Canon opens Irista, a Dropbox for photos

Canon has launched Irista today, a free cloud storage service for saving your photos online.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Canon's Irista is a new cloud service for photos. Canon

Canon has its head in the cloud with Irista, a new online storage service for saving your photos.

Irista -- pronounced eye-RIST-ta, I'm reliably informed by a Canon spokesperson -- takes on other cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud. Unlike those other services however, it only stores photos.

There are no file-size limitations and Irista can automatically sync new snaps to image collections. You can tag photos and search by different criteria including the time or location when a photo was shot, or even the type of lens used.

To show off your snaps, you can share them on Facebook and Flickr and even see the subsequent comments within the Irista interface. There's no sign of hipper services like Instagram or Twitter though.

Intriguingly code-named Project1709 during development, Irista is perhaps a little late to the party. It doesn't have any editing options, which means apart from a nice interface for browsing snaps, it doesn't do anything that Dropbox et al already do. In fact, because it only allows photos -- jpeg and raw files -- Irista is less useful than Dropbox for storing files.

Still, it does look nice, and it's early days: Canon has hinted at possible editing functions in the future: "As Irista is cloud-based," a spokesperson told me, "there is the opportunity to continually evolve the platform, and we're particularly keen to continue to engage with our community to see what features they would like to have added."

If you're a dedicated snapper -- and, possibly, someone who isn't a heavy enough Web user to already have a Dropbox account -- then Irista could be worth a look.

Irista is live now. It's free for 10GB of storage, with the full array of features available. Anyone in the world should be able to sign up for the free option, according to a Canon spokesperson. If you're in the UK, Australia and selected countries in Europe, you can pay extra for more legroom. 50GB costs £4.49/€4.99 ($7/AU$6.99) per month or £45.00/€49.00 ($75/AU$69) for a year; 100GB costs £9.99/€10.99 ($15/AU$14.99) per month or £99/€109 ($170/AU$149) for the full year.