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View Full Version : Kodak ex811 Digital Photo Frame Review


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Geekybiker
12-19-2007, 12:58 AM
I recently received a Kodak ex811 frame for my birthday. I've been eyeing these for awhile since the vast majority of my photos never see printing and its a good way to rotate through my collection.

So lets start off with the easy stuff, the specs
8" LCD backlit screen
800x480 resolution
16:9 aspect ratio
300:1 contrast ratio
300 NITs brigtness
aSi TFT active matrix
128m internal memory
802.11 b/g wireless

So okay if you're familiar with monitors these will produce a big yawn, and honest the screen isnt anything to write home about compared to PC displays. However its one of the better screens out there for a digital photo frame. The 16:9 aspect ratio is a little confusing. Futher than about 18-24" inches away and the screen looks pretty descent. I know we're image snob here, and it wont will any awards for display tech, but it suits its purpose.

Setup is a breeze. You don't even need a PC to do it. Just turn it on and it walks you through it. If you have an unsecured network it'll pick it right up. If you have WEP, you'll need to enter a key. If you want to use their online service you'll also need to enter your Kodak gallery ID and password. It doesn't ask for the Kodak gallery stuff so you'll have to look for that if you want to use it. I highly recommend updating to the latest firmware as there are quite a few improvements form the firmware as shipped. Most of the setup is completed with the included remote. I really wish they would allow you to hook it up via USB to your PC and run a setup wizard on the PC.

So what can it do? Well it can display photos in JPEG or EXIF format, or show movies in MOV, AVI, MPEG 1 and 4 formats. It can also play mp3's, but honestly I don't know why you'd do either movies or mp3's other than to show it off to a coworker, etc. It can read from the internal memory, flash cards, your networked PC, or off Kodak Gallery. It supports SD, MMC, Sony MS, xD, CF, and mircodrive. When you copy files to the frame it automatically resizes them to the frame's native resolution for quick display and to save space.

When you go to playback photos you can play them back alot of ways. All pictures, pictures from a date, albums, keywords, rating, picture play lists, or folders. Most of the advanced methods need to be setup in the included easy share software on your PC. Playback is in order, or in order starting with recent photos. Unfortunately there is no random shuffle function yet. Hopefully that changes soon. They'd already added alot since release.

The real winner here is the Kodak gallery playback though. All the albums you've uploaded to print or share are available, as are your friends albums. The frame will notify you when your friends update their albums online so you can go take a look. The killer app here for me is that my folks live 2000 miles away. The wifi service through Kodak gallery means that we both can update each other with our latest photos and not have to sit at a computer to catch up on what we're doing. No making sure the folks download images to a memory card and carry them to the frame. We both know that would never happen. This is automatic, and we were already using Kodak gallery for alot of prints. What's nice is that you can tag photos to print right from the frame and Kodak will print them and send them out to you. Perfect for a parent who isn't so computer literate. The online service is free unlike some of the competitors with online options.

So all in all is the frame worth it? Display quality is fair at best for people into photos. The weird aspect ratio means most of your photos are un-naturely cropped, or shown with black bars. This is worse for photos that don't match the orientation of the screen. Lack of a random play is a big let down. Without the wifi I would give this frame and all digital frames a pass for awhile. However the wifi hookup with online service is a real winner. It totally makes this device and makes it worthwhile for a casual display of your B list photo collection.

thechickencow
12-19-2007, 07:08 AM
I didn't know those things used the wireless networks, thats sweet.

Those kodak gallery features are awesome too really, that'd be neat to see the pics just show up on the frame one day.