HomePhotographyA Quick Guide to Digital Frame Aspect Ratios in 2022

A Quick Guide to Digital Frame Aspect Ratios in 2022


What are the most common digital frame aspect ratios?

The two most common digital frame aspect ratios are 4:3 and 16:9, with 16:9 being the more widely adopted of the two. Despite being the more popular choice, 16:9 displays are not better. They come with a host of issues for displaying photos while being arguably better-suited to video-only content.

Most of our smartphones capture photos in 4:3. Most DSLR cameras capture pictures in 3:2. Photos from either of these sources aren’t going to look great on 16:9 digital frames. There will almost always be black bars around the sides or top & bottom of pictures. These black bars fill in the space left by the mismatched aspect ratio.

To avoid these black pillar bars, 16:9 digital frames often have to crop, zoom, and/or distort the picture. This ruins the viewing experience and negates the benefit of having a high-quality display. For example, Aura’s frames have one of the highest display resolutions in their size category. Unfortunately, they use a 16:9 display so most photos are boxed in by black bars.

Alternatively, you’d have to manually need to edit each photo before sending it to a 16:9 digital frame. This is a massive time sink, especially if you send a lot of pictures to your family or your grandparents. The last thing you want to do is spend a couple of hours resizing hundreds of photos – particularly when several competing frames like the Pix-Star avoid the issue from the get-go.

We almost always recommend going for a 4:3 aspect ratio on a digital frame. You’ll avoid the above-mentioned issues and can enjoy more immersive slideshows. We almost always have our phones with us and take pictures with them more frequently. Digital frames like the Pix-Star that come with a mobile app and have a 4:3 aspect ratio are ideal. Simply send the pictures to all your frames directly from your phone, start the slideshow, and the frame takes care of the rest.

Many of the best digital frames like the Pix-Star offer slideshow features that can minimally adjust photos to use the full display. Sending photos in 3:2 or 4:3 to a frame like the Pix-Star won’t need much altering if any. They’re better for families and those that want to get their grandparents/non-tech-savvy users more involved. In the end, 4:3 digital frames are less frustrating to use, more immersive, and give you better value for money!

Why is a digital frame’s aspect ratio important?

The aspect ratio of a digital frame dictates how photos show on the display. For example, if you send a picture with a 4:3 aspect ratio to a 16:9 digital frame, there will be space around the sides of the photo. This is because the picture doesn’t fill up the entire screen. Without any cropping, distortion, or zooming, the space is often filled with black bars.

We suggest getting a digital frame with an aspect ratio that matches the most common picture aspect ratio. Most smartphones take pictures in 4:3 and most DSLRs shoot in 4:3, 5:4, and 3:2. None of these aspect ratios match 16:9 displays – which is, unfortunately, the most common digital frame aspect ratio.

Pix-Star’s digital frames use a 4:3 aspect ratio, leading to more immersive slideshows and fewer display issues. You can send up to 250 photos directly from your phone to any/all of your Pix-Star frames via the Pix-Star Snap mobile app. These incoming photos can display in the current slideshow the moment they’re received – making sure nobody in the family misses another important photo.

What aspect ratio does the Pix-Star digital frame use?

The Pix-Star digital frame uses a 4:3 aspect ratio on both its 10-inch digital frame and the larger 15-inch frame. This is the ideal aspect ratio for photos taken on modern smartphones and cameras. 4:3 displays experience fewer display issues than the wider and shorter 16:9 displays, leading to enhanced immersion and an improved user experience.

Pix-Star’s display aspect ratio is further complemented by a great mobile app, web interface, and effortless photo-sharing. You can send up to 250 photos to several Pix-Star frames at the same time. The web interface lets you import photos directly from social media, photo-sharing, and online storage platforms. They’re saved to internal for offline use and can be remotely started as slideshows from anywhere in the world (via the web interface).

Pix-Star’s frames are some of the most popular frames for families. They are wall-mountable, easy to set up and use, and can be managed in multi-frame control groups. You can use the web interface to access any of your Pix-Star frames, adjust their settings, start and control slideshows, and much more. They are one of the few premium digital Wi-Fi frames that cater to both elderly users and the modern home!

How to change the aspect ratio of photos on a digital frame?

To change the aspect ratio of photos on a digital frame, you’ll need to manually edit them before sending them. Once they’ve been loaded to the digital frame, they’re hard to edit. Few digital frames offer an editing feature. You’d need to use editing software (or your phone’s built-in crop function via the photo options) to crop the image to match your digital frame’s aspect ratio. This takes a lot of time to do, especially for large quantities of pictures.

Some of the best digital frames like the Pix-Star offer auto-adjusting slideshow settings. This helps fill the screen if the image uses above a set percentage of the available screen space. Pix-Star lets you set slideshows to not show images smaller than a set percentage of the display. There’s also a unique collage feature that creates 4 or 5-photo collages automatically for a more personalized slideshow!

What happens if a digital frame’s photos don’t match its aspect ratio?

If the aspect ratio of a picture doesn’t match the digital frame’s aspect ratio, it will often fill the left-over space with black pillar bars. Some digital frames let you set these mismatched photos to zoom within a reasonable amount to fill the whole display. Unfortunately, few digital frames are good at this. Many mid-range and even premium frames will distort the image, crop it off-center, switch the orientation unnecessarily, etc.

We recommend looking at the Pix-Star digital frame. You have a host of slideshow settings to choose from, letting you remove smaller pictures, create unique collages, and more. Pix-Star’s 4:3 aspect ratio avoids many issues that are common to wider and shorter 16:9 and 16:10 displays – and they perfectly match the aspect ratio in which most smartphones capture pictures!

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