Canon's irista cloud photo vault opens for business
Back in 2012, Canon embarked on a project which aimed to solve the issue of user photos being scattered across numerous media cards, mobile devices and computer-based storage. The free beta trial of its Project1709 online storage and photo management platform was launched at Photokina in September of that year, and developers have been fine-tuning the service ever since. Now Canon believes it's ready for prime time, and has removed the beta tag for a full public version called irista. The photo-centric cloud vault offers new sign-ups a generous helping of free storage, includes some nifty social networks integration tools and is claimed to make organizing and finding digital memories a snap.
As our recent comparison demonstrated, the cloud storage marketplace is now a crowded and competitive space. Where most services offer a secure online vault that allows us access to all our digital necessities from any internet-connected device, Canon's new irista platform has its sights set firmly on a large chunk of the company's customer base – photographers.
Users are promised an easy to use interface, with an integrated search index to help quickly locate an image or set, and powerful sorting and filtering based on tags such as dates, locations, or custom tags. Photo details such as camera and lens settings are available for each photo, and images can be added to the irista vault via a desktop uploader, web client or imported from supported social networks.
The Flickr-like tiled UI has a tweakable timeline tunning across the top, and organize and share buttons to the right. The latter allows images stored in the irista library to be shared directly with social networks like Facebook and Flickr, with monitoring of subsequent comments and "likes" from within the interface itself.
"It’s an invaluable resource for those who love their images, and will only get better as we add more and more features over time," said Canon Europe's Alessandro Stanzani
The irista service is live now. The free 10 GB of storage should be enough to satisfy the casual snapper and is open to global users. More serious shutter pushers will probably find themselves needing to sign up for the 50 GB at €4.99 per month or €49 per year, or the 100 GB package for a monthly fee of €10.99 or €109 yearly charge. Canon told us that the paid levels of the service are not currently available globally due to European VAT regulations.
The video below shows what Canon is offering.
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I still don't really like the idea of a subscription model for data storage and I wish companies would get more creative. Most of these services are an expensive way to keep an offsite backup for people who have years worth of photos and videos. I would rather pay an upfront one time "platform fee" for storage and be done with it.
These are terrible replacements for a NAS because they don't offer as much capacity and once your data is on some companies servers outside your home if its not encrypted you should just assume it's no longer private.
I'm still waiting for someone to build a NAS platform with an encrypted off site backup feature to other peoples NAS's.