Sony DPF-D80 digital photo frame

The trouble with a digital camera is that once you've downloaded the images on to your computer you rarely see them. They collect "digital dust" to be forgotten about. Sony hopes its experience in screens places it in the perfect position to offer a digital photo frame. So is the DPF-D80 as good as the company's TVs? We get viewing to find out.

The crux of any digital photo frame is the screen and here you get an 8-inch 800 x 600-pixel 4:3 screen that is crisp, bright and full of colour. The photo frame also comes in sizes of 7- and 10-inches.

Encasing that screen is a solid black glossy frame and if you're keen to show that you've bought Sony, you can have the logo beaming out at you in bright white, although fortunately you can turn this off with no trace that it ever existed.

Around the back there are a number of controls however for the most part it's easier to control everything via the included credit card sized remote control (as long as you don't lose it). The remote certainly saves you having to press buttons you can't see while looking at a screen.

When it comes to getting images into and onto the frame there are a number of choices available to you. The frame comes with 256MB of on-board storage, however you'll only be able to access around 200MB of it for storing files. If you've got a 10-megapixel camera that's around 60 images although shooting in or saving in a lower resolution will obviously improve this number.

Images can be transferred from a PC via USB (not a USB drive though) or viewed from an SD, CompactFlash, xD or Sony's own MemoryStick and MemoryStick Duo cards. Unfortunately you can't view images from both the hard drive and a memory card at the same time - it's one or the other.

Once you've got your pictures displayed on the frame there are a number of "View" options for you to enjoy those images; single, multiple, slideshow, random, and clock or calendar with or without pictures.

Most are self explanatory as to what they offer and once you set them in motion you can leave the frame to get on with doing what it's supposed to do - displaying images.

All sounds great doesn't it, and on the surface it is, however while the Sony DPF-D80 performs well in offering you good playback of images, that's all it really does.

No video or music support, no Wi-Fi capabilities, no timer to set it to turn off when you've gone to bed and no built-in battery (to be honest we aren't really that fussed by the lack of a battery).

No problem, it is a basic frame aimed at the lower end of the market, I hear you say. Trouble is that with a £149.99 price tag this isn't entry level pricing.

Verdict

The core job of the Sony S-Frame, to give you its other name, is to display images and in doing this the DPF-D80 excels. The screen quality is very good, however if you are looking for a digital photo frame that does more than just display images you've pre-loaded in via a memory card in the back - like allow you to stream images from your Flickr account - then this isn't likely to be the frame for you.