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Are Cheap Digital Photo Frames Worth Buying?

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/6/2011

You don't want to break your budget. But, you have a question when it comes to digital photo frames. Are cheap digital photo frames worth buying? Well, let's explore that question together!

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    Photo frames are cool; there’s no denying it. You don’t have to worry about printing out your pictures and actually spending the money to get them framed. Instead, you pay one price for a little frame, where you don’t even have to choose which photo that you want to display. You can instead display several of your favorites in one frame.

    But, if you are on a budget, you probably don’t want to spend a small fortune for one of these gadgets. So, you may have been scouting out some of the cheaper digital photo frames. And, now you’re asking are cheap digital photo frames worth buying? Actually, yes it is worthwhile to buy these cheaper frames. You must, however, know what you are looking for.

    Perhaps the most important part of a cheap digital photo frame search is finding one with the right resolution. Resolution refers to how sharp and crisp the picture displays on the screen. Don’t go for anything less than 640x480 pixels. If you do, your pictures will look grainy.

    But, you also don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get the right resolution. For example, Digital Foci’s The Executive 5.7 Digital Photo Frame costs $69 online, and it has been recommended by Consumers Digest in their Best Buys in Digital Photo Frames Premium Selection category.

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    Supported Formats

    The next thing to look at is whether or not the photo frame supports the image file format of your digital camera. Most small digital cameras produce photos with the .JPG extension. But, some will also use the following file formats: GIF, RAW, PNG or TIFF.

    So, before you purchase the frame, check to see what formats it supports. This should be listed on the box at the store or within the specifications online. If you do purchase one that does not support for your camera’s format, you will have to convert the pictures into the supported format before you can upload them.

    This same principle goes for music and media formats. Many digital photo frames come with the ability to pay music during photo slideshows. On some, you can even watch videos. But, if all of your music is in MP4 format, and the photo frame only supports MP3s, then you won’t be able to plug your iPod into your photo frame.

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    The final thing to consider is capacity. Cheap digital photo frames generally do not have a lot of internal memory, which means that you are limited on how many pictures that you can store on the frame. But, there is a way around this. Look for digital photo frames that have some type of memory card slot. Usually, this is some type of SD card slot, but it also may be MS slot.

    This allows you to add more pictures to your slideshow, even if you are out of memory on the frame’s internal memory. In fact, some of the cheaper digital photo frames don’t even use internal memory; they only use the card slots.

    A nice example of a cheap photo frame with card slots is the Coby 7-inch Widescreen Digital Photo Frame. It supports both SD and MS, and it comes in either black or wood colored.