Canon has launched a cloud-based photo storage and sharing platform. Photo: AFP/Lepro/shutterstock.com
Designed to compete with Google's Picasa and Yahoo's Flickr and built with professional and enthusiastic amateur photographers in mind, Irista puts simplicity ahead of fancy features.
Canon says that the service, which launches this week in Europe and is free to use for the first 10GB of storage, is about managing memories and is a way of helping consumers keep track of the growing number of images they're capturing across a growing number of devices.
As such, as well as an overarching image library, users can create individual albums and collections and automatically upload new images to them as they're captured.
Pictures can also be tagged by location or subject to make it easier to search for them as the library grows in size. Making things simpler too is a timeline feature so that collections and individual snaps can be traced by data and time.
The service is uniquely for images, so don't try using it to store Word docs or PRFs, but it will accept pretty much any image format from any device. However, if a picture has been snapped on a Canon camera, its EXIF data will also be captured -- so exposure, aperture settings and ISO speed, plus which model it was captured with.
As well as being able to access pictures at any time and from any place, Canon is aware that photography is a lot more social than it once was and so users can share images stored on Irista directly to Facebook and Flickr and can also keep track of comments and likes.
Likewise, images posted to either site can be transferred to Irista, which is useful seeing as it doesn't offer a smartphone app, just a desktop client. But because the platform will accept unlimited image file sizes, users are more likely to be uploading RAW files captured on a DSLR and so will be doing it over the home or studio wi-fi network.
The first 10GB of storage is free but for power users and professional photographers extra storage is available at a price. For £4.49/€4.99 per month, or £45.00/€49.00 per year that can be upgraded to 50GB, or £9.99/€10.99 per month, or £99.00/€109.00 per year for 100GB.