Just as digital cameras have replaced their 35mm variants, so the humble photo frame is under threat from going digital, but should it be something that you embrace or run from? We take a closer look at the Philips Digital Photo Display 7FF1AW.
Chances are you've probably got a digital camera and a stack of digital images stored on your computer. You may have been savvy enough and created a screensaver with your favourite images, but other than that, that holiday last year hasn't seen the light of day, yet alone some screen time.
In steps the digital photo frame from Philips, a 7-inch digital photo frame that sports a 720 x 480 pixel screen that is bright, crisp and clear.
Images are stored either on the unit's rather poor 12MB internal memory or can be accessed via its built-in multi-slot memory card reader or via some digital cameras directly with the included cable. Images can be transferred to the unit either via the USB cable or via a memory card.
The memory card reader offers support for Compact Flash I (CF), Memory Stick (MS), SD Card and Multi Media Cards (MMC) covering most bases bar Olympus and Fujifilm and considering the in-built memory only holds around 50 tracks buying an additional memory card for storage is probably the best way forward.
Once you've managed to choose the images (they have to be stored as jpegs unfortunately), the photo frame does allow you some management without the need for the PC and this is very handy if you are setting this up for the grandparents.
The interface isn't the easiest to master, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes fairly straight forward and you it's from here you can set things like brightness, slideshow options, frequency and orientation.
Orientation, is just as it sounds, the orientation of the photo frame, however although you can manually rotate images, unlike some digital cameras it won't do that for you - set it in landscape mode and any portrait pictures are shown landscape for example.
As for the frequency, there are plenty of options and compared to the Parrot Bluetooth Photo Frame enough to get you contemplating what to choose for some time. Everything from a rather quick "less that 5 seconds" settings to only ever changing the image once a day.
Other great features include a timer that automatically turns the frame on and off at set times and the chance to choose both fancy transitions between the images as well as a shuffle mode so you aren't presented with the same images in the same order all the time.
While the photo frame does come with an internal rechargeable battery, with a battery life of just 50 minutes it's not something that you should really bank on. Other complaints are a lack of Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, but then both would most likely increase the price way beyond its expensive, but just about affordable £125.
As the next must have gadget, this pretty much ticks all the boxes. It's considerably bigger than the Parrot offering, and the screen is considerably better.
If you've gone completely digital with your photography, then this is the next logical step.