Digital cameras all use picture formats known as JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group Image) to store pictures. Therefore, all digital picture frames can display digital images stored as JPEGs.

Other Picture Formats

You may have seen other formats that digital photo frames can display. The following are less important because they are not commonly used for pictures, even though they can be displayed on some digital frames:
    BMP (Bitmap Image)
    GIF (Graphical Interchange Format)
    PNG (Portable Network Graphic)
    TIF (Tagged Image File Format)
    RAW (RAW Image File Format)

RAW Image File Format

This format, used by professionals in the photography field, has not been a widely supported image file format used in digital frames.

A RAW image file performs the same function to the digital image as the "negative" does for film photography. Both contain all the details needed to convert the image to a "positive" viewing image but are not usable as images themselves.

In fact, RAW image file formats can sometimes be called "digital negatives".

Because the RAW image file format or digital negative is the closest to the actual picture taken, it allows the processor to make more precise adjustments before converting it to a "positive" viewing image such as a JPEG.

Support for the RAW image file format can be found in a small number of digital frames. An example is Digital Foci Image Moments 6 IMT-063 5.7-Inch Digital Picture Frame. Sony digital frames that can support RAW image formats, such as the DPF-HD800/B, can be found here: Sony Digital Frames,

Size of Image

To get the best result when loading images to a digital photo frame, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to keep the size of an image to a 1MB (megabyte) JPEG FILE OR LESS!

A 1 MB JPEG file will hold just about all the image quality your digital photo frame will be able to display.

Anything larger than a 1MB JPEG picture format can slow down image loading and file transferring.

Low-priced and/or free image optimizer programs can be found on the Internet. Using these programs can result in photos of higher quality and the ability to put many more photos on the frame.

Problems When Using Unusual Picture Formats on Digital Frames and High-Resolution Frames

When you use a cell phone to take a photo or use an MP4 player to download music or video to a digital frame, you may find the results to be less than desirable.

Beware whenever you take a smaller picture and try to make it fit into a larger environment. An example might be the picture that looks just fine on a small digital photo keychain may be unrecognizable on a larger digital photo frame. Or the image that looked fantastic on a computer screen looks terrible when transferred to a high-resolution digital frame.

The image quality usually suffers the most when attempting to transfer a photo with a low resolution or with a small pixel size to a larger picture frame.

As a general rule, to get the best results when transferring pictures, make sure that the picture is close to the same size and even bigger than the frame and that the resolution of the digital picture is high enough for the frame. A resolution of 72 pixels per inch is usually fine but there are more and more frames that are using a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.

Open Source Converter Solutions

You can find open sources of free downloadable converters that may make transferring unusual formats to digital frames less trying. You may be able to get the photos from your cell phone right onto your digital frame.

Examples of these open sources are sourceforge.net and download.cnet.com. You will also find transfer software for your videos.

Digital Zoom vs. Optical Zoom

The digital zoom of a camera only magnifies an image by electronically enlarging just a portion of it. Often, the camera will fill in missing details and this more often than not will degrade the image.

Optical zoom retains image quality by relying on the lens to magnify details.

A photo that has been taken with the digital rather than the optical zoom of a camera will look pixilated when put into a larger frame.

Top of Picture Formats for Digital Frames

Back to Memory Card Formats for Digital Frames

Back to Supported File Types for Digital Frames

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