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How to do photos for a MemoryFrame (model MF-8000)

This blog entry really isn't for most of the world.  But I have some family members that have started uploading digital photos to a MemoryFrame, and so I'd like to outline some tips.

1. The MemoryFrame skews yellow and bright

The MemoryFrame doesn't have color fidelity on par with a typical computer monitor.  I've had two copies of the MF-8000, and both tend to add a touch of yellow.  Check it out:

shot 1 of MemoryFrame image versus laptop display of same image

You might look at that and think, "It's just washed out."  And it is.  But also look at the yellow in the shirt on the right (kinda orangey) and then compare that with the left (pure yellow).  Look at the apples in the bucket.  On the left they're very pale green, on the right they're a little more true green.

And yes, I know I caught the MemoryFrame right in a transition to another photo, so there's a photo embedded in the main photo.  Sorry.  And yes, I know that my computer's blue taskbar is on the left side of the screen.  I like it that way.

Let's look at another example, shall we?

second photo comparing MemoryFrame to laptop screen

There are 3 things to notice in the photos.  First, on the left there is bright yellow in his hair.  On the right, it's hard to see.  That's the MemoryFrame skewing toward yellow again.  You can also see it in the shadow behind his hair – the MemoryFrame shows a yellowish shadow, while the computer laptop shows a redder, darker shadow.  Finally, look at the face – very washed out.  The washing out actually isn't that awful when you see it live.  The brightness was obviously increased to help the MemoryFrame look vivid during bright daylight.

So what can you do about the mis-coloring?

Simple answer: don't worry about it.  It's better to upload photos that are imperfect than to sit around obsessing and failing to get things done.  However, if you're a geek or artist who can manage to bang out some good quick changes, I'll walk you through an easy one.  What you want to do is to lower the saturation of yellow, and raise the saturation of red.  Your photography program will probably do it differently from mine, but at least I can give you a screenshot to point you in the right direction:

screenshot of the Hue/Saturation/Lightness dialog box in Corel Photo-Paint

In Corel Photo-Paint, I went to the "Image" menu, selected "Adjust" and then clicked the "Hue/Saturation/Lightness" option.  In the window that popped up (as pictured) I clicked the yellow channel and set the saturation to -20.  I also clicked the red and set it to +20.  In doing this, I ended up with a photo that looks slightly "warm" on my laptop (a bit red).  That kind of photo ends up looking pretty close to normal on a MemoryFrame.

If you're a real geek or artist, drop the white level by 5% and lower the brightness by 5%.  I won't bother to go into how to do that.  It's getting nit-picky.  But if you can do it, your photos will be slightly more accurate than everyone else's.

2. 800x600 is king

The MemoryFrame has a resolution of 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall.  You can upload any size photo, and the MemoryFrame will resize it for you.  However, bigger photos take up a lot of room in memory (the computer chips that store the information).  These days, most digital cameras take photos that are very very detailed – 6000 pixels wide by 4000 pixels tall, or more.  Uploading images like that not only takes a long while (because there is so much data to transfer) but it also uses up lots of room on the MemoryFrame's storage.  So to conserve space, and since the frame cannot display better than 800x600 anyway, make a copy of your high-quality original file, and then resize that before uploading.

3. Small faces pixellate

If you have a photo of some people posing together, your temptation might be to stay zoomed out to get the whole shot, maybe even with establishing features such as houses in the background or whatever.  While that's OK with shots of a landscape, don't do this with photos of people.  Come in close.  You don't have to be so up-close that everyone feels claustrophobic when they look at the photo, but you should be willing to crop out some of the background to zoom in on the subjects.

To be technical, I've found that if the head(s) in your photo are smaller than 85 pixels tall, the faces visibly lose detail, eyes become indistinct, expressions lose some of their personality, etc.  A face of 120 pixels or taller seems to be very nice.


Remember, as you're doing this if you start to feel that adjusting the photos is too time-consuming, stop worrying and get the photos posted.  If you've heard the saying, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good," then you should know that it applies here.  Don't bother with color correction if it's troublesome.  Don't worry about the size of the faces.  The only real, tangible issue to worry about is the file size.  One huge photo from a powerful digital camera will take the space of 50 appropriately-sized photos.  So pay attention to item #2 and get started!


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Comments (16)
whaehl writes:

Nice info. I have had this frame for a month. cand the frame handle star rating from Windows media player 11 running on Win xp or only if one has Vista? I see where someone said will work with piccasa --how is that done.

Vasu writes:

any idea how to get it to work with rss feeds? i have a frame but it doesn't show pictures from my rss feeds.

Yas writes:

it isnt that difficult. Ipads are next level to miliboty and is for light users who use laptops for merely surfing and mail checking. Don't use Ipad if you hate touch screen keyboard as if you want to use it for office purpose then you wont feel like typng more than 2-3 lines that too is an overkill. again you cannot install any app you want in Ipad so its only apps from Apple market whereas in laptop you can install anything you want from internet and even have the choice of most apps being free. so the kind of apps you use will also define if you would move to ipad or stick to laptop. hope this helps.

Great article, thank you again for writing.

This website makes things hella easy.

I never thought I would find such an everyday topic so enthralling!

Gee willikers, that's such a great post!

Finding this post has solved my problem

Grazi for making it nice and EZ.

People normally pay me for this and you are giving it away!

here writes:

Now I feel stupid. That's cleared it up for me

erectile writes:

Okay I'm convinced. Let's put it to action.

Just cause it's simple doesn't mean it's not super helpful.

Finding this post has solved my problem

Weeeee, what a quick and easy solution.

I reckon you are quite dead on with that.

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