Canon Photo Culling is a new iOS app that uses artificial intelligence to evaluate your photos

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When you have many photos on your smartphone, like hundreds or even thousands, it can be challenging trying to locate images and keep your files organized. Different companies are working on using AI technologies to help identify, organize and even cull images. Canon is the latest to join the fray with its new Photo Culling app for iOS.

Underpinning the app is Canon’s computer-vision artificial intelligence engine, PHIL. PHIL is an abbreviation for Photography Intelligence Learning. The Photo Culling app helps users pick out their best images by evaluating photos based on sharpness, noise, emotions, and closed eyes.

Canon’s new Photo Culling app has numerous features in addition to its ability to evaluate and grade images. Click to enlarge.

In its announcement for the Photo Culling app, Canon cites a report by Keypoint Intelligence that states people captured 1.4 trillion photos in 2020 and stored 7.4 trillion images in total. It’s easy to see how some users end up feeling overwhelmed.

The app includes two culling options. The first is ‘whole culling,’ which determines the best photos by scoring against the four models: sharpness, noise, emotions and closed eyes. The user can set a score threshold, and the app will recommend that any images below that threshold be deleted. The second option, ‘similar culling,’ organizes similar images into groups and identifies the group’s first and second-best images. The rest of the images are marked for culling. Canon gives an example of a user selecting 20 total images, 10 photos of a dog and 10 sunset photos. The app will automatically sort the images into two groups and identify the best dog photo and best sunset photo of the bunch.

In addition to culling features, the app offers additional organizational features. The app shows users its total photo count and storage. Further, the Photo Culling app features dynamic event albums. The app categorizes and places images into albums based on events/dates throughout the year. Albums with large numbers of photos will be recommended for culling evaluation. The app also includes dark and light mode options.

Of the app, Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of the Imaging Technologies & Communications Group of Canon U.S.A., Inc., said, ‘In today’s ever-changing and overwhelming world, where thousands of photos are captured and stored in a person’s smartphone, consumers need an expert, reliable and intuitive photo tool to help them decide the best photos based on years of trusted knowledge and technology.’ Kano continued, ‘Canon U.S.A.’s new Photo Culling App is the answer, and we are proud to see how the company’s Computer Vision technology within this app can assist consumers with finding and keeping their best photos of their fondest moments.’

If you want to evaluate your images, the app can give each of your photos a unique score. Users can also adjust how the individual scoring parameters are weighted when generating a final score. You can also use the app to find images captured on specific dates quickly.

Canon’s new iOS app only supports .JPG files and images captured with your smartphone’s camera. The app is available now and includes a three-day free trial. If you want to use the app beyond this trial period, you will need to subscribe monthly or annually. A monthly subscription is $2.99 per month, and an annual subscription costs $14.99.

If you’re interested in AI-powered photo culling, there are numerous applications available now for different uses. In November, we wrote about Kodak Professional Select. For macOS, there is CullAi. This app rates photos by face quality, filters based on automatically-generated ratings, and groups similar images, among other parameters. Optyx is a similar app that promises to cull thousands of photos in a minute using advanced artificial intelligence to rate images based on facial expression, sharpness, composition, exposure and more. Artificial intelligence used to cull photos is not quite as new of a thing as it may seem, either, as we wrote about an AI-powered culling app, Picturesqe, way back in 2016. Unfortunately, Picturesqe doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

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