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Sony DPF-X800 review

Verdict:

Excellent image quality, but the 8in widescreen display means photos end up pretty small. Ultimately, it’s just too expensive.

Review Date: 21 Feb 2010

Price when reviewed: £190

Supplier: http://www.play.com

Reviewed By: Ben Pitt

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

The X800 is the smaller but otherwise largely identical sibling to Sony’s flagship X1000N. The design is extremely elegant, with a metal trim neatly encapsulating the otherwise featureless design.

The backlit Sony logo disappears when the frame is positioned on its side, and can be set to disappear permanently. Photos are reoriented automatically when the frame is positioned in landscape and portrait shapes, and the same goes for the menus – something other manufacturers overlook.

The 8in screen has an unusually high 1,024x600-pixel resolution. In fact, at this size it’s needlessly high – at normal viewing distances this level of detail is hard to appreciate. The widescreen aspect ratio is unlikely to match your photos, which means that the usable area is just 7in for SLR photos with a 3:2 aspect ratio, and 6in for 4:3 shots from compact cameras. There’s an option to crop the top and bottom of landscape-shaped photos to fit the widescreen display, but that won’t please people who make the effort to frame their shots carefully.

With 2GB of internal memory and automatic resizing when copying from memory cards, there’s room for around 7,500 photos. JPEG, TIFF and BMP formats are supported, but there’s no video playback. With no speaker, MP3 accompaniments are limited to playback on an HDTV via the HDMI output.

We found that the X800 couldn’t read TIF files with LZW compression or JPEGs over 10MB, but rather than just not showing them, it decided to display an ugly question mark on the screen during slideshows. Otherwise, the menus, clocks, calendars and other on-screen graphics look as good as the frame itself. Image quality is just as high as on the fabulous X1000N, except that the backlight leaked into the bottom of the picture a little.

The X800 is shockingly expensive, especially considering the lack of extras and the diminutive screen dimensions. There’s a lot here that impressed us, but those with money to burn may as well go the whole hog and plump for Sony’s £223 X1000N.

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