The Sony Digital Photo Frame

The Company

The Sony digital photo frame is manufactured by the Sony Corporation, founded in 1946 with major headquarters in Japan. The company manufactures a line of the Sony digital photo frame as well as a wide range of products for home and professional use. Sony continues to earn a well-deserved reputation for excellence in the field of electronics.

Sony was one of the first companies to anticipate the digital frame era with the release of the Sony CyberFrame (PHD-A55) in 1999. Unfortunately, since digital cameras were not yet a popular item and the manufacture of digital photo frames was very costly, further development was temporarily stalled.

Sony S Frame

In 2008, Sony stepped back into the field and introduced its new Sony digital photo frame, the “S-Frame.” As with any electronic item produced by Sony, this series of digital photo frames went through a rigorous process of planning, designing and engineering intended to satisfy not only the demands of the end user but also to comply with the environmental initiatives of the company.

One of those environmental initiatives at Sony is sustainable packaging. This has become an outstanding component of Sony’s commitment to environmental policy when developing its products.

Packaging is usually designed mainly to attract the attention of the consumer. But Sony goes a step farther by also helping its customers to easily sort out and identify what to recycle in its packaging when it comes to its disposal. To encourage sorting for recycling, boxes are labeled appropriately. Additionally, as much as possible, Sony avoids using materials that are derived from petrochemicals and incorporates recycled materials into its products whenever possible.

The packaging for the S-Frame Sony digital photo frame is an excellent example of the consumer-conscious thought processes that go into Sony’s innovative designs. Since digital photo frames are apt to be bought as gifts, it is perfectly natural to pre-program these products with digital photo memories before gifting. With that fact in mind, the Sony digital photo frame S-Frame package contains an inner box that was intentionally designed to be used when giving the frame as a gift. For this same reason, even the protective cushioning is made of molded and colored recycled material rather than cheap cardboard. Sony S-frame box

Sony S-frame box

Sony S-frame box


Before launching the Sony digital photo frame, the S-Frame, Sony’s designers sought to enhance the thinking on what digital photo frames should and could be. The user interface is designed to be integrated into the industrial design as a whole to allow viewers to be able to not only view their photos but also to remember how they felt when these memories were recorded.

An important concept involved in the design was to make the frames as simple as possible so that the digital photos remain the focal point. The first series of S-frames has a single clear panel in the front of the frame giving it more of an appearance of a black glass panel than just a picture frame.

The Sony S frames come in just a few colors. They are black, white, brown and red. The thought behind this also has a lot to do with gift-giving. These frames are meant to fit well into the décor of any home.

The V Series

The next generation of the S-Frame was the V series. A major difference between the 1st series and the V-series, is that a semi-reflective coating applied to the outside of the front panel creates the effect of images seeming to float on a mirror.

2009-The X Series

On the 2009 X series frames, Sony had to effectively slim down the design of the frame to offset the thicker high-definition LCD panel. Earlier models had very fine carved edges. This would have made the X series look too thick. To slim these frames, the designers stretched the front outward which made the edges thinner. The outer edge that outlines the frame was made narrow and rounded.

The X series also needed a smoother front surface with material that was strong enough to withstand resin sealing to the screen (to reduce glare). The answer was a front panel of glass rather than acrylic.



Another important feature of the X series frames is that more often than not, a frame that is put in “portrait position” will look narrow and unstable. Sony engineers worked very carefully to pare down the ratio of the frame’s height to width, a millimeter at a time, until they had a more balanced and pleasing proportion.

On the back of the X frames, the memory slot can be found behind the cover. This way, the slot keeps free of dust even when the frame is in portrait orientation.

The stand only needs to be screwed in. These frames are wall-mountable. Again, thanks to Sony design, when hanging the frame, just unscrew the stand and it can be stored on the back of the frame where a magnet will hold it in place.

Sony also put quite a bit of thinking into their slideshow modes. Keeping to the commitment that the photos are of utmost importance, the slideshow transitions are very gradual and natural, not flashy. And to extend the practicality of these frames, the user interface also offers thoughtfully designed clocks and calendars.

As a general rule, Sony products, especially their digital frames, tend to be a bit pricey. But if quality, ease of use, practical design and expectations of performance are met, then you can hardly make a wrong choice with a Sony digital frame.

My Review of the Sony DPF-D70

Please check out my in-depth review of the Sony DPF-D70 Digital Photo Frame on this website.

2010-11 More Sony S-Frames!

In 2010, Sony offered not 1, or 2 or even 3 new S-Frame digital photo frames but no less than 11 new S-Frame digital photo frames were released to be ready for the holiday season!

These 11 models are the D830, XR100, VR100, A710, D710, D810, D75, D820, D1010, D95 and the D1020. Of all of these, the first 3 are of special interest.

DPF-D830

The D830’s claim to fame is that it is a battery-operated digital photo frame. Its rechargeable battery has an approximate 100 minute life (photos only) on a single charge. The DPF-D830 sports an 8” 800x600 LCD screen with LED backlight.

DPF-XR100 and the DPF-VR100 and AVCHD

What sets the next two (XR100 and the VR100) apart from other digital frames is their ability to offer HD video (AVCHD) playback. AVCHD or Advanced Video Coding High Definition was jointly developed in 2006 by Sony and Panansonic to be used for HD (High Definition) camcorders. Please see
video files on this website for more information on AVCHD and HD.

These frames can easily handle footage taken by the most advanced digital cameras or HD camcorders with their ability to display common image files with resolutions of up to 256 megapixels.

Sony’s use of its BIONZ image processing in the S-Frame VR100 and XR100 models not only enables these frames to handle AVCHD video clips but they are also able to display high resolution still image files up to 48 megapixels. This is important news for those with professional quality DSLR cameras.

Both the XR100 and the VR100 (as well as the D830 above) have 2 GB of internal memory which can be expanded by using the auto-resizing function that enables downsizing of photos. These frames can literally store thousands of images. In addition, they have extended slide show options, a sensor that automatically rotates photos to their correct orientation, clock and calendar capabilities and auto power on/off settings. They can also play MP3 songs and offer SD (Standard Definition) video playback as well.

The XR100 and the VR100 both have high resolution 10.2” 1024x600 LED backlight LCD screens. Additionly, these frames use sweep Panorama playback which enables viewing of panoramic photos taken by Sony Cyber-shot cameras. The illuminated “Sony” logo on the panel bezel disappears automatically when the frame is in a vertical portrait position.

The XR100 incorporates Sony’s TruBlack technology which cuts down on glare and enhances the contrast to ensure that images display more natural color tones. This particular frame also has an extra-wide viewing angle of 160 degrees horizontal x 160 degrees vertical. It is also HDMI equipped to enable viewing of slideshows on compatible HDTVs.

Common Functions of the Latest S-Frames

All the newest Sony S-frame digital photo frames are priced from approximately $70 up to $250 and offer a wide variety of options for consumers to display their treasured photos and videos. All come equipped with remote controls. They accept several types of media cards, including Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick PRO Due, SD and SDHC memory cards and MMC. All support JPEG and RAW (thumbnail preview) image file formats. Images can also be transferred to the frames directly from a computer through an optional USB cable.

S-Frame DPP-F800-Digital Photo Frame with Built-In Printer

Sony also released the S-frame digital photo frame with built-in printer, the S-Frame DPP-F800, the newer model of the DPP-F700, mentioned on this website.

Where To Buy?

New and refurbished Sony digital frames can be found on the sonystyle.com website. A good variety of new and used Sony frames can always be found online at Amazon.com

Please also check out My Amazon Digital Frame Store on this website for digital photo frames I recommend.


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