Life is a huge collection of experiences that together forge our memories whether good, bad or indifferent. Most of these memories make us the person we truly are and mould our personality and as such are vitally important. The problem is that over time our memories may fade or lose some finer clarity which is why we use photographs to capture that moment forever. This used to be a problem when we had to archive literally hundreds or even thousands of paper prints into bulky folders. The advent of digital imagery made life so much easier and we could organise files in huge numbers on our PC. But still we had to trawl through massive databases to find the truly special pictures we really wanted to be reminded of day after day. Sitting at a desk with your friends crowded round was a totally unsuitable scenario and so social networking sites became great allies in our right to be proud of our history.
So what about sitting at home and thinking about these experiences and making a photographic journey of your life? The ideal solution is a digital photo frame. Filter your large catalogue of media files and put together a visual highlight montage to enjoy by yourself or with friends and from the comfort of your chair.
Digital photo frames have been around for a number of years now and there is a huge number of manufacturers to choose from and to suit any budget. Initially they were quite a fashion accessory but there were some worries about picture quality and viewing angles on the early models. Personally I had never found anything that truly reflected the quality of the original digital shots. This is a big concern now that we are in double figures for Megapixels and there are also rapidly falling prices for DSLR's. So with careful selection I made my choice and hoped with the information I had I would have made the right choice. I did.
The Toshiba JournE F800 is a lovely looking frame that falls in the mid price range and for what it offers it is value for money. The model I have is black with an integrated stand though it can be wall mounted. Out of the box is the frame itself, an AC adaptor, USB cable, quick start guide and a cd-rom. The JournE accepts most media cards and can accept SDHC capacities of up to 32Gb.
Aesthetically it is extremely good looking with no obvious controls mounted on the front side. However this is because they are concealed behind the frame border and are activated by touching the LED enhanced icon of choice. The sensitivity is nice and requires only the lightest of touches and when not in use the LED's go off and disappear into the black surround. The simple on/off switch is located at the rear of the unit.
The menu system is very easy to use and requires short sequences of presses for the appropriate icons. The main menu gives a choice to flick between pictures, calendar, video and audio. Audio files can be used to accompany the slideshow presentation if you so wish.
The selling point of the JournE F800 however is the strong picture quality on a bright LED screen. The 800*600 resolution is good for a screen of this size and it has a contrast ratio of up to 400:1 on a display that uses a 4:3 aspect ratio. Colours are vibrant and vivid and the viewing angles are very good indeed. Of course you must remember that the JournE only uses the photos you install so it will make proper representations and as such you choose your best images for the best results.
8" LED @ 800*600
Contrast ratio 400:1
1Gb internal flash memory
Supports SD, MMC, MC, MS Pro, Xd and SDHC.
File types are Jpeg and Bmp.
Associated file type are Mp3, MPEG 4 and WMV.
Mini USB port.
OS support MS Windows 2000 onwards.
*Not sure of OSX support*
A stylish and highly capable digital photo display which reproduces images faithfully. Colour and contrast are spot on and it makes a worthy addition to your tech filled household. Expect to pay in the region of £70 to £80 for this model.