What is Connectivity?

The connectivity of a digital frame is the process used to transfer pictures to a digital frame from wherever they are, such as in a camera, on a computer, through a scanner, on a media (memory) card, etc.

Where Are the Pictures Now?

That question must be answered first in order to find the best way to get photos to a digital frame.

Are they still in the camera?

small digital camera

If the photos are still in the camera, it is important to know if the digital camera used to take the images and the digital frame will accept the same format. (Check the box or the manual.)

  • If they are the same:

    Just take the memory card directly from the camera and put it into the digital frame memory card slot. With most frames, the slideshow will start immediately. (If you don't have a replacement memory card for the camera in order to take more pictures, you will need to follow the procedure below).

  • If they are not the same:

    You will need to transfer the images to your computer first in order to transfer them to the proper format.

Most of today's computers come with an image editor that can change the size of the image (most frames won't accept an image larger than 12MP), crop it, take out the red eye, and more. Some digital frames come with image editors included in their software as well.

All digital frames accept JPEG images. If you are attempting to use another type of image, such as PNG, BMP, etc., check the specs of the frame to see if the image will be accepted. If not, you may have to change the format of the images or choose a different frame.

After using an image editor to adjust the images, they can then be dragged and dropped from the computer to whatever memory or media card is required by the digital frame.

If your frame has an internal memory, photos can be transferred directly from the computer to the frame's internal memory through a USB cable (which may or may not be included in the frame package). When the cable is inserted into the computer, the frame will be recognized as another drive.

Types of memory card formats include SD, CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, etc. These are covered more fully under Memory Card Formats.

The above information is especially useful to avoid tying up the camera's memory card with photos that can be better stored or displayed on a frame or if you are sending a loaded memory card or flash drive to a friend or relative for their frame.

Please remember if you remove photos from your camera's memory card, make sure to format (erase) the card. This should be done from the camera. Formatting the card will help to make it last much longer. Please see for more photography tips from photographer, Angela Patterson. Her book, Ten Top Tips for Taking Terrific Photos of your favorite subjects! is available on her site as well.

Are they already located on a computer somewhere?

laptopIf the pictures are still on the computer, use your image editor to adjust the pictures, if necessary, and then drag and drop the pictures to whatever type of memory card format the digital frame requires as described above.

Please note that you do not have to use an image editor to adjust your original pictures, if you do not wish to. If the results of just inserting the loaded memory card into the frame are less than satisfactory, please see the following information.

Media Card Reader

In order to transfer photos from a computer to a memory card (or from a memory card to a computer) and the computer is not able to read memory cards, the simple solution is a very inexpensive media card reader that can be plugged into a USB port on your computer.

The media card reader pictured below is an older model. More compact media card readers are now available if you need one.

Media Card Reader

Memory Card

Are they in Your Smart Phone or Your Tablet?

It is becoming more and more common to see people taking pictures with their cell phones and tablets. The cameras in the latest ones could easily compete with many digital cameras and they have already led to the downfall of Kodak. See Kodak Digital Frames on this site.

If you are able to access the memory card that is installed in your phone or tablet, the connectivity method is simple. Just remove the card and insert it into your frame. Of course, you will have to re-install it into your phone or tablet to take more pictures (unless you have more than one card available)! In that case, it would be better to transfer the photos to the computer through the computer's media card reader or an external one and then follow the procedures as outlined above.

In phones that do not allow access to the SD card (such as the iPhone), the charging cord, when removed from the charger plug, becomes a USB cable that can then be used to directly transfer the photos from the phone to the computer and then to the frame's internal memory or to a media card.

Are they photos that have already been printed?

If the photos have already been printed, the connectivity method of transferring them will depend on the technology level of the user.

Photos can be scanned into an image folder on a computer through any image editor.

If there is no scanner or even no computer available, there are companies that will scan photos onto a memory card or flashdrive, which can then be inserted into the digital frame in order to display the photos.

Please see for more information on scanning photos.

Content Management

Content management is the ability to determine what you want to show on the frame and how long you want it to display. Please click here for more in-depth information on digital frame content management.

What about Wireless Connectivity?

There are a good number of frames that can transfer photos directly from a computer without touching the frame at all. Please refer to the page regarding advanced features for more information.

For a more in-depth explanation of wireless connectivity, please click here...

Buyer Beware: As you can imagine, the more features a digital frame has, the higher the price might be!

On the Other Hand: As you can see, there is enough of a variety of frames and types of connectivity to fit any occasion!

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