Product Type: Kodak Digital Photo Frame
Newest Review: ... my home! A thick black clip on frame holder and combined stand is also included and this can be locked into the back of the Kodak P720 in ... more
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Kodak Easyshare P720
Member Name: Nar2
Kodak Easyshare P720
Date: 07/03/13, updated on 09/03/13 (43 review reads)
Advantages: Single USB slot, double SD card slots, reliable, easy to use, comes with 2 frames, good display.
Disadvantages: Quite angular, no built in memory, still pricey after three years bought brand new.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Brand & Product: Kodak Easyshare P720 With Home Décor Kit.
* Size: 7" screen; physical size of LCD screen:15.5cm by 9cm.
* Overall size: 22cm by 15cm by 1cm width.
* Pixels: 480 by 234 pixels, displays JPEG photos and other formats.
* USB slot for memory drive/SD/SDHC.
* CD-Rom Mac and PC compatible disc supplied.
* Two SD/SDHC slots with compatibility with MS, xD, & MMC.
* Automatic slideshow function.
* Total watts power; 6 watts & 5V adaptor.
* Cleaning cloth and home décor kit supplied.
* My price (2011) £59-99, 2013 prices range from £60 to £80 on Amazon UK and £5 to £40 second hand on EBAY UK.
General Design/Impressions & Quality
The Kodak Easyshare Digital Frame P720 came out in 2009 at an original retail price of £69-99 and I only know this because of the additional round sticker price on the original box being crossed out with the £10 off cost price I paid in 2011. Out of the box, you get a slip-on-to-lock two pin plug adaptor and a slip on UK plug slot that locks in. It's a bit cheap but then it is an older frame and has other adaptors included that can be used in other countries. The digital frame itself has a CD-ROM installation disc supplied and the whole product comes with a kit called "home décor," that basically comprises of two flimsy self adhesive vinyl frames; one silver frame border and a dark burgundy red frame border; both are naturally a matter of taste and in the two years that have passed since ownership, I eventually chose the silver band to fix to the frame instead of the all white appearance; so at least they are interchangeable and the silver gives the frame a bit of class although the burgundy border looks warmer, it is more in tune with conservative homes with dark woods, which isn't applicable in my home!
A thick black clip on frame holder and combined stand is also included and this can be locked into the back of the Kodak P720 in two ways; landscape orientation (the standard way) or portrait orientation which is all in black, anyway. Wall mount holes are also supplied on the rear too for each orientation position option. Sadly, the frame lacks curvy corners from its rectangular pillar-box style and the screen has a 7" measurement.
Generally, for the age, this older frame is still stylish to the eye dependent on how you look at it. It kind of helps to have the home décor frames, even if they take up the inner border within the frame itself before the LCD touch screen. Oh yes, there are few physical push buttons on this actual product, with the only button being a soft push on button located centrally at the top of the frame to the rear where you will also find the memory card slot. The rest of the buttons on this frame have been ingeniously added to the touch borders alongside the central part and the right hand side of the frame.
However, due to the age, the Kodak P720 doesn't come with a memory bank on board, nor does it come with a memory card to get yourself started. That falls down to the owner to supply. I am actually pleased that the frame doesn't have such facilities, as it would be defunct if an error occurred on it, but it does possess a few surprises a long the way.
General Performance & Downsides
Firstly, for this Kodak product, it isn't that necessary to use the software that they supply. You can get around it for the fact that the frame doesn't possess any built in software anyway as you add it yourself. But if you do install the CD-Rom onto a PC or Mac, the software builds in a photo uploader program naturally for the frame and you will require a standard size SD card to be able to put on any photos through the program and then into the frame. Kodak claim that the software they have produced here is a quick up loader program, but I find no difference in speed of swapping and dropping the photos I want to display using my camera hooked up to an USB cord to the frame itself in the first instance - it just involves more time going through the settings of the Kodak, which helpfully teaches you at the same time how to get the best out of the frame. If you own a Mac without an SD card reader though as an alternative to hooking up the camera to the frame, then you would have to consider camera to computer before transferring via SD card to the frame. Most PCs have an SD pull out card reader, but some Macs don't.
In reality I found the software on my Mac really annoying, realising that it put everything that wasn't a document extension into a default program called "assets" that Kodak's program tries to open. The Kodak software seems to have conflicting problems if you have Open Office installed on your computer, for starters! In the end I un-installed the software and I just use my digital camera's own SD memory card with the photos I want to display on the Kodak's digital screen and luckily this frame can display whatever format is available on the SD card you supply.
However, there are far more alternatives available - a single USB slot allows the Kodak to accept memory sticks added that have photos and you can also add two SD/SDHC cards at one time. This is where photos can be swapped over; a very neat and ingenious idea given the cheap price of even a basic 2GB SD card these days and its large capacity.
All the while, functions for actual activation are handily located all around the touch border of the screen, even if each function requires a few seconds for the frame to activate. It can be slow dependent on the user, but I appreciate that the Kodak requires some time to be spent with it, to get the best out of the product because eventually I know exactly what to do the next time and changing settings thereafter takes seconds to do. Thus you're looking at a couple of minutes if you want to get the best out of the frame, rather than spending an hour trying to work out functions. I was a bit disappointed at first with the "Quick Start" function though as it only allows the frame to reposition photos and not much else, but I can see why Kodak have added the feature if all you want to do is transfer and display a much bigger photo on an ad hoc portable unit rather than carrying your expensive tablet or PC around with you!
I also had an initial feeling that this touch-border idea is a bit old fashioned, but as time goes on I can see the benefits of having that facility - it prolongs the frame's longevity to minimise function buttons on the hard plastic border as well as keeping the idea of separate controls without damaging the frame's glass area. It also seems to minimise the idea that this unit generates dust - you get a cleaning cloth with the product but I only require to dust the back of the frame which shows up the most dust due to its black dimpled surface. I suppose having function buttons located on the border also minimises touching the actual glass area too unlike other rivals.
In terms of adaptability then the Kodak is pretty good from the facilities it offers and with only a few downsides or features left wanting. It allows eight zoom options, able to fill the screen with the photo or add another border around it, able to program the sorting number from the photos you wish to display, able to program the amount of time you want each photo to show (3 seconds to an hour maximum) though the system is set at a default 5 seconds. There are five to seven levels of brightness control too - and as a bit of a bonus to the product - an optional display clock and timer that can be activated to switch the frame off - handy info for artists in galleries who may want to buy this product for that very option alone!
Whilst other reviews have mocked the quality of display with the Kodak P720, I find the colours are entirely acceptable and actually quite brilliant, able to display the same kind of excellent quality I've shot with my own Canon camera in the first instance! It all comes down to what quality of the photos you use from your camera in the first place, rather than point the finger of blame at the frame! Thus if you take a blurry photo or if you take a photo that is dark and dull because the flash didn't work, the same photo will display on the Kodak, even if the bright settings are set at their highest.
My mother was very happy with the frame when I brought it in, as I could extend the frame from the single room she had, allowing a lot of travel from the wall plug via the long cord to the actual bed. Although I was able to update the photos as time went on, she could see each detail in the photos of our home, life in general and anything else that I wanted to display, including older photos that couldn't be scanned on but were then re-shot using my camera before uploading them to the Kodak. The nurses kept an eye on the frame too, which made it all the more helpful to leave it there than run the risk of leaving a more expensive option in the hospital and taking the SD card with me also made it far more convenient for me each night I visited, incase the card was stolen or have the opportunity to add more photos. Generally, there isn't a limt of photos you can display on the Kodak - it all comes down to the amount of space you have on an SD card, and with my 2GB card I had plenty of space left over for the 30 or so many photos I had originally given her.
One downside that left me wanting is the lack of security for the SD cards. A lock or fitting would be great to ensure that the SD card can't be tampered with or removed unless it is by the user - but for the fact that so many wonderful people were taking care of mum, I had no fears of the frame or the photos being stolen.
Over the years, Kodak have since launched other digital frames where you can add videos and naturally have a speaker fitted frame. However there is the P520 which is a lower model and P820 as well as other models that feature highly versatile features. I consider the P720 to be a middle of the range digital frame that is fit for purpose.
I am very pleased with my Kodak P720 Easyshare digital frame. In the two years I've owned it, it has never let me down at all and since the loss of mum, her photos and the original slide show I recorded is displayed daily, reminding me of good times, good memories and photos of my late father and other family members. It isn't the most modern looking digital frame around but it is highly functional and even the inner borders make it worthwhile to an extent. It is well made, uses low energy power and easy to use the more you use it. Look past its angular design and it offers quite a lot of versatility and the frame's lack of pre-installed memory really means far longer longevity to capture and display those life moments past and present. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2013.
Summary: It looks basic but its also a very easy to operate and quite versatile, functional digital frame.