The annual Consumer Electronics Show is now underway in Las Vegas, and we’ve sent an away team to investigate. While our people have their boots on the ground, we’ll also be updating this here blog with any interesting tidbits that come out of the show. While CES is not exactly known for big camera announcements, there are always at least a few smaller morsels that emerge out of the trade show each year.
Interestingly, the coolest and most surprising photography gadget to come out of this year’s CES may not be a camera at all. It might be Canon’s new portable storage and viewing solution, the Connect Station, which looks sort of like the lovechild of a Pixma printer and an Apple TV. Built around a 1TB hard drive, the $299.99 device connects to your Canon camera via WiFi or USB. You can also pull the SD card from your camera and load it straight into the device. No computer is required to transfer images, so it’s perfect for when you’re on location or traveling (although, it doesn’t appear that the device can be powered from a battery—so you’ll need access to power to boot it up). And if 1TB of storage isn’t enough, you can even connect auxiliary drives via USB.
Beyond just being able to store images, the Connect Station can connect to an HDTV to stream videos and slideshows. A remote is included for easy control of the device. Due to processing power limitations, however, raw files cannot be displayed from the device—so you’ll have to shoot in JPEG if you want to be able to view images directly from the Station.
The Connect Station may be the first portable photo storage device to really pique our interest in a couple of a years. Given the built-in terabyte of storage and multiple connectivity options including NFC, Canon’s new gadget is looking like a bargain at $300.