Review & Give-a-Way: CEIVA Connected Photo Frames

For about a month now, I've been test driving a CEIVA Connected Photo Frame. As an avid photographer and one that takes a zillion pics of my kids, I can tell you that this is the first digital photo frame that I've had that I'm honestly excited to talk about.

Under full disclosure, the company reached out to me on behalf of my affiliation with Every Other Thursday as it was pitched as a fun family gadget for summer trips, vacations, etc.

I've had two other photo frames that all did the same thing. They have cool transitions, allow you to use a variety of media cards for your pictures, etc.

However, the CEIVA photo frame is on a whole other level. You see, it's basically a social digital photo frame that allows you to send photos to the frame remotely via:

  • An iPhone app
  • Facebook application plug-in
  • iPhoto plug-in
  • Picasa plug-in
  • Website uploads

What's cool about this is that the photo frame sort of fits within your photography work flow and lifestream. You see, I tend to upload lots of pictures to Picasa and Facebook. I also take a ton of pictures with my iPhone. One of issues I always had with traditional digital photo frames was having to load up a memory card and then put it into the frame. With Ceiva Connected Photo Frames, there's no having to dump a bunch of pics to the card at once. You can do it on the fly, which keeps your frame up to date (as with the memory card, pics get "stale").

The other fantastic feature of this frame is that if a friend or family member has one of these frames, you can share pictures between them. So, for example, if I'm at the beach with my kids, I can take a picture with the CEIVA photo app, then send it to my sister-in-law's frame. It's a simple thing, but ridiculously cool.

Additionally, when photos are uploaded, you can go back to them and add in captions and fun frames.

The set-up of the frame is easy and can be done by the lowest of tech-skilled people. The frame connects to your wi-fi (or if you're old school, connect via the phone through dial-up -- but who uses dial-up these days?).

You can tell the frame to connect to your CEIVA account on a certain timely basis. I did it every hour and it worked just fine. I would upload pics with my iPhone, iPhoto or Facebook and the pics would magically show up. I did try and upload pics with the Picasa plug-in and had some issues (though the CEIVA tech folks are looking into it for me...probably a minor bug that can be easily fixed).

There are two types of frames: the CEIVAshare and the CEIVAPro80. I tested the CEVIAPro80.

To use the sharing functionality, you must use your CEIVA website account, which you need to purchase (I didn't as mine was part of the test drive deal). CEIVA has packages where you can buy the frame with a year subscription. The CEIVAshare can be picked up for about 130 bucks, which gets you the frame and a year's subscription to the website sharing functionality that allows up to 40 pics per day upload. The CEIVAPro80 is about a $150 bucks with the frame and one-year subscription that allows up to 60 pics per day upload.

Overall, this is really just a simple photo frame (built like one...great resolution, plastic type frame with option wooden faceplate, comes with a wireless adapter, easy on-board navigation, etc.). I'd highly recommend it to my family and friends. Honestly, it's a great little tech tool that the entire family can enjoy.

In fact, as a gift to you (and anyone else who reads this post), I'm going to give one of these bad boys away...FOR FREE (courtesy of CEIVA).

Here's what you gotta do:

  1. "Like" my photography page on Facebook
  2. Post a picture to the wall with a theme of FAMILY, describing the picture and the camera you used
  3. Be active on my Facebook page by "liking" content, voting on other pictures, etc.
  4. Tell your friends about my page so they can also "like" it and vote for your picture
  5. The picture with the most "likes" wins the frame as well as one year subscription to the sharing service

You can post up to three pictures. The contest will run from now though the 11th, 11pm EST. I deserve the right to extend the contest, FYI. In the case of a tie, I will make the final decision based on the photo's composition, creativity and how it matches with the theme of family.

I look forward to your submissions. Happy shooting and good luck!!!