Sony DPF-V900 digital photo frame review

The Sony DPF-V900 is a 9-inch digital photo frame, part of the company's S-Frame line-up that promises a number of nifty features to make your images look pretty.

As you might expect, the main focus of the frame is the screen and here you get a WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) screen that is bright and crisp. It could be sharper, but then it's not as bad as half the digital photo frames we get in the office.

Underneath the widescreen display you get a Sony logo that beams out in bright white, but you'll be pleased to hear that you can turn this off within the settings.

The frame itself adds a further couple of inches to the overall size, but the reflective gun metal colour is stylish. This is one frame that neither looks cheap or as if it is made from plastic.

Around the back and you'll get a plethora of buttons, memory card slots and other connection options.

On the memory card reader side of things you get support for CompactFlash, SD card, SDHC, MMC, xD-Picture Card and of course Sony's own Memory Stick formats: Pro STD and DUO. Plugging in a card automatically switches the screen to play the images on that medium and it's all incredibly easy.

Beyond cards you can connect the photo frame to your PC, a USB drive or straight to your camera. There is also HDMI support for outputting the images to your TV.

There isn't any Wi-Fi connectivity, which is a bit of a disappointment, meaning you won't be able to stream your Flickr photos or stream from your PC to the frame without it being nearby. The DPF-X1000 comes with 512MB of storage on board giving you plenty of space to store images - around 1000 in total at an average file size.

Plugging in your USB drive or digital camera is easy and you can either choose to run the images off of them or transfer them to the frame's on-board memory.

Get past the looks and the digital photo frame from Sony offers a couple of options when it comes to displaying your photographs. Images can be displayed in original format, to fit the screen, multiple at a time or you can opt for a clock or calendar to compliment your images.

Selecting the relevant mode to suit you is done either via the buttons around the back or via the small (half business card size) remote control.

Acknowledging that not all of us take stunning pictures, Sony has included a feature called "Auto Touch Up" that will automatically (when selected) touch-up your photos to make them, hopefully, better.

Press the button and the software on-board will smooth skin, correct the backlight, sharpen and correct red-eye. Unfortunately you can't opt to control whether it does one or the other, or by how much. It's just a case of "If you want this picture to look better then press yes". Still, for those who aren't into editing their photos on a computer, it will hopefully improve your bad shots.

Slideshows can be created of your collection and you can set the interval, effect between transitions and what order they appear in (filename or random).

The DPF-V900 also offers auto-rotation of the image and auto-rotation of the frame from portrait to landscape and vice-versa.

Verdict

While the 9-inch digital photo frame looks good, it is expensive compared to other photo frames on the market, especially as it doesn't have Wi-Fi. You can get an optional Bluetooth dongle (another £30) to stream images from your computer or mobile phone, but why isn't it built-in from the start?

While we love the Auto Touch Up concept, the lack of control over the fixes or the extent is disappointing, as the results tend to be overly obvious.

Looks good, but at a price.