SONY DPF-D70
DIGITAL PHOTO FRAME
with 256MB INTERNAL MEMORY REVIEW

Sony DPF-D70 Digital Photo Frame

STYLE

Frame Appearance:

I chose the very sleek, executive style Sony DPF-D70 digital frame for my friend so she could show off the photos of her new grandchild from her office desk. The glossy black frame sets off the pictures very well and there is a glass covering over the screen. Aside from the possibility of fingerprint smudges and reflected glare, the look is very appealing and sophisticated, but non-obtrusive.

The Sony name, located on the bottom right of the frame can be turned off, if desired, and will go dark if the frame is positioned in portrait mode.

The size of the Sony DPF-D70 frame is 8.25” x 5.5”x1 9/16” and it weighs 1 lb, 3 oz.

Buttons and Ports:

Sony Digital Photo Frame DPF-D70 Buttons on the Sony DPF-D70 frame allow for various features such as powering off and on and navigating through the menus, etc. These buttons are located on the back, right side of the frame and are fairly small, even though there is plenty of space available.

The placement of the buttons on the back assures that they will have no visual impact on the appearance of the frame. It would have been nice, though, to be able to distinguish them in some way by touch without having to turn the whole frame around. (Please Note: The newer version of this model, Sony DPF D-72 better addresses the button sizes and spacing).

Rather than using the buttons on the frame itself, it makes more sense with this frame to navigate the menu screens with the included remote, especially since functions such as add, delete, zoom, etc. can be found only on the remote, not on the frame itself. Sony Digital Photo Frame DPF-D70

Interestingly though, additional functions such as slideshow, rotate, add to album and clock are able to be accessed from the Sony DPF-D70 frame (as well as from the remote).

Also when using the remote, navigation indicators will show up on the right side of the frame that seem to approximate the locations of the menu buttons on the back of the frame. Supposedly, those buttons can then be used without turning the frame around, although it is still not that easy to determine which button is which without looking.


Memory card slots are built in on the Sony DPF-D70 frame’s case on the same side as the buttons.

Sony Digital Frame DPF-D70


A mini USB port and a power port can be found on the opposite side. Sony Digital Frame DPF-D70
The power plug is 100-220V. This is a good idea for our military abroad, since they will not need any external power transformer. There is also a reset switch, which can be used to return the date and the time to factory default settings.

DISPLAY OPTIONS for the SONY DPF-D70

Stand:

Sony Digital Photo Frame DPF-D70

The Sony DPF-D70 has a bar-type stand that is very stable. The stand does not have to be repositioned to view the images when changing from landscape to portrait view.

When changing modes, the Sony will automatically rotate images but the menu screen, image information and index display will not be rotated. Also, when the frame is in portrait mode, the Sony logo automatically goes dark (otherwise it would be lit up sideways).

This model is not wall-mountable but the newer version is (the Sony DPF-D72).

IMAGE DISPLAY QUALITY of the Sony DPF-D70

Screen Resolution:

The screen resolution is 800 x 480.

Aspect Ratio:

The aspect ratio is 15:9 or landscape mode. Pictures will automatically rotate to portrait mode when placed in that position.

Brightness, Contrast and Color:

Brightness can be set to a level of from 1 to 3. The LCD backlight can also be manually set from level 1 to 10. Colors are bright and clear.

Viewing Angle:

The viewing angle is adequate.

Screen Backlighting Display:

The screen backlighting display is a TFT Active Matrix LCD.

Screen Surface:

The screen surface is glass.

METHODS OF CONNECTIVITY for TRANSFERRING PHOTOS for the Sony DPF-D70

A computer is not necessary to transfer photos to the Sony DPF-D70 frame. Although there is a mini-USB port available on the frame, no USB cable is included.

A 256MB internal memory is installed on the frame. Images can be saved to the internal memory through the USB port or from a memory card and can also be exported from the internal memory to a memory card or a computer. The images in internal memory are best saved to albums or folders.

I found that transferring individual images to the internal memory is much easier via the USB and the computer than going from a memory card to the frame. It can be a very slow process to transfer images one at a time, although fine if you want to transfer all of the images from a memory card to the internal memory at once.

SUPPPORTED FILE TYPES for the Sony DPF-D70

Memory Cards:

MS (Memory Stick) Both a standard and a Duo size slot is built-in so that an adapter is not needed for the MS (Memory Stick). Up to an 8GB Memory Stick, with or without Magic Gate can be displayed, as well as Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick PRO HG and Memory Stick Micro (must use M2 adapter).

CompactFlash Type I and Type II with a capacity of 8GB or smaller. SMC (Smart Media Cards) are also supported if using a CompactFlash card adapter.

SD (Secure Digital) including miniSD, microSD (adapter necessary), SDHC and MMC (Multi-Media Card). SD cards with a capacity of 2GB or smaller are recommended. I used an SDHC with a capacity of 4 GB and it worked fine.

xD Picture cards with a capacity of 2GB or less are supported.

Picture Formats:

JPEG and RAW images (from SONY cameras only). Images up to 100MB and 48 megapixel images can be displayed.

Audio Files:

None.

Video Files:

None.

Wireless:

No. The frame is not battery powered either.

PICTURE FUNCTIONS and ADVANCED FEATURES of the Sony DPF-D70

Automatic Slideshow:

Priority is given to a connection with a computer if both the computer is connected and memory cards are inserted into the frame at the same time. If multiple memory cards are inserted, the images of the memory card inserted first are displayed. Selecting a different memory card to be displayed can be done manually.

NOTE: If multiple memory cards are inserted when the photo frame is turned off, the priority will be MS (Memory Stick), then CompactFlash card, then SD (Secure Digital), then the xD Picture Card when the frame is turned on.

If no memory card is inserted, images saved to the album in the internal memory are displayed.

Rotate and Zoom:

Manually rotated images will return to their original positions after the frame is turned off and then on again. To keep the images rotated, they must be saved with the digital camera.

Images can be zoomed in or out or “fit to screen”. The “fit to screen” option will zoom into the image at the center enough to fill the whole screen. The original image data of the image will not change. This option can only be accessed from with the remote. The image can be enlarged from 2 to 5 times depending on the image. An enlarged image cannot be rotated.

Frame Orientation of the Sony DPF-D70:

The Sony frame can be placed in portrait mode without adjusting the stand and pictures will automatically rotate but the menu display will not! As mentioned above, images revert to their original rotation when the frame is turned off and then on again. Rotated images must be saved in the digital camera before transferring them.

Remote Control:

The remote has a good range, is responsive and intuitive. All menu functions can be accessed with the remote with some functions duplicated on the frame. Unfortunately, the remote is rather small and there is no place to store it on the frame, making it easy to misplace or lose it.

Slideshow Settings on the Sony DPF-D70:

Options for slideshow interval settings are from 3 seconds up to 24 hours. Slideshow transitions include center cross, vertical blinds, horizontal blinds, fade, wipe and random.

The random setting does not always work as well as could be expected. Many times pictures will repeat before the frame cycles through all of them. One problem I found is that if the unit is turned off and then on, it will always start at the same picture. If set to random, the next image will be in random order. If not set to random, all pictures will start from the beginning each time the frame is turned on or off. Some consumers also found that in “random” mode, certain pictures seem to be displayed more than others.

I found a few more anomalies... When the setting is changed to “multi-view, very often the image may be displayed twice in the two-view and three-view. When in “random” mode, the frame may cycle through the full range of random modes such as clock view, calendar, view, multi and single view.

Recognition of Files and Folders on the Sony DPF-D70:

This frame can play, save, delete, etc. up to 9,999 image files but it cannot display images saved in a folder that is over eight levels deep.

If renaming any photos, use standard naming conventions with no spaces or special characters in the file name. Filename length or character type can change the amount of images that can be stored. A maximum of 8 characters from the beginning for the file name and only alphanumeric characters can be displayed.

If images are saved to the internal memory album, larger images are saved at an optimized size. It is important to remember that if the images are modified, the index display will not be in the order of the shooting date but in the order of the modification date. But if the number of images exceeds 1500, the images will be listed in order of their filenames, not by date.

Therefore, the shooting information of the saved image will be different from the original image. If the shooting information is not recorded in an image, the modification date is displayed as the shooting date.

Auto Power On/Off:

The frame can be turned on and off from the frame or set automatically from the remote. NOTE: Do not disconnect the AC adapter from the frame before the indicator light turns from green into red. This could damage the frame.

Clock and Calendar Modes of the Sony DPF-D70:

Pressing "view mode" will bring up several options. Most interesting is the analog-style clock with image. Each time a new picture appears, the hands of the clock spin around each time and stop when the picture was taken, or in case of resizing or filename changes, when it was modified. In my opinion, this is a very distracting feature and the frame could very well do without it.

Sony Digital Frame DPF-D70

There are several display modes available for the clock (analog and digital) and the calendar. I prefer both with a black background, which I think is much more polished looking. A white background clock and calendar are also available. Sony Digital Frame DPF-D70

No alarm feature is included with the clock. Adjusting the clock, date and time is very intuitive from the remote. I did not need to access the manual. The date display can be formatted to Y/M/D, M/D/Y and D/M/Y.

A nice feature of the calendar is the start day for the week can be set to either Sunday or Monday.Sony Digital Frame DPF-D70

Resizing Photos on the Sony DPF-D70:

If using the internal memory only, it would be helpful to batch resize the images so that they will take up around 100k each rather than the larger pictures taken with cameras with a higher resolution. Image resizing can dramatically increase the amount of images that can be saved to the internal memory.

Image resizing programs can be downloaded from the Internet. You may also use specific digital photo frame image programs such as ACDSee Picture Frame Manager and resize all your photos to 800x480. This will save a lot of space and there will not be a visible difference in the image quality.

Another option is to resize photos through photo editing software such as Photoshop or Lightroom and resize them to 3" x 5" at 72 pixels/inch. Be aware that there has been compatibility issues with pictures altered in some versions of Photoshop. If you have a problem with those versions, a JPEG should be saved as “Save for Web”. In the preview window, un-click “progressive” in JPEG export properties, but leave the “optimized” checkmark on. As a general rule, Sony does not display progressive JPEG images. It may also help to put the quality slider to 100.

Please note that when transferring photos from a Mac, the DOS Fat formatting of the internal memory cannot store a lot of photos in one transfer. The photos will have to be separated into files or folders to use all the memory. Transferring photos from a Mac is best done one at a time.

ACCESSORIES INCLUDED With the Sony DPF-D70

Frame, remote control, AC Adapter, operating instructions. (No USB cable)

COMPATIBILITY

Windows Vista, XP Service Pack 2 or Windows 2000 Professional service Pack 4. Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

WARRANTY

1 year. (Not available in some areas).

CONCLUSION

This is a very nice looking frame very suitable for office or home viewing of digital photos. It is very easy to set up and begin using, although some advanced features may require a bit of a learning curve for those who are not tech-savvy. There is not an option for music or for video and it is not Wi-Fi enabled or able to be powered by battery.

A computer is not necessary for transferring photos. The frame supports a wide variety of memory cards and a mini-USB jack is built-in if transferring images from a computer is desired.

Aside from a few quirks with the analog clock, some possible issues with resizing and the lack of real “randomness”, this frame nonetheless has excellent picture quality and possesses diverse functionality.

I feel that when it originally surfaced to the marketplace, it was a bit overpriced (Sony name), but it can now be found at Amazon.com for under $100.00.

The recipient of my gift was very pleased with this Sony frame and it currently displays her favorite photos on her office desktop.


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