was a Smart Parts frame. It had software with it that you could scan your pictures to your computer then drag and drop to a sd/mmc/ms/xd or cf(compactflash) cards. I've also, this christmas picked out pictures through the years of the kids at Christmas and put them on a usb flashdrive. All I did was scan the pictures and draged and droped and they came out the size needed for the fram of course none of the pictures were over the regular size you get at the store and some were smaller but they all turned out good on the frame.

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Scan, Fix and Resize
by RandiS / December 12, 2008 12:17 PM PST

Well, you certainly have your work cut out for you, scanning a large number of either prints, slides or negatives. But since you indicate that you're pretty comfortable with Photoshop, let me point out that you should be able to do all this and save the 'masters' as TIFF or PSD files. Then, set your crop options to correspond to the size of the digital frame (many seem to be 800x600 pixels, for example), and crop the photo to that size, make sure it's flattened, perhaps change the profile to sRGB (if you're not using that as your default profile) and save it as a JPEG. Those jpeg files should be acceptable to any digital frame, and since you've already cropped them to the correct size, the digital frame won't have to do it for you.

As to which frame to get .. well, I've been trying to determine that myself. I'm leaning to the Viewsonic models, since I've read that their color rendition is excellent. But I also read that their controls are rudimentary. That may be just fine for what you want.

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Saving great memories to a digital photo frame --need help
by oobe2u / December 12, 2008 12:28 PM PST

You don't need the photos to be particularly hi res for the photo frame, for them to look good. Experiment with a few until you get the right combination of image quality and file size and you should be able to put a great collection together that will perform very well, especially with a quality photo frame. Save them as progessive jpegs.
I used to use a Photoshop plug in called ProJpeg (I think), that produced excellent results very easily and impressively small file sizes. I'm sure there are others that work as well. At that time Photoshop didn't perform as well as it does today on shrinking file size while maintaining image quality.
I have a middle of the road scanner (an Epson Perfection 1670) which is several years old but produces good results for the type of work you want it to do.

Good luck - and on behalf of your Mom, thanks for being a great kid.

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photo frame photo card
by itchybutt / December 12, 2008 12:51 PM PST

load them on a picture card which most frames accept

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Start With Clean Photographs and Clean Scanner!
by DeistDennis / December 12, 2008 2:25 PM PST

I?ve never owned a digital photo frame, but I do know a rule of thumb is to never buy one with resolution less than 640 x 480 pixels, regardless of price. And I know many models are out there that store the images on a digital camera memory card and my HP desktop has slots for 9 different brands of memory cards (as do some digital photo frames) so finding one compatible with your camera and/or computer is the first step.

I do know a bit more about scanning old photos and cropping and cleaning them up in Photoshop. I don?t see where Photoshopping images would ?send digital frames into paralysis? because once they are stored on the memory card, they are just images. Just like images that have not been Photoshopped. It?s getting the photos to the Photoshop that?s your biggest challenge in the chore of scanning your photographs.

Because you always seem to pick up ?trash? when scanning photographs, the first thing you?ll want to do is make sure the glass of your scanner is thoroughly cleaned with a glass cleaner and soft cotton cloth (never paper!) And your photographs should be gently wiped clean with a lint free anti-static cloth, like the ones used to clean lenses. A final wiping of the scanners glass with the cloth is also a good idea as to keep your photographs from wanting to ?float? away on the glass from static.

You?ll probably still have to clean them up but taking your time in Photoshop and working the various enhancements, you can often do wonders in improving the color, contrast, etc. of a photograph and repair physical damage from the orginal. And you?ll want to resize the images to a size no larger than your photo frame will allow before saving them to the memory card, that way you will save space on your card. And you should be able to hold lots of images on even a simple memory card.

So shop around for model with decent resolution, a compatible memory device and battery power capability so your mother can cherish her memories on the wall, in her lap and most of all, in her heart for years to come.

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Been There, Done That, Exactly
by Janice H / December 12, 2008 2:50 PM PST

Hi Barbara,
Let me start off by saying, I am so sorry about the loss of your father. In April of 2007, we lost our daughter who had turned 21 just 3 days prior. I have done what you are contemplating doing. As a rule I put together the slide shows for weddings and funerals (and whatever else) at church. As you can imagine, 99.99% of all the photos have been actual photos, not digital. Yes, I have spent many hours at the scanner, scanning them in, touching them up (cracks, spots, age...)and putting them together with transitions.

Naturally, my baby's pictures for her funeral were scanned by someone else--so I have had to do some touch ups to them to make them as perfect as I am able to do. I am a perfectionist for everyone else, why not my own child? Anyway, I bought a Smartparts 7" frame and card to put the pix on for display at my new job. I quickly figured out that with a digital pic it can probably tell it is the wrong orientation for how you have the frame sitting....most of my pix are landscape (horizontal), so as I was saving them to the card, I changed them myself. I have not noticed any freeze ups from my frame. I did notice that until I told it to keep rotating that it would stop and only restart when movement hit it.

I did all of this without benefit of photoshop--I used whatever was available from the scanner install. I now have photoshop on my new computer and it is fun to work with. I use a Canon Scanner (my favorite) and arcsoft for cropping and touch ups. My biggest suggestion is to orientate your photos prior to loading on the card for the frame. I don't have the pix loaded on the frame, just on the card. Works fine that way on the Smartparts. I have thought about putting a frame together for my Mom and my In-laws of our daughter, but, then I don't have pix of the other grandchildren, that wouldn't be fair. My older sister lost her son in January of this year....my mother has lost 2 grandchildren within 9 months of each other. Any siblings you have may want a copy of the slide show as well.

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Digital photo frame
by Fatboy71 / December 12, 2008 4:05 PM PST

Sorry to hear about your father.

You will have probably already thought of this but why not just keep things simple and put the collection of photographs in a nice photo album for your mom?

This would be a lovely gift maybe for your mom as well?

I know a few people who have digital photo frames and all of them complain about them, pictures stop or stick when scrolling, not very good picture quality for the price they paid, and they were not cheap ones I will add.

I think there is nothing has nice has having precious photographs in an album and looking through them, at least when they are in an album you have a hard copy of them!

I do a bit of digital photography, but I still get my pictures that I wouldn't want to lose printed out, I do not trust memory cards or optical media has a reliable backup media.

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i don't have a definitive answer, just suggestions
by chriss03 / December 12, 2008 9:04 PM PST

My mom was going from NJ to see a childhood friend in CA. I thought of the same idea. Instead of a photograph album, why not use a digital picture frame? OK. Here is what I found out.

Make sure it runs on batteries as well as AC. When I was looking for the frame, I found only one that used batteries. It was from Sears. And, believe me I looked everywhere in NJ! Obviously, if does not run on batteries, you really can't use as a photograph album and there is the necessity of plugging in the AC cord.

A micro-memory chip slot. This allows you to expand the capacity of the frame. Also, depending on the number of pictures, you could group pictures and store each group on a separate memory chip.

Along with the memory chips, make sure you have a multiport Card Reader for your system; either installed already or an external one. If not, they are relatively inexpensive; around $20.00.

Other options could include a USB port, remote control, and video capabilities. These are nice have.

My mom was extremely pleased with her gift. And it enabled her to share many family memories with her friend. Good luck.

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Saving photos in Photoshop for a digital photo frame
by sargevick / December 12, 2008 10:21 PM PST

The screen size, resolution and aspect ratios are the most important factors for you to consider. Digital photo frames come in many different screen sizes ranging from 6.5? to 12?. Try to find one with at least an 8? frame. There are three resolutions: 800

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Interesting ? Suggestions & looking at replies...
by G.T. / December 13, 2008 12:46 AM PST

Your question is of interest to me as well as answers. I too am scanning slides and pictures for family viewing. Have been working on old photos. Upgraded my flat bed scanner to Cannon 8800F which came with Adobe Photo Elements software. Old scanner had to scan one photo at time, the Cannon will scan as many photos as will fit on bed with 1/4 inch separation and display each as separate photo on screen for editing/saving. This is quite a time saver when scanning a lot of photos. Have been very pleased with the results. Have used other photo programs and the Photo Elements seems to be the best I have used so far. For slide scanning, reviews I have read Nikon is the best, but hi dollar, and is on my wish list. In the meantime I purchased a "VuPoint" slide scanner from National Geographic for $100. It does a pretty fair job. As noted in other post a "do it yourself" job will be very time consuming, but you will have complete control over the original photos and that is important to me and others. As I just visited with relatives with my laptop and scanner, scanning some family pictures in their homes that they were reluctant to let out of their sight. Digital frame.. No experience but will be looking at this post for suggestions.
Good luck, Gil

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I need help too
by nlmcgrath / December 13, 2008 12:49 AM PST

Looking for digi frame for a grandma as well. One that could that sit on a kitchen counter...moderate capacity...easy for us to set-up and for Grandma to enjoy. Please include some recomendations's for us.

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Digital Picture Frame
by jonathanrowson / December 19, 2008 11:18 AM PST
In reply to: I need help too

I've got experience with one picture frame, and the one we have at home allows us to put in a camera's flash card loaded with pics. Look at the frame's specs and you should see what SIZE (that is resolution) and format (.jpg etc) the frame will support. Also, if possible get a frame that you can just pop in a flash card and therefore not have to connect the frame directly to your PC, thus avoiding any possible virus/trojans/etc. The frame I have was purchased from Circuit City on Black Friday for 69 after rebate. Shop for your frame carefully, as this will affect your final step in processing. Many other posts CORRECTLY sketched out the path you most likely will take and have done so MUCH MORE thoroughly than I could ever have done, but just remember your steps. Scan (most lossless format possible), then convert after cleaning the pics up. Just be sure your frame has specs listed showing what resolution it wants the pics to be in (and in some cases what bit as well)

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Frames
by jda225 / December 20, 2008 12:12 AM PST
In reply to: I need help too

One of my sons purchased a Kodak Frame for me last year and I not only loaded a couple of hundred pics on it but kodak has a free site (that other companies according a the NY Times Tech article) charge a monthly fee. I have my frame on constantly (wireless) I can have a slide show from the Kodak web site of photos I have uploaded or others that I have in internal memory.

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Saving great memories to a digital photo frame --need help
by tigger_nospam / December 13, 2008 2:59 AM PST

I have recently done exactly the same thing for my mother-in-law. I put all the photos onto a SD card and used a Kodak Easy Share photo frame. All the photos, some of which were old back & white images played beautifully with no problems at all.

Hope this helps.

Tigger

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You're almost there
by Alain Martel1 / December 13, 2008 3:20 AM PST

The job wou want to acomplish need: a scanner, any image processor, a computer, one or more digital frames.

You already have everything, exept, maybe, the digital frame, that you need.

So, you just scan all the photos that you want. Save them in a non-lossy format for now. The best choice, for me, would be PNG. Good compression and keep all the original informations of the picture.

Load them in Photoshop, or your prefered image processor, and do all your cleaning and other optimisations, and optionaly some cropping. Save in another folder so that you can keep the original scans in case you need them later.

Once you are hapy with the results, convert the final images to JPG. This will give you a big size saving. For the black & white non-colorised ones, the GIF format can also be used. Then, upload the JPGs to the digital frame.

Be sure to carefully read the frame's instructions. You don't want to upload a picture in an unsuported format. For example, if the frame don't support GIF, don't use that format.


EXTREMELY IMPORTENT!

Whatever frame you chose, be sure to disable the Windows autoplay feature BEFORE you connect the frame for the first time and FORMAT the storage of the frame before you do anything else. Some digital frames may contain some virus set to exploit the autoplay funtionality to infect your computer.


It only leave the choice of frame.

That's the thing that I can't help you with, as I don't own any. Look for size, style, storage capacity and autonomy. Be sure to read the instructions.

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Digital picture Frame purchase
by lathangt / December 13, 2008 4:56 AM PST

My wife and I looked at a lot of digital picture frames and the two companies I liked a lot was Kodak's Easy Share and Digital Spectrum Solutions 10.4 Memory Frame Plus. We bought the Digital Spectrum 10.4" and found it easy to use. It allows connection to my iMac via a provided USB cord, and moving photos from iPhoto to the Digital Spectrum's icon on my desk top was a breeze. There may be others out there that provide many of the same features as SD/MMC/MS/XD slots, music provision etc. but this was on sale at Costco for a very good price and it was the size I wanted!
Terry

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Digital Picture Frame Considerations
by Roger Deal / December 13, 2008 6:18 AM PST

That is a wonderful thing to do for your mom.
1. Consider where it will go and how far the viewer will be to decide on a size. (Ours is a long way so I got a large 15" one. It is in a high niche so I put a lead weight on the support so I could tip it down instead of the normal up). Also compare screen size versus total size, many have a LOT of border(s) around the screen. Select a color and frame style. Our box shows "birch framing with a nice brown wood color" however, BLACK would be a better description. Check the actual item.
2. Check on the usable viewing angle from side to side and up and down vs intended use. Pay more attention to the vertical.
3. They can be a large BLACK area when off, so it is nice to have one that can be programed to turn on and off each day. A remote is also
very usefull, especially if you are older and have difficulty getting up and down.
4. Compare pixels displayed, many do not have high resolution. For scenery you will want a lot of pixels. Ours works well at 1024 x 768 resolution. Also you probably want a 4X6 aspect ratio for older photos; many digital cameras shoot in a 3X4 aspect ratio. I haven't found much information on color fidelity.
5. Internal memory is nice, but the ability to put in SD or USB chips with special subjects (people, holidays, Hawaii, France, etc.) is also nice.

Getting one at a brick and mortar store where you can take it back if you have problems could be important. Ours turns off reliably as scheduled, but turning on is problamitic.
I have not had any problems including 'Photoshopped images". I would scan them with a lot of detail in case you ever want to make paper copies, although you only need 100-200K file size. Make sure the images are rotated so the top is up. Our SmartParts unit came with software that will quickly resize the digital images so a lot will fit in the internal memory. Keep a backup copy of the images.

I think she will enjoy this a great deal, but make it so she can also enjoy it while watching TV commercials, or reading, etc, besides on her lap. You might be able to hang it on a wall (trailing a power cord).

Roger Deal

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Putting pictures on Digital Picture Frame
by carberg / December 13, 2008 11:28 AM PST

Have fun doing it. I did this for my mother's 80th birthday and did not find any problem. I used a scanner that was not mine, so after scanning the pictures, (I did very little editing) they were put onto a zip drive to take home. I then saved the pictures to a folder on my computer desktop. When complete with all pictures--about 200, I transferred them onto a 1 GB SD card. My brother-in-law is a composer so also added music to the SD card.
My biggest problem was finding a digital picture frame that would randomly show the pictures. This was a feature that some of the digital frames have that I wanted to be able to use. The pictures were from when she graduated from high school until the present.

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that is a great idea
by p1ttman / December 13, 2008 12:18 PM PST

i've never bought a digital picture frame before but one of my parents is disabled. i put pictures on their computer but my dad rarely uses the computer anymore. a didgital picture frame is a dern good idea.

you have got me thinking about a big one (at least a foot wide or so).
it should hold LOTS of pictures and be able to stretch, tile, and center just like a pc desktop.

that is a really cool idea. thanks alot. i know what to get my folks for Christmas.

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wouldn't it be cool if.....
by p1ttman / December 13, 2008 12:26 PM PST

wouldn't it be cool if you could somehow wirelessly SEND the pictures across the world and have them show up on your parents digital picture frame?

maybe we could use a combination of routers, internet, bit torrent(file transfer), and cellular signals.

i don't know how it would work but it seems like it could be done.

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Ceiva's Take on Picture Frames
by Loraneb / December 14, 2008 11:20 PM PST

Actually, you can send pictures "wirelessly" across the country using a Ceiva picture frame (ceiva.com). They use a subscription plan model. You can manage your relatives pictures from their website. You can upload pictures, group pictures by folders, provide the local news, weather, sports also. I have had one for my parents and myself for many years. My family loves them!

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ScanCafe and Ceiva
by mediadiva / December 19, 2008 10:06 AM PST

I would suggest big considerations are 1) do you live close to your Mom and 2) how often you want to update the photos? If there are a large number of photos, there are all sorts of options with hard drives and such, but you probably don't want to get into those and nor does she.

I'd recommend going for the largest size frame you can - you want to appreciate them after all this effort, you need her to be able to see them, and it's like computers, smaller is obsolete fast. Many of the stand-alone frames will play videos and music if that's of interest to you too, or receive images wirelessly from your computer if you're in wireless router range, i.e. the house.

But that's not all! 3 years ago we bought a Ceiva frame for my Mom to keep her "in the loop" with our family across the continent. Everyone can email in or upload photos and I have to do very little maintenance, since the Ceiva service (which, granted you pay about $10/mo for) stores them all online in albums you create and organize. I have a bunch of these albums "linked" to the frame, so a new photo from each is displayed each day, along with anything new sent in. It was such a success that we bought another for my in-laws last year. Ceiva also has a gallery of images and "channels" like "this day in History", "joke of the day" and the person's horoscope which you can throw into the mix. It dials a local number to download photos nightly so they're always new to the viewer. You can get pretty big cards for frames now to store lots of images, but stand-alone frames will never the immediacy of being able to email a photo from your phone, say while you're at Disneyland with the kids. And it's passive, or idiotproof, from the viewer's end - which is vital for my techno-phobe Mom.

Then this year, we dug out tons of old slides, medium format and 35mm negs and sent them to ScanCafe... the first order alone was 4100 photos and that's just my photos of family trips. With that many, and though I'm a designer very proficient in Photoshop, life is too short for me to scan and colour-balance them myself! Scanmyphotos is cheaper for scanning bulk prints, but I love that I was able to take the negs and leave the prints in their albums (many are in those old sticky albums and trying to remove them would destroy the print), plus ScanCafe allows you to review the scans online and discard the duds you don't wish to keep before you buy them. Scanning from the neg gives you a better image and shipping negs instead of prints or albums is environmentally friendly and cheaper. They've done a great job, many photos are reclaimed from rather underexposed prints we had originally, and the service is user-friendly and reassuring, giving you updates at each stage of the process so you know your precious originals are safe. My sister and I are sharing the online albums at ScanCafe with friends and family who have Internet access, and the photos are going online to Ceiva as a surprise for Mom for Christmas.
I considered getting an adapter for my camera and my scanner is great for negs, but I'm so glad we did this. I would never have gotten around to doing so much, so quickly and the quality is far above digital photos of prints I've taken in the past. And now I can keep copies of the DVD's safely stored, share them with family, and keep a backup of the files online, so our family photos won't even be lost in the event of a fire. The scanning's not a bad price, but worth even more for that peace of mind.
Great way to celebrate your family memories - I'm sure your Mom will get more enjoyment from this than almost anything else you could think of. Happy Holidays.

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could digital photo frames be used for storage?
by p1ttman / December 13, 2008 12:32 PM PST

i am an amatuer speller......i mean photographer and my hard drive is FULL of photos. How much storage space do these things have? do they work with a card or what?

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Easy Solution for Scanning Photos
by Loraneb / December 14, 2008 8:45 AM PST

If you have boxes of old pictures which need to be scanned, you might want to save yourself alot of work by using the service ScanMyPhotos.com. I haven't used them yet, but plan to. It's very reasonable. They also do film and slide scanning. I found out about this service from one of the blogs I read.

To scan photos, it's $50 for 1,000 photos. There are some shipping requirements (i.e., how they want the photos arranged, etc.) But how long would it take you to scan 1,000 photos? For me with my limited time, it would take days.

HTH,

Lorane

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