Canon CS100 Connect Station, review: don't back up your photos too lazily
At the last edition of the Canon Expo in Paris we saw how the company focused on the smart home and the solutions it could provide within the image and multimedia, the company's main field of action. Something obvious considering the general trend in technology and an area in which the Canon CS100 Connect Station is framed.
A product that escapes cameras, lenses and printers to be an intermediary (or substitute) between them, since it is a storage unit with wireless connection that facilitates both viewing and sending photos. The goal: to make the task of backing up our photos easy.
The elemental without pretensions
The CS100 station is designed to have a decoder-like operation as it is a media player in addition to a storage unit. It is an external box with the connections (USB, HDMI, NFC and the power input) and card inputs (SD and CF), so we will need a screen to use it and the corresponding cable (which is not included ). It does include the remote for use and the power supply.
Installation is straightforward, it's just a matter of connecting the relevant cables and turning on. Although in these first moments we already have some aspects to be improved, such as the fact that the head of the power cable is at an angle and due to the relief of the design of the box it has to face the HDMI connection colliding with the cable ( or force the "elbow" to open it). On the other hand, the kit does not include any type of instructions on the steps to follow or the necessary elements, something that has a relative solution when finding the manual on the web as well as some videos that explain the basic tasks.
The limits of simplicity
The first thing to do (as it happens with many devices and we do not always crash) is a firmware update, something that will guarantee that the device dyes all the functions up to date and will avoid some unexpected errors in our experience. Thus, once physically connected we will start the software, whose main menu will appear after selecting the language, we will have to connect the CS100 to the network to be able to carry out both this update and other functions.
- Cable connection: simply insert the RJ-45 cable into the plug.
- Wi-Fi connection: we will go to the Preferences section, and within tab 3 to the first option (wireless configuration).
It is a software with a very simple interface, something that is partly necessary since the user interacts with the device through a simple cursor. However, sometimes it can be too concise, especially when it comes to displaying information to the user when there is an error in the connection, in the sending of information or in the download of media.
Despite this, it is quite intuitive, with a basic main menu (a column with possible options) for easy navigation. We only find the handicap that usually exists in these types of interaction due to the lack of a keyboard (numeric or QWERTY) when fields like an email have to be filled (something that already happens with some of the smart TVs).
Easy, simple and for the whole family
Turn on, detect and import
The CS100 is the prelude to that “magical” hall of the Expo in which, when crossing the threshold of the door, a backup was made or backup of the multimedia content of our cameras or other devices that incorporate them (associating the information of both the author and the elements of the photographs), although at the moment it is not all that magical. This is the idea of the CS100, whose basic operation is to turn on, detect and import.
Here the star is NFC, so we will need our camera and device with the photographs to have it. In this case it is enough to activate it and bring it closer (if we know where the NFC antenna is, better if we do it in this area), then we will see what the CS100 signals with the green LED that has been linked (and in the device we are will show some indication on the screen).
There is no need for contact, although the station is designed so that we can rest the device on it. Something that in practice we will see is appreciated, since although the connection is made in seconds, imports can last up to 20 minutes depending on the amount of information that we transfer.
Share whatever, whenever and to anyone
Regarding the different imports, the CS100 software creates automatic folders with each one registering the device model as well as the photo data (date, time, location). What is intended is that in the future there will be an intelligent management that covers even facial and object recognition, and in fact in this case, although the information is not yet as detailed, at the moment we will be able to select albums according to the device and the date.
There is also the possibility of making a physical connection (by cable or by card), which is also "connect and go", or in the case of devices with an operating system, try to connect through the browser by inserting the IP that we can see in the options wireless network in Preferences (a process similar to what we do when configuring a router or wireless network.) However, in this connection we have experienced quite a few failures.
Photos and albums can be shared from the CS100 on social media or to other CS100 units. This part is especially little deductive and in fact it is practically impossible to understand and configure without a guide. For the configuration of social networks we have to register on the Canon Gateway portal, whose process starts from the CS100 and ends from a device with a browser, validating the registration via mail and accessing said portal.
In it we can enter the credentials for the different social networks that interest us to be able to send photographs or albums. Among them we find both the majority (Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest) and Irista, Canon's cloud storage service.
Old to modern
The CS100 station is a device designed for the photography enthusiast who wants to have a simple way to carry out an automatic backup and to organize it at will from the sofa and without thinking about editing. With the slightly more “old school” incentive of being able to print the created albums, yes, if we have a printer with a wireless connection.
The drive is 1TB, so it gives for numerous backups, with the possibility of being able to copy content to other devices or to another CS100. Of course, although the software works well (without stops, restarts or anything like that) we found some errors (as we have said, in the link by IP as well as in relation to the sharing functions) that should be solved by updates.
Although the way to apply it could improve, it is a point in favor that the Canon Gateway portal exists to be able to configure social networks through the mobile browser or other device. In this way we do have a keyboard to comfortably type the data required to log in to the different social networks.it is a small step towards building that smart home in terms of multimedia material for all users
Thus, it is a small step towards building that smart home in terms of multimedia material for all users. The unit costs around 200 euros and is compatible with any camera, photographic device or hard disk that can be connected through any of the connections that we have mentioned.
The device has been loaned for testing by Canon. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.
At Xataka Photo | Connect Station CS100, the hard drive with NFC and Irista to which Canon wants us to entrust our photos