Digital Frames with Built-In Printers
A digital photo frame with built-in printing capabilities has been introduced by at least 3 manufacturers...Sony with the S-Frame DPP-F70, Mimo with its iMo Foto Frame Printer and Epson’s PictureMate PM300.
The expected result would be a full-function digital frame that can store and showcase your favorite pictures combined with the convenience of instantly printing one or more of the images directly from the frame. Let’s take a look at all three…
SONY DPP F-700
Mimo iMo Foto Frame Printer
Epson PictureMate PM300
Their Digital Frame Features
Sony offers 1GB of internal flash memory which can store up to 2000 pictures. File transfer between external memory cards and internal memory is supported. The iMo also comes with 1 GB of internal memory for storing images and is the only one that can store and display music and video as well. The Epson has 270 GB of internal memory for storing and displaying images only.
The Sony and the iMo come equipped with black frames. The Epson comes in white. Of the 3, the Sony looks like a bulky digital frame, the iMo looks more like a stand-alone digital frame, and the Epson looks like a printer with a large viewer.
The Sony and the Epson sport 800x480 WVGA resolutions (VGA or Video Graphics Array has a 480 pixel height. Wide VGA or WVGA has the same height of 480 pixels but is wider and is commonly found in an 800x480 screen display) while the iMo has a screen resolution of 800 x 600.
The aspect ratio of the Sony is 16:10, the iMo appears to be 4:3 and the Epson is 16:9. The Epson’s photo display can be tilted for easier viewing. The Sony has an orientation sensor to automatically rotate photos to the correct orientation. Its rod-shaped stand can support the frame in either landscape or portrait view.
The Sony and the Epson both have 7” diagonal screens while the iMo has 8 diagonal inches of viewing area on its screen.
The Sony supports JPEG, Tiff and BMP picture formats, the iMo only JPEG up to 16 megapixels and the Epson supports the JPEG format.
The three devices are similar in that all of the most popular memory cards can be used, the backlighting display on all is LCD and all have calendar and clock modes. Automatic slideshows with various transitional effects and speeds are available on all three.
Remote controls are included with these frame/printers to access all features. The Sony also comes with touch controls on the RH side of the front panel which light up when touched (even though all functions can be accessed from the remote).
Their Printing Capabilities
The Sony S-Frame DPP-F700, the iMo Foto Frame Printer and the Epson PictureMate Show PM300 are all capable of printing professional quality 300x300dpi, 4 inch x 6 inch photos.
The Sony has a “Creative Print Mode” which includes calendars with pictures and ID photos as well as a choice of layouts with more than one picture on a sheet of paper. The Epson has similar features. The iMo includes an ID/Passport photo print option as well as other features on its onscreen manual.
All three of these devices can be used without a PC but none of them are Wi-Fi enabled, although the Epson PictureMate can print wirelessly using an optional Bluetooth adapter.
The printing mechanism of each is different. The Sony has a paper tray, cleaning cartridge and paper (all of which need to be stored away from the frame when not using the printer.) The Sony printer unit comes with a printing ribbon, rather than cartridges such as those used with the iMo and the Epson. The Sony unit’s ribbon lays one color at a time on the paper as it prints.
The iMo print cartridge is accessed from one side of the frame and the prints appear at the top. The cartridge contains everything needed to make prints, thus no separate paper insertion is required. The unit comes with a cartridge for 12 prints. Additional cartridges of 36 prints are sold separately.
The Epson has a detachable paper tray. The printing is done with a cartridge and paper. An initial cartridge is included. The cartridges are able to print approximately 20 4 inch x 6 inch prints.
Printing directly from a frame can be a useful feature. What fun to be able to showcase your favorite photos for friends and family and be able to print one out instantly at someone’s request!
There is a downside to the Sony and the Epson models, though, because some of their parts need to be stored elsewhere when using the frame just as a digital photo slideshow. Although the printer can add to the bulk of a frame, it can also add stability. All three are meant for table-top usage.
All three of these models are totally adequate if the user is only planning on printing out a few pictures every now and then. Additional supplies could become cost-prohibitive if printing is done on a regular basis.
All three can be found at Amazon.com by clicking below:
Epson Picturemate 300
Sony DPP F-700
Update on Sony S-Frame Digital Photo Frame With Built-In Printer
A newer model of the Sony S-Frame Digital Photo Frame with Built-in Printer has been introduced by Sony for 2010. It is the S-Frame DPP-F800. This is a digital frame with a built-in dye-sublimation photo printer capable of producing 4"x6" prints of the photos from the DPP-F800 Digital Photo Frame.
It differs a bit from the DPP-F700. The black-framed digital photo frame now has an 8" display and only 256 MB of internal memory. The screen resolution is still 800x480 in an LCD display with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
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