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on March 18, 2014
There must be a secret formula for deciding which pictures will show. I loaded my pictures on an 8gig card and plugged it in. After much cursing and frustration I was able to get the calendar off the screen (the printed directions leave something to be desired) and start the slide show. Only about half of the pictures showed, the rest displayed as a red circle with a line through it on a black screen. I made a note of a few of the photos that did and didn't show, all were jpg files. I looked in the directions again for jpg specs and the only thing it said was jpg/jpeg baseline coding (whatever that means) and a max resolution of 4000x4000 pixels. I then imported one from each group (showing and not showing) into gimp to see if I could determine what was causing the failure to show. Both have the same color profile, dpi resolution etc. The one that did show was sized at 2048 x 1536 the one that did not was 1024 x 768. Both are horizontal in orientation. The file names didn't have anything unusual about them. I even checked the sd card for errors, nothing there. There must be something different about the photos that won't show but darn if I can tell what it is. I have spent wayyyy more time than I should have to setting this thing up. I will invest a little more time into this one but at this point unless something jumps out at me I'll be sending this back.

Update: I found a way to make all of the pictures show. I opened each image that wasn't showing in Gimp. When I chose 'Export' from the menu I had to go into 'Advanced Options' and uncheck all of the boxes (Optimize, Progressive, Save EXIF data, Save thumbnail, Save XMP data and Use quality settings from original). Not sure which settings were causing the problem or if unchecking these forced an overwrite that took care of whatever the issue was. In either case all 65 photos are showing now.

Update 2: I've run this for a few days now and I must say it is growing on me. Now that I know what it takes to get the photos to show, adding photos is easy enough. The images are clear and I do like the timer function. I thought an 8" would be too small but it fits well on my desk. I have it set to come on at about the time I get to work and shut off right before I go home. For the price it does a good job. I do wish the directions had been more explicit about what types of photos the unit would and would not display.
55 comments| 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 17, 2013
Pros:

Viewing angle, picture detail, and color are great for the size and resolution.
Price ($45 at time of review)
Features abound (alarm, calendar, clock, motion sensor activation)
Will accommodate up to 32GB memory card.

Cons:

Controls are tiny and difficult to see, though they are fairly intuitive.
AC power required to view photos, time, etc. The battery is solely for saving settings.
No internal memory. You must have a micro SD card (not included, but they are cheap)
The VFM 820 will shrink some photos to fit the screen, but other larger images are not and will only show up as a red circle with a line through it until you re-size them yourself. Furthermore,the manual does not indicate what size that threshold is nor does it list this particular issue in its trouble shooting section.

Over all though my mother loves seeing her grand-kids on it, and other than having to edit a bunch of photos to display correctly its a good digital frame.
11 comment| 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 21, 2014
After reading a majority of good reviews, I went ahead and ordered this product. Overall, I am pleased with the purchase. BUT.....I have over 2,700 pictures (set to 30 seconds per photo). I have the frame right in front of me every day at my desk in my office. So I see it 8 hours a day, everyday. I have to programmed to shut off at 6pm and turn on at 6am. The problem I have is that I want it to randomly shuffle through the pictures so I don't have to see 30 pictures in a row of the same event. So I set it on random. But each and every day, I see approximately 20 - 25 of the SAME photos. Now, if it were a quality random number generator picking the photos, there is no way possible that within an 8 hour period, every single day, that I'd see that many of the same photos. So they should not call it a random selection. They should call it "our best shot at a random selection, but it doesn't work very well".
11 comment| 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 10, 2013
I bought this on another website for 35$ as a gift and I love it, will buy the white one for myself when the price will match the black one, idk why it's more expensive atm. The settings are fairly easy and explained in the manual. Also the manual says that the maximum resolution it supports is 4000x4000 but what it doesn't say is that it doesn't support files smaller than 90k, those show up as red circles, but simple opening and saving images in photoshop fixed it since it saved them as bigger file size ;).
Pros:
You can choose to display pictures in order or randomly
You can have calendar + clock displayed the whole time at the bottom of pictures
Easy settings
Looks nice and shiny, doesn't look cheap
Pictures look awesome, even the small ones, they are all fitted onto the screen either with auto-resizing or with keeping the original aspect ratio(can choose in menu)

Cons:
On random setting it likes to repeat some pictures, but considering most people wont keep looking at the frame for a very long time it's not bad
Doesn't have internal memory but supports up to 32GB memory cards
It doesn't automatically rotate pics but there is option to rotate them, but it's easier to rotate each pic head-up in computer ;)
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 10, 2013
While it worked it was great. Unit is DEAD after 9 months of use. Will update this posting after contacting Amazon to see if there is any way to remedy this issue.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 14, 2014
Software was buggy, unintuitive even with with help from instructions. Crashed repeatedly and the display quality it so so at best. I had to return it because it would not play a simple slide show consistently with out issue.
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on March 31, 2015
Does a good job but the user manual is awful. Figuring out how to turn off the calendar was a pain. I loaded a little over 3 dozen B&W family photos taken during the 1930's and 1940's by photographing them with my Samsung Galaxy S4 (for better resolution than scanning them), plugging the phone into my laptop, copying the photo files to my laptop's hard drive, and then copying them over to an SD card (didn't have a SD card adapter for my phone's mini SD card). I had renamed each photo file on the laptop starting with a number in order to sort them so they would display in chronological order. I had already oriented the photos (portrait vs. landscape) on my phone before I transferred the files to the laptop. The frame sits landscape-style. When I put the SD card in, it displayed the portrait photos sideways. Fixing it was maddening. I called Viewsonic customer service. They said there was nothing wrong with the frame and nothing I could do to fix the problem (!). I discovered that if I erased the files off the SD card, went into the laptop, saved the portrait photos sideways and then went back & re-saved them upright, then re-copied the files over to the SD card, that the frame would display them properly.

So, long story short, was disappointed with the user manual & customer service and hope my orientation solution can help others with this problem. My complaints about the frame are that (1) didn't know it didn't come with an SD card; (2) it is only set up to sit landscape style; (3) the SD card slot is in the support such that the weight of the frame is leaning on the SD card end protruding from the slot; and (4) the power cord plug-in is too close to the SD card slot. It also seems like it would be a simple and smart modification to install or provide an attachable stub support for one of the short sides so that you can get the benefit of a full-screen display for portrait photos.
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on November 20, 2014
Bought this frame when my last one died. Some photos would not initially show up because of the image format details (properties, resolution, etc.) :-(. I tried several methods, even taking screenshots of photos and making new ones out of them in Photoshop, to no avail :-( :-(. After much experimentation, I found the solution.

If you are running a PC with Windows, open your images in MSPaint, and save out with a different filename as a JPG.

After doing that, everything shows up now.

Other then that, it is a good frame - not the best but you get what you pay for.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 4, 2014
This $50 frame does everything I wanted it too. Display pics, function as an alarm clock, turn itself on and off. The only thing I dont like is in order to have the time shown when you are running a slideshow, you have to have a calendar shown too. Would rather not have the calendar but hey, there are worse things. VERY happy with my purchase so far.
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on January 18, 2014
My wife had been wanting a digital frame for quite awhile and when I saw this and the features that were included I knew it would be perfect. I love the fact that you can set it up to show the photos as well as a calendar and clock all in one. Another nice feature is that it will snap to a low light analog clock face when the room is dark. The photos are a mix of shots from My 35mm, an Iphone5 and a Droid DNA mobile phone and all look amazingly clear and crisp on this display. I like it so much I am considering getting another for the office!
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