Canon has launched Irista, which is a free cloud-based storage service for pictures.

Canon has introduced this new service into a market where it will go up against iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox. However, unlike these other cloud-based storage services, Irista will only be able to store photographs.

The limitation of Irista to only accept photographs for storage can be seen as a disadvantage compared to other services. However, this limitation means that Canon can focus on developing a cloud-based storage system that has features specifically catered for photographers and the material that they upload and share through Irista.

One of these features is that there is no limitation for file sizes in photographs uploaded to Irista, which will be a boon to photographers that love very high-resolution pictures. Irista also allows photographers to upload RAW files of their pictures, not just from Canon cameras but also from cameras of other companies.

There is no limit to the number of albums that users can create. Irista can also automatically sync freshly uploaded pictures to image collections. Users can tag other people in their pictures, and they can search through pictures using different search fields which include the time and location of the photograph.

Photographs uploaded to Irista can also be shared through Flickr and Facebook, with comments posted on them viewable through Irista. There is no functionality to share the pictures to other social networking sites such as Twitter or Instagram for now, however.

Irista currently has no features that allows users to edit their uploaded photographs, with the only thing that users can edit being the picture's EXIF data. However, that may be one of the features that Canon is looking to add in the future.

"As Irista is cloud-based, 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," said a Canon spokesperson.

While Irista is already available to the public, it seems that Canon still has a focus on British users as pricing is listed in British pounds. A free account allows users access to 10GB of storage, plus all of Irista's features. Once users reach the free 10GB limit, they can choose between a 50GB account for a monthly fee of £4.49/€4.99 (around $7) or an annual fee of £45.00/€49.00 (around $70) or a 100GB account for a monthly fee of £9.99/€10.99 (around $15) or an annual fee of £99/€109 (around $150).

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