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Canon Connect Station Stores and Organizes Your Photos

Canon, famed maker of cameras and printers, is pushing into new territories this year. The Japanese company today (Jan. 5) announced its Connect Station (CS100) storage device that supports speedy NFC image transfer between cameras, televisions and other devices. The $299 CS100 will ship in June. According to company, the device is about the size of a CD player and is less than 3 inches tall, making it a compact addition to your TV console.

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Think of it as a bank for your photos. The Connect Station is designed to make saving, organizing, viewing, printing and sharing your images and videos easier. It can store up to 1TB of media and, more importantly, is NFC-capable. This way, you can transfer pictures just by touching the NFC button on your compatible camera to the drive.

Canon also announced today new PowerShot SX cameras and Vixia camcorders, adding NFC that will allow them to work with the CS100. The company intends to add the NFC function to more cameras coming later in the year.

NFC isn't a requirement for the CS100, though. The Connect Station can also receive files from other devices via built-in USB and SD card slots, and displays them on a TV via an HDMI cable. Once your pictures are uploaded, the CS100 will automatically sort them by albums created, date taken or device used. The CS100 also supports Wi-Fi, and with Canon's browser-based control panel, you can log in and control your media from your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can also print your images wirelessly to compatible Canon Pixma or mini Selphy printers via the system's menu. You can also share your images with the CS100, which Canon says is most effective via the Canon Image Gateway app.

The Connect Station was first shown off at Canon's Global Expo in 2010 as a concept device, and later on made an appearance at Photokina last year. While this doesn't mark a giant departure from photography-related products, Canon's new product is still intriguing. The company said that with the Connect Station, it aims to get people more excited about sharing pictures than they currently are.

Staff Writer Cherlynn Low shoots with her Canon Rebel T2i. Follow her @cherlynnlow. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide on Facebook.