Photo fames make perfect gifts for people, especially mums and grandparents. For Christmas I decided to buy my grandparents a digital frame and have it so that they could see hundreds of pictures of their new grandchild and bring them into the digital age. I needed a simple photo frame that was easy for them to understand and work.
I chose the Jessops one because it is simple to use without hundreds of buttons and looks good quality.
*Price and availability*
You can buy them frame from Jessops stores or you can use their online shop. It is priced at £39.99. As a bit of bargain hunter, I spotted mine on eBay and paid £34.00 so I was fairy pleased with that saving! It is also stocked on Amazon if you wanted to use any vouchers.
The photo frame has a thick black border running around the edge. The screen is 8" with a high resolution of 600 x 800 pixels. At the back is a stand that you can clip into place so you have the frame on your mantle piece. You can stand the frame up landscape or portrait and it is simply a case of clicking the stand into place. Alternatively you can mount the frame on a wall.
The frame is basic in features (which was the main reason I chose it) but I will talk you through the main ones:
*Internal memory of 2GB which means you can store images on the actual device.
* Clock and calendar function means you can have this as an alternative to seeing images or you can have both. This option is in the settings.
* Multi image display which means you can display more than one image on the screen at once.
*Photo effects where you can play around with the images by rotating for example
* Remote control so you can remotely navigate the menu and control the slide show yourself.
* Plenty of compatibility - The device is compatible with SD, SDHC, MMC, MS, MS Pro, (MS Duo, MS PRO Duo with optional adapter)
* There is also a USB port for hooking up to the computer to load some images on the devices physical memory.
*You can load sounds onto the device as well as it is has the capability to play MP3 files.
*The set up*
If you are slightly au fait with computers you will not have a problem in setting the device up. It is simple and very quick. As soon as you connect the frame to your computer via the usb port it recognises it as an external storage device. From here it is a matter of dragging and dropping the images you want on the frame and then you are good to go. The transfer is fairly quick and if you need to delete an image once uploaded onto the device, you can do this through an option on the menu.
*What can I store on it*
If you use a camera that takes photographs at around 10 megapixels, you will get around 770 pictures on the frame or 35 minutes of music.
The device is great and the quality of the images is fantastic. My grandparents actually cried when opening their present; memories are very special and this is a great way to present them. The actual frame is sturdy and feels solid and good quality. The only gripe with the design is the length of the power cable. My grandparents are in a very house and there are only a couple of sockets dotted around. We had to buy an extension cable so they could have it where they wanted, however this probably would not be a problem for other people.
The options for the slide show are easy to follow and it is such a great tool that you can set your slideshow to music. You could even record a sound bite from someone and have that playing. There is lots of scope for things to do and options to personalise it.
It would have been nice to have been able to play videos, for the price there are models that do this, however I wouldn't want to compromise the quality of the screen.
It is great that you can add to the frames memory; when I go on holiday now if I visit my grandparents and want to show them the images I just take round my SD card, slot it in and show them the images on their own device.
In regards to cleaning the device, I gave my grandparents a little microfiber cloth as this is soft and gentle on the screen and also grabs the dust and takes it away.
*How much does it cost to run*
I had to find this out as my grandparents are quite green by nature! The screen will use about 2 watts a day if used for around 12 hours a day, going on the latest electricity prices, it will cost over the year; £2.20 to run. A very small price to pay for having your families pictures displayed lovingly in your home.
I've been looking around for a quality, value digital photo frame and I have been reading many reviews. Then I came across ones from Jessops in February 2011. They sell three models which look similar:
8 inch Compact, £20. This has no memory, so you need to plug in any type of memory card/U.S.B. stick.
8 inch slimline, £39. Originally £49---even £120 on the price label. This is the one I have.
10 inch slimline, £55.
The last two have more features:
basic loudspeaker which isn't that loud, but no headphone socket
alarm; time; auto on/off
play mp3 and videos.
The screen resolution of all of them is 800x600, much better than a lot of the other makes. Having seen all of them I can say that their picture quality is superb, very life-like. They are about as good as the top brands yet for a fraction of the price. All colours are displayed well. Every review I've seen of the Jessops frames say that they are impressed with the picture quality. Unfortunately, pictures are not shown randomly; they are shown in folder order. The £20 8-inch Compact can beautifully blend a clock and calender into pictures.
The remote control keys are of a low quality and look like they will not last a long time, so it is a good idea to use Jessops's offer of an additional 2-year warranty for £13.
If you have Vista, XP(SP2) or Windows 7 you can connect it to your PC. If you use another operating system like Linux then unless you view all your pictures from a memory card/U.S.B. stick you have to copy files one at a time to the frame's memory.
You can set a time each day for the alarm and for the frame's slide show to go on and off: once, weekdays, weekends or everyday. Although people in other reviews have said that it can't do this, I can testify that it can. If you have set a time for the frame to come on, once it comes on your pictures are displayed in a slide show and any mp3 files are played automatically by default---this can be turned off manually. You can always put your mp3 files on a memory card/U.S.B. stick to avoid them being played automatically.
If a memory card/U.S.B. stick is plugged in, that is used by default instead of internal memory. The frame uses SD, SDHC, MMC and Sony cards.
Pictures placed in various folders are displayed as if they are all in the same folder. There are two ways around this: The first is to copy files to a memory card/U.S.B. stick whenever you want to use them. The other is to use encryption software.
In a Practical PC review they said that .avi movies are played but I could not play either them or .mpg movies. I could play .mp4(mpeg-4) but in full-screen size the quality was not good; in normal size it was good but appeared rather small.
have a list of free video-converting software for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. There is also the user-friendly http://www.nchsoftware.com/prism/ (which works in Linux with WINE).
Unlike in many other makes, the brightness, contrast and saturation can be changed. The values are 1-15, 15 being the highest. I found that if the contrast is slightly higher than the brightness, it gives a clearer picture. Normally if you look at a flat screen monitor from a lower vantage point, you cannot see the picture. The frame was better: images can still be seen but the brightness and contrast needed to be raised to get a clear picture. The frame leans back a little when in its stand. Since I needed to look at the frame from the lower vantage point of my bed whenever I wake up I used two---organic honey---jar lids to rest the back of the stand on. This was better than raising the brightness and the contrast. For the brightness, contrast and saturation I use 6,7,8 respectively, which is comfortably bright enough in a dark room and is also fine in good light. I tried other settings like: 7,8,8; 8,9,8 and 9;10,8. All pictures need enough light to be shown in good quality but too much light is uncomfortable, so I ended up with 6,7,8. The tint can be left at 50. If you only look at the frame from above, 5,6,8 can be used.
The time interval between pictures is 5-15 seconds. There is an option where it can display one picture at a time, which you advance manually; I found that the forward button actually takes you to the previous picture, whilst the backwards button takes you to the next! This is not the case on the remote, however. In this mode, pictures can be rotated 90 degrees and zoomed. The photo frame itself cannot be rotated upright & there is no hook for you to mount it onto a wall with.
The manual is in English but the frame can operate in other languages: French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese. I found the manual simple enough to understand but other people haven't.
There is no way to know for certain if a .jpg file can be viewed until it is displayed in the slide show or thumbnail mode, even if its thumbnail can be displayed when read from a memory card in file manager mode. It shows 16 images a screen in thumbnail mode; the same is true for the 10-inch model. In thumbnail mode it gives you the false impression that you can delete pictures; you can only do this in the file-manager mode, where you can only see one picture at a time. If you can connect the frame to the PC that is a lot easier.
The maximum length of the file name that can be shown in the file manager is about 39 characters.
There is a sleep mode button on the remote which functions as an on/off button. The only missing button on the remote is the menu button! So, you cannot use the remote to view videos.
If you set an alarm time in the 'calender' mode, the alarm sound is fairly loud, unlike the mp3's; there is no snooze button. Whenever I unplug the frame from the mains and connect it again after several hours, amazingly, it still keeps the correct time. If you rely on an electric alarm clock what happens if there is a short power cut?
For every purchase you make at Jessops they give you a £5 voucher for free photo prints, valid for two months.
In the past I never wanted to get a photo frame: I thought that seeing nice pictures on my PC was enough. But, having a great photo frame has a threefold effect: it shows off the pictures; it shows off a great photo frame; it shows off the great camera that took the pictures. I find that 8 inches 800x600 is big enough.
The frame has six demonstration pictures; three of them are good enough to show the picture quality. If you want you can put some pictures on a memory card/U.S.B. stick so you can plug it into a frame in the shop. The frame has five buttons below the screen, set like the five dots on a die. The frame will be in slide show mode, so press the 'menu' button on the top left of the control panel, then the 'exit' button on the top right, press the 'forward' button to select the input device, then press 'enter' in the middle. It will then slide show what it finds. Then repeat the process to switch the frame back to using its internal memory. Then select the 'photo' mode on the far left and press 'enter' to start the slide show again. The three good demonstration pictures are enough on their own however.
You may want to test its ability to come on at a pre-set time. It is called 'Power On' in the manual, which is either on or off; the 'Auto Boot Time' is the time it will come on.
The on/off button is on the frame's left; you press it for 2 seconds.
[Getting pictures ready for the frame:
Irfanview, www.irfanview.com 1Mb, is very simple to use, free, photo-editing software for all Windows: 95-7. It can do things like red-eye removal, re-sizing, rotation, let you add text or a border, change pictures to black and white and other effects. It also displays thumbnails of all the pictures in a folder.
[If you use Linux with KDE, the Digikam software has the Showphoto-editing software--- www.digikam.org
Irfanview works well with WINE, as long as you have copied some fonts into the /home/yourname/.wine/drive_c/windows/fonts folder. Opt to have hidden files shown in your file manager. Type: wine irfanview.exe at the folder where Irfanview is.]
Any 4:3 pictures like 1200x900, 1024x768 etc. will simply be re-sized by the frame. I created a 1200x800 3:2 picture and found that it squeezed it to fit 800x600.
The manual says that some .jpg found on the internet may not be displayed. I found that almost all .jpg files can be viewed. For the odd one that couldn't, I sometimes found that opening it using photo-editing software and saving them as a new .jpg did the trick. There was one .jpg picture that this did not work for; I found that by changing something in the picture a tiny amount, like the contrast, did the trick. I could not get the frame to use .gif or .png pictures but these can be converted to .jpg using photo-editing software.
If a picture is taller than it is wide, say 800x1200 i.e. 2:3, you can use Irfanview to trim it down to 800x600. Most pictures are shown well, like 1440x900, but not all of them are. I found that 900x600 pictures get a bit blurry, so these need to be trimmed too. You drag a box with the left mouse button for the area you want to cut out. You can specify that this box has a 4:3 ratio. You can drag the cut out box around with the right mouse button and re-size it by dragging the corner/border of the box. (In the free Gimp photo-editing software, www.gimp.org , you use rectangular select in the Tools menu, then use 'Crop to selection' in the Image menu.)
If you have a large picture like 1920x1200 you can use a three-stage process to select which 800x600 area you want the picture to be: Drag a box with the left mouse button for the area you want to cut out, unless you want to use the whole picture. Re-size the picture so that the height is say, 600---if the picture is less than 4:3 re-size the width to 800. Then drag a box 800x600 for the area you want to cut out.
It is a good idea to start by saving a series of test pictures at different levels of gamma, to give you an idea of how bright a picture is supposed to be---in Gimp, you use 'Levels' in the Colours menu. Call them, say, gamma-090.jpg, gamma-080.jpg, gamma-070.jpg, gamma-100.jpg, gamma-110.jpg etc. Press the undo button to reset it each time. Add some very large text---size 48---to the corner of each picture saying how much gamma is used: 0.60, 1.20 etc.; make sure it can be distinguished from the background colour. Then rename whichever is best: gamma-110BEST.jpg. Then keep a copy of these in a separate folder on the PC, so you can compare every picture to this set. When you look at a series of pictures in thumbnail mode on a flat screen monitor, the ones higher up will look brighter than the ones lower down.
I had two forest pictures that did not look as good in the frame as they did on my HP monitor. Forest trees, from a distance, often appear too dark. If the picture is inside a forest, however, that is not the case. Bright white---but not soft white---areas will appear very bright indeed, like in a waterfall, so you may want to decrease the gamma using the photo-editing software. For such pictures save two or three versions with different gamma levels. If you look at the frame from above and in good light, however, too much light/darkness in a picture will not matter as much.
Some small pictures, less than 800x600, are shown well. For those that are not you can do the following: In Irfanview create a new picture 800x600 in size. Change its colour settings to turn it black: a white picture can be turned black with the 'invert' function. Save it as, say, 'base800x600.jpg'. Open your small picture. Copy it. Open 'base800x600.jpg'. Paste in the picture then center it.
The frame does not seem to like .jpeg pictures, so you need to rename them as .jpg.
Once you have loaded more pictures into the frame you need to go into thumbnail mode to see how well the newly added pictures show up. You can't just add 2,000 pictures and hope that they will all turn out well. Pressing the 'Backward' button takes you to the last page of thumbnails.
has other free photo-editing software. One of them is Gimp; the links below show how to use Gimp to reduce noise in pictures:
http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Selective_Gaussian_Blur (Basically, they say use the Selective Gaussian Blur in the Filters menu: use around 10 for delta and radius. I found it effective.)
Gimphoto, www.gimphoto.com , is a free variation of Gimp for Windows and Linux:
It was rather difficult Christmas time in finding a Christmas and birthday present for my mom being that her birthday is on Christmas day and I like to get her separate gifts. One thing that got me thinking is that my mother loves her photos in the family home there are boxes and black bags full of photos. Over the years our birthday's, milestones, school plays ect all were photographed of me my brother and sister plus now mom's grandchildren. Aiming to stay on the photo theme we decided to purchase a digital photo frame, but as my mom has a love for music too I wanted one that would also play back-ground music, and to find one really was not an easy task!
I started at electrical store browsing the internet but I couldn't find one that supported music and videos and when I did they were at the £150 plus mark; personally I didn't really want to pay that much for a frame when getting one that didn't support music could be purchased from £10.99 and I didn't understand the big leap in price just so I could have music on there too! Then my dad recommended that I try Jessop's and there it was!
Jessop's 8inch Slimline Digital Picture Frame:
After a couple of minutes browsing the Jessop's web site I had spotted the one I wanted, and it did all that I was looking for and more, perfect. I pre-ordered this online so I could pick it up in store and in doing so that saved me an extra £10.00 even better.
* High resolution screen: 800x600 pixels
* Internal memory: 2GB
* Clock calendar function with alarm
* Multi image display
* Photo effects
* Remote control
* Memory Card compatibility: SD, SDHC, MMC, MS, MS Pro, (MS Duo, MS PRO Duo with optional adapter)
* Other connections: USB, USB Host
* Supported formats: JPG, MP3, AVI & MJPEG
Putting your photos onto the frame couldn't be easier it really is in basic terms a drag and drop system; it connects to your PC or laptop via a USB cable where it comes up like an external hard drive or mass storage device. You simply select the photos and music files you require and drag/paste/copy them into your digital frame file.
If this doesn't automatically come up when plugging in the USB cable simply go to my computer located on the start box and you should see your digital frame file there.
When it comes to positioning your frame it comes with a clip so you can have it standing or there is a grip at the back so it can be put up on a wall if you wish. It does need to be close to a power outlet though as the power lead isn't very long.
Well as it holds 2GB of memory you can guess it will hold hundred's of photos and music files, music files however will take up more room than a photo. But you can also add external memory cards giving your frame even more memory, a bonus really for my mom due to the amount of photos she has stored over the years.
The hard part for me was sneaking into my parents to I could grab hold of some photos to scan; then so I could add them to the frame as I wanted it set up ready so mom just had to plug it in Christmas day. As you can imagine this really was no easy task, taking around five boxes back home with me each box held around 70 packs of photos! I went through the boxes as I wanted a mix of old and new.
I was thinking when it came to adding the music and photos I would need to select different files within the frame, but this was not the case you just add them all together (I had my partner in the background, saying that's not going to work - him being Mr tech and all that) But when I clicked the frame on it automatically started the slideshow of photos and playing the music in the back-ground. Brilliant as that meant even less work for me.
Cleaning this frame is also easy for day to day dust the lady at Jessop's told me to just use a plan dry cloth and simply wipe over the screen; if you do end up with a stubborn stain use a glass cleaner wipe (but squeeze the moisture out first) then rub down with a dry cloth. (It does come with a free dry screen cloth too)
The User manual I found to be straight forward to follow giving you the run down on start to finish and safety precautions needed to keep this frame in good condition. Don't expose to rain or moisture it is for indoor use only and only use the recommended equipment.
Adding the time and date was also an easy task when you have your frame on you just navigate through the menu options from photo, video, music, calendar, file and settings. For the time and date you need to go to settings where you use the up and down tabs on the remote to set; you can have a 12 or 24 hour clock.
When you click on photo all your images come up as thumbnails (mini photos) if you click entre on them your slideshow begins.
You can set your frame to have different photo options -
* Slide with music - this will give you a slide show of your photos and play your music in the background
* Slide photo only - this will give you a slide show without music
* Single - this is when you manually cycle your photo yourself via the remote control
Also you can rotate your photos, adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and zoom in using your remote control plus delete any photos you didn't want on.
Another great thing about this frame is the calendar function if you didn't want large images of photos circling around you can click to calendar mode where the time and a monthly calendar is displayed along with a mini slide show of photos in the right had corner.
As this frame also supports videos I wanted to try this out I added a mini clip of my dog singing which played perfectly my dog hearing himself sing started him singing again! I didn't leave the video on as it does take up more room than a standard photograph.
Digital Photo Frame
This frame does look rather stylish and modern I personally think it will fit in with most house hold decorations. It has a silver coloured frame around the outside with a glossy black finish; you can also use the buttons located on the front of the frame or just use the remote provided.
Price and Availability:
Right now this frame is on sale for only £49.99 in store, but if you reserve this online and collect from store you will get £10.00 off making the frame only £39.99 which is a complete bargain for the space and supports you get.
If you don't have a Jessop's near you, you can still purchase this online for the special price of £39.99 but you would have to pay delivery of £3.99.
As this is a Jessop's frame it can only be purchased from their stores or on their web site.
Really happy I purchased this frame my mom absolutely loves it; the only thing is now she is finding out more photos for me to add!! But at least she likes it and is using it.
Nice and straight forward to set up easy to use great displays and a brilliant purchase price, if you're like my mom and love your photos this really would be perfect for you it is neat, compact doesn't really take up much room and a lovely way to show off your memories.
The photos are clear and bright to view; the music volumes don't distort when putting the volume to its highest. Doesn't have to be just a photo frame as you can also have the calendar and alarm functions to use also.
Five out five stars from me.
Thanks for reading :o)
To find your local store can be found here www.jessops.com