I bought this digital photo frame upon my return from a cruise last year. I found myself taking hundreds of photos using my camera on holiday and worried I would never see them again on my return. I purchased this excellent frame and I can now see these happy memories whenever I want, without the hassle of digging out heavy photo albums or filling up all the space of tables with traditional frames.
I tend to put the memory card from my digital camera directly into the side of the frame whenever we have people around, the frame can also take a USB stick.
I have the frame in a silver/white which looks modern and blends into my neutrally decorated room. I find the 9 inch size of the screen perfect to view the photos. There are many different views you can have the photos slide or appear in fancy ways and a clock function as well. The quality of the display is excellent showing crisp clear photos.
The frame stands up easily and can very easily be switched from landscape to portrait depending on the photo's being displayed.
I have recommended this frame to friends and family and I find it a great talking point to have playing in the background.
My Mum, bless her, can't get her head around viewing photographs on a computer monitor, she is of the generation that like their pictures in albums or in a frame, to be enjoyed at her leisure, preferably in a comfy chair, and without the need for constant mouse clicking. Between the family members with digital cameras we have a fair number of digital photographs, numbering into the thousands in fact, but not having a limitless supply of ink and photo paper printing them off would be immensely costly, as well as time consuming. Clearly something had to be done to open up these many photographs to Mum, which is how I found myself toying with the idea of a digital photo frame for Mothers Day. The brief was to find one that was simple to operate, aesthetically pleasing and with enough storage to hold as many photographs as we could throw at it. It also had to have a decent sized viewable area, which pretty much disqualified 7 inch frames from consideration. After a good few hours comparing and evaluating frames of all shapes and sizes I decided on a 9 inch model that consistently received high praise and plaudits from those who had purchased it, that frame was the Sony DPF V900. Expensive at £130, but if the hype was to be believed it was well worth the premium price.
What's in the box?
So what do you get for your money? Obviously you get the frame itself - a vision of highly polished glass and metal about the size of a hardback book in all but thickness. It has a sleek, uncomplicated look to it with all buttons, card slots and wiring positioned to the rear. There is also a power cable and brick, which is small as power blocks go, little bigger than a pack of cards. A simple looking mini remote is next out of the box, powered by a watch type battery and boasting a dozen buttons to zoom through pictures or enter the on screen menu as needs be. And that's pretty much it, save for a concise instruction booklet and details of what to do should the need to implement the one year warranty presents itself.
Multi Memory Card slots - Meaning that Memory cards can be taken from digital cameras or phones and simply plugged into the corresponding slot to the rear of the frame for instant replay of Photographs. Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Duo Pro, SD, CompactFlash and MMS cards can all be fitted without need of adaptors. Basically if it's a Memory Card this frame supports it. There's even a USB port so that a USB pen drive can be plugged in and explored. There is also 512MB of internal storage straight from the box.
Face Detection and auto touch-up - Face detection automatically detects and focuses on faces in a photograph so that they become the heart of the picture. The Auto touch-up feature removes red eye as well as smoothes the image, removes blemishes and focuses perfectly. These operations are all carried out via the frames onboard menu, negating the need for a computer.
Intelligent Orientation Sensor - The V900 can be positioned in both landscape and portrait, and the Intelligent Orientation Sensor automatically senses the frame position and displays photographs accordingly. In landscape position the Sony logo sits in illuminated glory towards the bottom of the frame; cleverly this disappears if you stand the frame in portrait mode.
HDMI Connectivity - With the use of a HDMI cable the frame connects to any High Definition television to display photographs on the big screen. If the aforementioned TV happens to be a Sony Bravia, photographs are enhanced still further by the Sony PhotoTV HD optimizer. Bravia owners can also use their Television remote to control and navigate the Frame if so desired.
Bluetooth Connectivity - with the addition of a Bluetooth dongle the frame is capable of wireless image transfer from Bluetooth cameras or camera phones, as well as Bluetooth capable PC's and laptops.
Multi Image Format Support - The V900 displays Bitmap, JPEG, Tiff and RAW photographs up to 48 Megapixel or 100MB in size. Typically a 12 Megapixel Image can be processed and displayed in less than 2 seconds. Images are displayed in 15:9 ratio when the frame is in the landscape position. The maximum number of photographs the frame can display - be it from internal memory or cards, or a mixture of both - is 9999.
Advanced Transition Effects - The Display modes and transition effects are many and varied on the V900. A single photograph can be displayed, or multiple photographs via a slideshow type scenario with fade, wipe and blind transition effects to suit personal taste. There is also an analogue and digital clock as well as a monthly calendar should you tire of photograph browsing. You can even mix and match so you can display photographs and a clock or calendar at the same time.
Remote Control - Means you can control the frame from the comfort of your armchair. You can zoom in and out of photographs, switching between slideshow and single display mode as well as browse the clock or calendar, all with a simple and responsive button press.
Firstly, this frame looks amazing; it oozes elegance in its own sleek and shiny manner. The frame feels well made and sturdy, with the stand firm to the touch and the buttons reassuringly firm yet responsive. And the picture display is breathtaking - Images are crisp and bright, even those taken with lower spec cameras or mobile phones. The Auto on/off feature is a nice touch which means you can have the frame switch itself off overnight, then start itself again in the morning ready for further photograph perusal. Transfer of pictures is simple with no software needed, simply drag and drop. This being a present for my Mum it was important that the operation of the frame was simple; luckily the V900 delivers in this regard. Once the photographs are on the frame everything can be easily controlled with the remote control - one button press opens the menu where simple settings like the time between photograph changes or transition effects can be changed while in slideshow mode. You can also shuffle the photographs you have to display them in a random way.
Incredibly for a frame that costs £130 there is no USB cable supplied. This means that from the box there is no way of transferring photographs onto the frames internal memory, so you either have to shell out for a cable, a Bluetooth adapter or a memory card to drag and drop your pictures onto on a computer. I find this frankly astounding. There is also no onboard battery, meaning if you feel the need to hold the frame to enjoy photographs at close quarters you'll need to do so with a long extension lead. This also means any settings relating to the frame turning on or off or slideshow preferences are lost in the event of a power outage or if you unplug it. Seriously Sony, how much would it have cost to slip a lithium battery in to alleviate this problem? Not much I'll wager. Also, the fact that you have to purchase a proprietary Sony Bluetooth dongle at over £30 to make use of the frames Bluetooth capabilities irks me a little, and makes me wonder how Sony can boast about the frames Bluetooth credentials when it's not Bluetooth capable out of the box. Finally, the remote is a little on the small size, meaning losing it is a real possibility.
Despite my annoyance at the USB cable issue - and trust me, I was very annoyed - the V900 is a stunning digital photograph frame which raises the bar in the digital photo frame genre. Quite simply it is the best digital photo frame I have ever seen, the picture is sharper than my HD television and PC screen and the ease of use and multitude of memory card support pleasing. It's not cheap, but then class rarely is. To get around the non inclusion of the USB cable I decided to purchase an 8GB Memory card and pass it around the family to load up with photographs, that way it's simply a matter of slotting it in the back and away you go. Four stars out of five from me, and if Sony hadn't Penny pinched the USB cable it would have been the unequivocal full five. More significant than my views and feelings though is the fact that Mum loves it, and when all is said and done that's all that matters.