Amazon has launched a new photo storage service called Prime Photos, and is offering Prime subscribers unlimited cloud storage for their images at no extra cost. Photos can be uploaded to Amazon's Cloud Drive with iOS or Android apps or the Cloud Drive website. However, photographers should make note of a couple of items in the terms of this service. 

According to Amazon, Prime Photos is only available for personal, non-commercial use and can't be used in conjunction with a photography business. Videos can be uploaded be must be smaller than 2GB and less than 20 minutes long. According to a page detailing file requirements, full resolution JPEGs and Raw files can be uploaded, but most Raw formats won't be viewable within the service's web interface or apps.

We found that a .DNG file is displayed by a low-resolution thumbnail preview, but the few proprietary Raw formats we uploaded aren't. File types that aren't supported can be stored using Cloud Drive, but won't be included in the unlimited photo storage and will instead count against the limits on a user's Cloud Drive account. We've reached out to Amazon for clarification and we'll update this story accordingly.

Canceling a Prime subscription would mean any photos uploaded to a user's Cloud Drive would be subject to the normal storage limits. If you're not a Prime subscriber, Amazon's Cloud Drive offers 5GB of free storage with every account, but anything exceeding that would need to be paid for ($10/year for 20GB or $25/year for 50GB). If photos outside of the storage limit aren't downloaded and saved within three months, they may be deleted from the service entirely.

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Press release:

Amazon Prime Members Can Now Enjoy Free Unlimited Photo Storage with Prime Photos

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 4, 2014--(NASDAQ:AMZN)--Amazon today introduced Prime Photos, the newest benefit for Prime members, which provides free unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive. Most people have a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays, and everyday moments stored across numerous devices. And, they continue to create billions of photos every year. Now, Prime members have a simple, secure place to store them all for free. Starting today, members can securely store their existing photo collections, automatically upload new photos taken and access them anytime, anywhere, at no cost. Members can start using the Prime Photos benefit today by visiting www.amazon.com/primephotos

Tens of millions of members around the world already enjoy Prime. In the US, membership includes unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 20 million items, instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes through Prime Instant Video, one million songs and hundreds of playlists through Prime Music, early access to select Lightning Deals and access to over 600,000 books to borrow through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.  

"This time of year in particular, families are capturing thousands of photos of holiday parties, family gatherings and opening presents," said Greg Greeley, Vice President Amazon Prime. "With free unlimited photo storage, we're providing one more reason for members to use Prime every day. Prime has always allowed members to conveniently save time and save money, and now with Prime Photos they can save memories too."  

Prime Photos will now enable Prime members to:

  • Upload photos from their iOS and Android devices, Fire tablets and Fire phone, and Mac and Windows computers--and have them stored for free in the Amazon cloud.
  • Access their photo collections at any time from nearly any device--including the big screen using Amazon Fire TV or the newly announced Fire TV Stick, as well as PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and select LG and Samsung smart TVs.
  • Add photos to Cloud Drive in their original version so customers never have to worry about losing the full resolution image.
  • Rest easy knowing that their photos are protected in the Amazon cloud.

Here's what Amazon customers are saying about Amazon Cloud Drive:

"Recently at a large family celebration, while everyone was chatting and relaxing after a good meal, we quietly switched on our Amazon Cloud Photos on "slideshow". Then we enjoyed watching the family as the photos caught everyone's attention, finally drawing everyone toward the wide screen TV to watch our family history slideshow. Soon everyone was laughing and remembering and enjoying the show."

"Save your life story in photos on Amazon Cloud Drive Photos!!!"

"I just plugged [Fire TV] in and it was ready to go with all my Amazon library, and my photos from the Amazon Cloud. I have my photos as my screensaver, I love that."

"Really like that I can view photos from all my computers, phones and tablets."

Prime Photos is extended to all US Prime members. Members can access their photos on the following devices: Fire tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire phone, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, PlayStation 3 and 4, and select LG and Samsung smart TVs.

For a limited time, Fire phone includes a full year of Prime. Those customers will enjoy unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos in addition to all of the benefits of Amazon Prime.