Canon Europe has improved the offer to customers of its Irista server-based image management service, dramatically increasing storage at various price points and delivering the ability to directly order photo books printed on Canon’s Dreamlabo commercial inkjet photo printer.
Other new features include an extra 5GB free storage, up from 10GB to 15GB, and improvements in performance when using tablets.
The Dreamlabo photo book service is via web browser, and is currently not available to Australian subscribers.
Advanced enthusiasts and professionals, the target market for Irista, are offered 200GB up to 1TB tiers in Europe:
– up to 15GB: No cost, full functionality;
– up to 200GB: €4.99 per month ($7.25), or €49.00 per year ($71);
– up to 500GB: €10.99 per month ($16), or €109.00 per year ($158).
Additional storage can also be purchased at €39.00 per year for 200GB, €69.00 per year for 500GB and €109.00 per year for 1TB.
Irista Australia storage costs are currently steep by comparison, with 50GB at $6.99/month ($69 up front annually) and 100GB at $14.99 ($149 annually). Extra storage is offered to subscribers – up to 100GB at $119 annually. This is around $20 more than the 500GB tier in Europe.
The new subscription rates offered by Canon in Europe are more competitive with other players in the server-based image storage business such as Amazon, Dropbox, Google Drive, Zenfolio, PhotoShelter and Zoolz.
A plug-in is available for Adobe Lightroom, enabling users to edit images directly in Lightroom, which stores and synchronises the edited versions on an Irista account. This is available now to Australian subscribers.
Photo Counter has approached Canon’s PR consultancy, Ogilvy, for clarification on Canon’s local plans for Irista.
COMMENT: Just last week, by coincidence, John Wallace ( ex-Foto Riesel) noted in Photo Counter that while he was comfortable with Canon selling cameras direct, ‘…if they ever go for the print on demand market, [offering photographic printing services] that will be a worry,’ adding that Canon had been collecting contact details of photo specialists’ customers. It may well be that the day is coming closer when Canon Australia follows Canon Europe in combining its image storage service, its massive database of its own and its customers’ customers, and its photo printing service. It makes perfect business sense to combine those strengths to create a new revenue stream, especially in the face of declining demand for cameras. And with the reaction of its retailing customers to Canon’s moves into the retail sector virtually imperceptible so far, there seems to be no real obstacle in its path.