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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Frame & Album Sets Reviewed In 2018Last Updated March 1, 2019
№1 – Elite Bundle – 9 Unique Sticker Sets + Pouch + Photo Album + 100 Sticker Frames + Hanging Frames + Magnet Frames + Cube Stands + Frame Stands For HP Sprocket, LG, Prynt, LifePrint Projects
№2 – Umbra Hangit Photo Display – DIY Picture Frames Collage Set Includes Picture Hanging Wire Twine Cords, Natural Wood Wall Mounts and Clothespin Clips for Hanging Photos, Prints and Artwork (Natural)
№3 – 2 Pack – Top Rated Album Frame – Made to Display Album Covers and LP Covers 12.5″ x 12.5″ – Hanging Hardware Installed and No Assembly Required – Easy to Use Album Frame, Album Cover Frame
To Frame or Not To Frame
I’ll let you in on a secret: Not every work of art needs to be framed. For contemporary gallery-wrapped paintings, framing is completely optional. The term gallery wrap refers to canvas wrapped around thick stretcher bars and secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars. This mounting leaves the sides of the canvas smooth, neat and free of visible staples or tacks. Artists using this type of canvas mount often continue the painting around the sides or simply paint the sides a complementary neutral (See No-Frame Options A, below).
Pointers for Works on Paper
Works on paper—watercolors, pastels, charcoal drawings and so forth—entail a special set of considerations because of the perishable quality of their surfaces.
Prior to framing, the work must be mounted on a support. Conservation mounting is strongly recommended. This means that at any time in the future you would be able to remove your artwork from the framing structure without causing any damage. Also, there would be no telltale signs that the work had ever been framed before. Conservation mounting is imperative for works of value or anticipated future value.
Acid-free corner pockets and acid-free adhesives are two good methods of securing artwork to its support. As for the support itself, archival foam board creates a sturdy structure for a framed piece on paper and helps protect artwork from pollutants that might find their way through the back of a framed piece.
In addition, most works on paper require matting and framing under glass for protection (see Glass Options, below). The matboard, with a cutout window, is laid over the painting and prevents the glass from touching the surface of the artwork. A spacer can be used in place of a mat. Matting also contributes to the presentation of the artwork (see Matting Aesthetics, below).
It‘s essential that all materials used be 100 percent acid-free. You may look back at pieces framed many years ago and see that the matting has discolored, as has the paper of the actual artwork where it came in contact with the matboard. This discoloration (acid burn), is caused by acid in cardboard backing, non-acid-free matting, acidic masking or Scotch tape. Many a fine work has been devalued in this way. All good framers now use acid-free or archival materials.
Neutral-colored matboards are far more sophisticated and au courantthan any of the many colors available.
Image E: Double matting is one way of introducing a thin strip of color.
A delicate wood fillet is an attractive alternative to a double mat. The fillet, which fits inside the opening of the mat board, between the board and the artwork, can match or complement the color of the frame (image F, below).
Our pick of the best full frame DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony
Most entry-level and mid-price DSLRs sport an APS-C sized sensor, with the physical dimensions of the chip measuring 23.x 15.7mm (22.x 14.8mm on Canon DSLRs).
A full-frame sensor on the other hand has larger dimensions of 3x 24mm – the same size as a frame of 35mm film, hence the name ‘full-frame’, and offering a surface area 2.5x larger than an APS-C sized sensor.
This allows for larger photosites (pixels to you and I) on the sensor, delivering better light gathering capabilities, which in turn means better image quality – especially at higher sensitivities.
Many serious amateurs and enthusiasts can now enjoy the benefits of full-frame photography
Full-frame DSLRs used to be the preserve of professional photographers, but as the costs have dropped and lower-cost models have started to appear, many serious amateurs and enthusiasts can now enjoy the benefits of full-frame photography.
We should also mention full-frame mirrorless cameras. These aren’t DSLRs strictly, but the Sony Aseries cameras like the brilliant Alpha A7R II and now the Leica SL are muscling in on the full-frame DSLR market, and are particularly interesting for those who also need to shoot video.
To find out more, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: key differences. Or to get an idea of what kind of DSLR you can get at different price points, try this: Best DSLR.
With Black Friday just around the corner, there’s bound to be some great deals to be had on a full-frame DSLR as well. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s our pick of the best full-frame DSLRs you can buy right now:
Large file sizes
The D850 might have replaced it, but the D8is still a brilliant full-frame DSLR. Images from Nikon’s 36.3MP monster are bursting with detail, while its 1200-shot battery life puts the 50.6MP EOS 5DS in the shade. The 51-point AF system copes well with tricky focussing situations, mainly because both the AF and metering systems are taken from the now ex-range-topping Nikon D4S. Excellent handling and relatively modest dimensions further ensure that the D8doesn’t disappoint.
With 50.million effective pixels, the Canon EOS 5DS is by far the highest resolution full-frame DSLR on the market today. The same goes for the 5DS R, which is identical to the 5DS, but features an anti-aliasing cancelation filter over the sensor to help resolve a little more detail should you need it. Pixel-packed sensors can be compromised, but not here. Image quality is superb, with as you’d expect fantastic detail, well controlled noise and good dynamic range, making it the ideal choice for the landscape or studio photographer. The EOS 5DS is now the benchmark for full-frame image quality, but it’s not quite perfect. There’s no Wi-Fi or 4K video recording, and huge image file sizes necessitate decent memory cards and a fast computer.
Sony has made some significant changes from the original A9for this latest iteration, and the result is a camera that should satisfy a broad range of users. The high-resolution 42.2MP sensor at the camera’s heart is the A9II’s greatest asset, while 4K video quality is also very good. At the same time the camera maintains much of what we loved about the A99, with excellent handing and the benefits of the SLT system presenting very real advantages over more traditional DSLRs. The arrival of the mirrorless Alpha Athough takes the shine off a little.
Dated menu system
The K-from Pentax offers a rugged build and a full-frame sensor at a relatively affordable price. It’s not cheap, but it compares favourably with the likes of the Nikon D810, Canon 5D Mark III and Sony Alpha 7R II. Pentax’s Pixel Shift Technology is clever, and it’s great that the company has managed to produce a mode that can be used when the camera is hand-held, although the impact is subtle. Less of an all-rounder than the 5D Mark III, the K-makes an excellent camera for landscape, still life and portrait photography, or any genre that doesn’t require fast autofocus and which benefits from a high pixel count for detail resolution.
No XQD card slots
If you want to go full-frame, you’re not just restricted to a DSLR. Sony’s growing range of mirrorless full-frame cameras offer a great alternative and the Alpha Asits at the top of the range. The AF system Sony has blessed this camera with is not only incredibly quick, the tracking performance needs to be seen to be believed. Partner that with incredibly fast 20fps burst shooting, and a large and bright EVF that doesn’t blackout when you’re shooting, and you’ve got a camera that can mix it with the best that Canon and Nikon have to offer when it comes to shooting action. The Alpha Adoesn’t fail to impress.
After 1hours of research and testing, we think the 10-inch Nixplay Seed is the best digital photo frame for most people who want to display pictures uploaded wirelessly from their smartphones, hard drives, or social media and cloud storage accounts. Its superior display and simple setup lift it above the competition. And since you can send photos to the frame via Nixplay’s cloud services or email, or indirectly through a shared Dropbox folder, if you give one as a gift you can share photos with the recipient even if they happen to be halfway across the world.
We’ve added a Flaws but not dealbreakers section below to mention that neither of our photo-frame picks can support automatic importing of photos from cloud-based shared folders.
Great features and easy to use
The Nixplay Seed’s high-resolution IPS display offers pleasing colors and a wide viewing angle, so your images look great from every corner of the room. The panel’s 4:aspect ratio means it can display your smartphone photos full screen, without black borders, and you can position it in either portrait or landscape orientation. Step-by-step instructions on the Nixplay website make connecting the frame to your Wi-Fi network and uploading images quick and foolproof. Those images can come from your phone or computer, as well as from social media and cloud storage accounts such as Instagram or Dropbox. A motion sensor lets you conserve energy by putting the display to sleep after you leave the room. Using a cleverly designed semirigid USB power cable that doubles as a stand, the Seed can sit in either portrait or landscape orientation at a range of angles.
You can control the Seed using either the included remote or the company’s free app (iOS and Android). Its GB of internal storage gives you enough room for about 25,000 smartphone images. Although it isn’t the cheapest digital picture frame, the Seed offers a combination of features, user customization, ease of operation, and picture quality that its rivals can’t match. (Potentially) free alternatives
Why you should trust me
I’ve covered photo gear at The Wirecutter since 2013, and I’ve worked as a professional photographer and digital-imaging consultant for 1years. I also ran my own digital-printmaking shop for a nearly a decade, producing exhibition-quality photographs on wide-format inkjet printers. I’m on the faculty of New York City’s International Center of Photography, and I lead photography workshops around the country.
In preparing this guide we brought in eight digital photo frames for side-by-side comparisons and real-world use in my home.
How we picked and tested
We brought in eight frames for several days of use in a home environment.
Using these criteria we had only frames to consider, eight of which we brought in for testing. Some, such as the Micca Neo, were plagued by poor screen quality. Others, like the very expensive Aura Frame, were frustrating to use. For a closer look at what we dismissed and why, see The competition.
Onto each frame, I loaded identical sets of images shot on cameras ranging from smartphones to DSLRs. I compared image quality, functionality, and ease of use while working with the frames for several days in various rooms of my home.
Setup is quick and foolproof, and built-in Wi-Fi lets you import photos from your social media, email, or cloud accounts.
We tested the 10-inch version of the Seed (7- and 8-inch models are also available) and found that its IPS display produced pleasingly accurate results along with a wide viewing angle, ensuring that images looked great from every corner of the room. The screen’s 4:aspect ratio is a perfect match for smartphone (and Micro Four Thirds) camera sensors, which means your images can display across the entire screen. Sensors in DSLRs and many mirrorless cameras have the slightly different 3:aspect ratio, so those images will have a black border along two sides. The mismatch is subtle enough, however, that we think some people won’t even notice it. In any case, this display is a better fit than what you’d get on a frame with a 16:aspect ratio.
Images shot with DSLRs and mirrorless APS-C cameras have a 3:aspect ratio, so unless you crop them you’ll get thin black borders (like those shown here) along two sides of the screen.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Nixplay frames do not support automatic slideshows from shared folders. If you have a shared folder on Dropbox, you still need to transfer the files into your playlist manually, using the Nixplay site or app to see them—they won’t automatically appear on your frame. On one hand, that’s one more step to get your photos to a place where the grandparents will actually see them. On the other, it stops the slideshow from being overwhelmed by 1,000 almost identical photos of the Alaskan cruise a cousin went on last year.
Unfortunately, syncing with shared Google Photos folders is nonexistent. In this case you’ll have to manually move the images to a nonshared folder for which you have ownership permissions. Nixplay says it is aware of the incompatibility but points to Google’s lack of API support for shared folders, so we don’t expect a solution anytime soon. Instead, we recommend using Dropbox for uploading shared-folder photos to your Nixplay frame.
Many readers have told us they would like to have the option of setting a shared cloud-based folder to automatically populate their photo frame. Right now the only way to make that work is to have someone email files to the Nixplay address you receive when you create your user account.
The lack of Wi-Fi means you’ll be loading images via SD card slot or USB port. The Advance has no built-in storage like our top and budget picks, but Nixplay helpfully includes an GB USB stick to get you going. If you’re a Mac owner, note that you should format SD cards in your camera rather than your computer in order for the Advance to read them, and if you use your own USB stick, it should be in the MS-DOS (FAT) format.
The Nixplay Advance has ports for an SD card, a USB stick, and headphones. Nixplay includes an GB USB stick, shown here.
What to look forward to
Ever Frames has posted specs for an upcoming 8-inch Q-Series frame with an LED display, internal storage, and built-in Wi-Fi. Music and video files are supported, as well. As of this writing the company has not released pricing or availability beyond “coming soon.” We’ll update this guide when we know more.
The Insider Pick
Your bed is not only the highlight of your bedroom, it’s the only furniture you spend 33% of your life on. The Zinus Upholstered Square Stitched Platform Bed Frame is our top pick because it’s well-crafted with strapping strength and an attractive design.
Your bed frame can make or break the look and overall feel of your bedroom. Certain bed frames make the room feel more cozy, while others add a bold and modern style that often compliments your style. Your mattress certainly matters in terms of comfort, but from a design aspect, your bed frame is the foundation of your bedroom.
Beyond design, bed frames serve additional purposes. Most elevate, or at least dictate, your sleeping position, ideally making it easier to get in and out of bed. Sometimes they make room for additional storage below your sleeping area or in the headboard. Bed frames also extend the life of your mattress by providing support and preventing weak, sagging spots.
The mattress-on-floor look instantly diminishes any style in your sleeping space and it’s not ideal for you or your mattress. Mattresses need support to stay firm and stable, and, just like humans, mattress, no matter what their make or model, need space to breathe.
How to pick the right bed frame
Size matters: First get the sizing right. You want a bed frame that blends into the room naturally, not one that overwhelms the room by taking up too much space. Also, note that bed frame sizes are not completely standardized. They can differ depending on the country they are made in or by the manufacturer, either of which may have their own standards and use their own terminology for sizing.
Get a good mattress: Once you have an idea of how much space you have to work with, get the mattress size correct. Your mattress can be as large as your room allows, but the main goal is that it can hold your body comfortably, without any limbs hanging off the sides. You don’t want one that makes you feel like Will Ferrell in the movie Elf. If you’re buying a mattress for two people, you should both be able to lay down, side by side, and have your arms behind your head with your elbows out, without touching each other. From there, you can match the mattress size to the bed frame size.
Although the Zinus Upholstered Square Stitched Platform Bed Frame is our top pick, for various reasons laid out in the slides below, you should also consider the Zinus 1Inch SmartBase Platform Bed Frame, the DHP Dakota Faux Leather Tufted Upholstered Platform Bed, the DHP Rosedale Metal Canopy Bed Frame, and the Murray Platform Bed with Wooden Box Frame.
The Video is a Lie
At some point in your childhood, you probably came across one of those cool little flip books that showed you how animation worked. Essentially, it was a series of still images (one per page) that, when you flipped the pages quickly, would appear to animate or move. If you haven’t seen one, they look like this:
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Frame & Album Sets wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Frame & Album Sets
- №1 — Elite Bundle – 9 Unique Sticker Sets + Pouch + Photo Album + 100 Sticker Frames + Hanging Frames + Magnet Frames + Cube Stands + Frame Stands For HP Sprocket, LG, Prynt, LifePrint Projects
- №2 — Umbra Hangit Photo Display – DIY Picture Frames Collage Set Includes Picture Hanging Wire Twine Cords, Natural Wood Wall Mounts and Clothespin Clips for Hanging Photos, Prints and Artwork (Natural)
- №3 — 2 Pack – Top Rated Album Frame – Made to Display Album Covers and LP Covers 12.5″ x 12.5″ – Hanging Hardware Installed and No Assembly Required – Easy to Use Album Frame, Album Cover Frame