Compare prices for stock photos and vector images

Stock name
Price
for image
by subscription,
min in US$
Price
for one picture,
min in US$
Details
EPS
(vector)
JPG
(bitmap)
Bigstockphoto
Buy photos in bigstock photo
Short review


0.16
5.94
0.99
Stock site
Canva
Go to canva
Review
1.00
1.50
with EPS
Stock site
Dreamstime
Register in dreamstime
Review
0.22
33.44
9.68
Stock site
Depositphotos
Registration in depositphotos
Review
0.22
2.99
2.99
Stock site
Canstockphoto
Buy images in canstockphoto
Review
0.14
12.00
(by card)
5.53
(credits)
2.50
(by card)
1.10
(credits)
Stock site
Shutterstock
register account in shutterstock
Review
0.27
9.16
9.16
Stock site
Crestock
Stock images from crestock
Review
0.25
22.50
0.75
Stock site
Pixta
buy stock images via pixta
Review
0.27
35.00
(by card)
31.25
(credits)
5.00
(by card)
4.46
(credits)
Stock site
Pond5
stock images at pond5
Review
8.30
10.00
5.50
Stock site
Vector-Images
buy vector image in vector-images
0.24
0.95
0.95
Stock site
Istock (Getty Images)
official site of istock getty images
Review
0.43
12.00
with EPS
Stock site
Adobe stock
go to site adobe stock
Review
0.26
40.00
with EPS
Stock site
Stockfresh
buy high quality images on stockfresh
Review
0.20
10.00
with EPS
Stock site
Alamy
buy vector illustrations from alamy
Review
no subscription
12.60
with EPS
Stock site
GL Stock
site of GL stock graphic leftovers
Review
no subscription
10.00
with EPS
Stock site
123RF
image microstock 123rf
Review
0.22
8.30
1.66
Stock site

Price (cost) of 1 stock image by subscription – the calculation was carried out by dividing the cost of the maximum possible subscription plan in the best stock photo agencies by the number of stock images that can be downloaded as part of this subscription.
The price (cost) for 1 image was calculated by dividing the cost of one credit in the largest package of microstock credits which can be purchased, and then the ratio of unit cost to the number of credits that will be deducted from the balance for downloading 1 photo or vector illustration (EPS, JPG, TIFF ) from the photostock. We use stock credits for comparing, because best photo stocks do not sell their content directly.

Why people buy stock photos and vector illustrations from microstocks

If you do not know still where it is more cheaper to buy high-quality photos or vector illustrations, or which of the microstocks is better for the buyer in terms of image database size and prices for downloading of the stock images, then you definitely need this ranking of stock photo agencies (photo stocks, image banks, microstocks) for buyers from https://photostockguide.com/. Open the table and see that, for example, in 2020, the conditions for buyers from Dreamstime and Depositfotos are more profitable than from Shutterstock for buying images by subscription. You may do very quick research, for example, between shutterstock vs dreamstime, or something else and understand, what top photography agencies are the best now for images shopping. Using these data, it is not difficult to to compare image prices between necessary microstocks and make an informed choice.
For reference, photo stocks (photo image banks, image banks, vector microstock, etc.) are sites that combine producers of high-quality images (stock photos, vector illustrations, animations, video clips, footages) and buyers, providing intermediary services to both parties in terms of settlements and confirmation of the rights of buyers to purchased grafic content under the selected type of license.
In this analytical table, the best image stocks are compiled for comparison and the minimum image prices are indicated for which you can buy photos and illustrations from these microstocks in 2020. The prices for pictures were grouped, based on the scheme, which used to make purchases on these microstocks (subscription or credits). In addition, some micro stocks allow you to download JPEG of the desired resolution or EPS file for your favorite image. JPEG files are usually cheaper for buying, so it’s quite profitable to download this type of file on the micro stocks, rather than vector EPS. For comparison the minimum prices for downloading JPEG stock images were also indicated. Thanks to this information, you can quickly choose the cheapest microstocks of high resolution photos, vector images and other pictures for yourself or your company and you may buy high-quality stock images in the right resolution and quality without any problems.

Who can use high quality stock images?

The main answer is simple: to someone who, firstly, does not want to face the problems of copyright protection. If you have a white project in the Internet or out of online and you need to use graphic design(quality photos with high resolultion & vector illustrations) for your advertisement campaign, your newspaper or your site portal, then you have several options for how to proceed with this problem.

  • The first option is to download photos or illustrations for free and then shake in fear of getting a claim for pecuniary damage of several hundred thousand dollars from the author of the stock image, which was downloaded by you for free.
  • The second option is to contact the professionals offline or via the Internet and order the necessary high-quality photo or image for a lot of money and waiting from several days to several weeks for the day when the order will be completed. At the same time, there are no guarantees that the order will be completed on time and that the result (photo or vector image) will be completely satisfactory to you.
  • The third option for the most practical and smart people is to buy the vector image or photo through a photo stock agency, spending a minimum of money to purchase credits or simply pay for a microstock’s subscription plan. Then you will spend 10-15 minutes, maybe 1 hour, to find and download the excellent stock image from the photo bank database. Moreover, a very important nuance to which you need to pay attention, together with the purchased stock picture or photo you will get the necessary set of documents with the right to legitimately use the stock image in accordance with the type of license.

Another global advantage of stock image banks in the Internet is a large number of high-quality photoimages on various topics. In the biggest microstocks, image databases, which can be downloaded for money, have up to 200 million high quality photos and vector images in high resolution. So, if you are a designer, freelancer, webmaster, journalist or just a person who needs to use, more often commercial, stock images or photographs in high resolution, then images from microstocks is the only way for you.

Types of licenses at photo stock agencies

All images, available for purchase through photo stock sites, may be sold under several types of licenses. Each type of stock license set certain conditions for the further use of purchased images. What types of licenses can a buyer encounter on microstocks:

  • Most common on microstocks the RF or Royalty-Free license. A royalty-free license give the right to the buyer to reuse a stock photo or vector illustration without additional charges (usually up to 500,000 times). The buyer does not have the right to resell the image purchased under this type of license, since all rights remain with the author.
  • Another type of frequently encountered license on stock photos agencies (vector microstocks) is the Extended Royalty-Free license. This type is an extended version of the standard royalty-free license. An extended royalty free license provides more rights to the buyer for using the purchased stock image. In general, the image can be used in large volumes for commercial purposes. For example, if you need to print cups, spoons, clothes, stickers with a specific stock image, then you need to buy an image in the photo stock site with the extended RF license. This type of license differs from the standard Royalty Free type by the price, which will be several times higher.
  • Another popular type of image license is the Editorial or editorial license. For buying a stock photos under an editorial license, there are certain conditions for using the purchased photo. So, it cannot be used for commercial purposes, but only for informational or educational purposes. That is, mainly, the editorial license is suitable for purchasing images for the media.
  • On photobanks you can also find a type of license such as a Rights-managed license or a managed rights license. Under this license, you can buy stock photos on macro photo banks. Such photo macrostocks are not represented in our comparative table of prices for images from stock photo agencies.

What is better for purchasing images: subscription plan or credits?

The process of buying images from photobanks via the Internet is simple. In a primitive presentation, it looks as follows. You will need a debit/credit card or wallet in popular electronic systems (Paypal, Skrill). Choose a photobank from the table and go to its official website. On the official website of the photobank, go through a quick registration and select an image from the base of the microstock. Next, pay and get a link to download the high quality stock image for which you paid.
If you start to delve into the process of purchasing the stock images, you need to pay attention to the fact that almost all stock photobanks offer stock buyers various ways to conduct the sale of stock photos or illustrations. You can download pictures from the photo stock site by paying for a subscription plan of photostock or by paying for the certain package of credits. The easiest way, of course, is to pay for the stock image directly from a credit card, but this is, usually, the most expensive option for the buyer. To purchase images on microstock, it’s much more profitable to use different subscription plans or microstock credits.
What is a photostock’s subscription plan? A subscription plan or tariff is something like a regular timely fee, most often a monthly fee. By paying for a monthly subscription plan of the photo stock agency, you can, within the established limits for definite subscription plan, download for free a certain number of stock images from the microstock’s image database during a month. The longer the subscription plan, the more expensive it will be, but the limits for downloading stock images will be significantly higher and one stock photo or illustration will be cheaper. The most profitable at microstocks are the annual subscription plans in which the cost of one image can be 15-20 cents. But, i’d like to mention, that purchasing a subscription photostock plan is beneficial only for the case of a regular need to purchase high quality stock images. Most often, photobanks subscription plans are bought and actively used by various advertising agencies, design teams, large enterprises and media, that is, all those entities who purchase high-quality stock images in large batches for use in everyday activities.
If you need regularly small numbers of stock photos or vector illustrations or in cases of one-time need, then you would consider the option of purchase the stock images using credits (microstock’s currency or points, sometime). In this case, you need to clearly understand how many stock images will be needed for your activities, for example, during a week, a month or a year. After that, just buy a package of credits at the chosen microstock, focusing on your volume of needed images. Why such difficulties? The sense is that credits of photo stocks also have a validity period. Typically, photobank credits can be used within 1 year after purchase, and after this time expired credits will be canceled without any cashback. By the way, remember that the larger the package of credits you will purchase on a one-time basis at the photobank, the more cheaper will be for you the price of one image from microstock. This is due to the fact that in a larger package of credits, the cost of 1 credit (in $) will be cheaper than in a smaller package of credits. Usually, each stock image has a price indicated in credits. The cheaper credits will be purchased by you, the cheaper cost of downloaded image will be for you at the photo stock site. Do not forget about this moment if you want to buy stock images inexpensively.
If you look at the comparative table of prices for stock image (photos and vector illustrations) on photobanks, you will notice that the minimum cost of 1 image from microstock to microstock jumps a lot. It is not always profitable or cheaper to purchase stock images both by subscription and by credits on the same photostock. Moreover, usually, one microstock will be most profitable for purchase stock images by subscription, while another microstock will be cheaper for purchase stock images by credits.

Overview of best leading photostocks for buyers

Below you can find brief overviews of best photo agencies listed in the price comparison table for buyers, who are going to purchase high-quality images.

Shutterstock review

Shutterstock is one of the largest stock image sites in the Internet. May be, it’s the top microstock site. Its database currently has over 300,000,000 high resolution photos and high-quality vector illustrations. Both subscription plans and purchase images for credits are available at Shutter. Site has local versions of the interface on many popular languages. Payment can be made by credit cards, wire transfer from the bank account or by check. Shutterstock buyers can buy stock photos under the editorial license.
Besides the images, buyer, after activating a subscription plan, gets access to various online tools for converting graphics, creating collages, image resizing and plug-ins for popular graphic editors. Shutterstock’s services are used by more than 1.5 million customers worldwide. This photostock also offers an excellent teamwork opportunity for large organizations or corporations under one corporate account.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Dreamstime review

Dreamstime, which was founded back in 2000, is another leader of the microstock’s market. At this moment, dreamstime has more than 106,000,000 stock images (photos, illustrations, cliparts, videos) in the content database available for purchase. The monthly audience of Dreamstime is about 11 million visitors. You can buy stock images at Dreamstime both by subscription and for photobank credits. You can pay for images using a bank card, wire transfer or the well-known online payment system PayPal. Also, as on Shutterstock, you can purchase stock photos under an editorial license here.
It’s very important to underline one important feature of Dreamstime for buyers. It is the ability to buy stock photos in RAW format, which is not available on other photo stocks. This photo stock agency is very profitable for purchase images by subscription. The price of image, purchased by dreamstime subscription plan, will be one one of the lowest on the market. Credits purchase of images at Dreams is not so profitable, because credits will be quite expensive in comparing to competitors. It is necessary to mention the presence the special section, from which customers can download some stock photos and vector illustrations for free. You will not find many stock images, but interesting images can also be downloaded for free there.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Review of Depositphotos

Depositphotos is a newcomer among famous market leaders. Deposit was founded in 2009. The database currently has about 120 million high-quality stock photos, vector images and videos available for purchase. Headquarter is in Florida, there are several support offices on other continents, including in Moscow and Kiev. Like other leaders, Depositphotos offers various subscription plans to the buyers. Large buyers have an opportunity to negotiate with the Depositphotos the special conditions for the corporate subscription plan. Also it is possible to purchase credits packages for further download of stock images from Deposit photos.
There is a special section on the Depositphotos website from which you can download some high quality stock images and videos for free. The buyer can use for payments bank cards and wire transfers, Skrill, Paypal, Webmoney, Yandex.Money. In comparing of the number of payment channels, Depositphotos is the undisputed leader among microstocks, because no one offers such number of payment methods.
Our visitors ask, how to download depositphotos free images without paying for them. So, first of all, there are free section, where people may download free images from depositphotos every week. The second, at the time of writing this review, it was possible to request for a Depositphotos free one-week subscription. As part of this free subscription plan, buyer may get right to download from depositphotos free 5 stock pictures in a day to define for yourself the convenience of the proposed service and size of photostock database. An important moment is the availability of a local versions of the interface in different languages.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Review of Canva

Photostock Canva was founded as a result of the development of the same name online platform of graphic tools. The heart of this platform is the free Canva photo editor. In the process of its development, the logical continuation was the appearance of a runoff to stay its users inside the system and not to send them to third-party resources in search of layouts and grafic templates created by professional illustrators and designers. To start working with the Canva, the buyer will need to purchase a monthly subscription for only $12.95. After that, the susbcription buyer will have the opportunity, in addition to possibility of using the online graphic editor and the Canva cloud service, to download mock-ups and templates of various kinds from the stock image database for a price of $1 or more. In general, this service is not suitable for everyone, but, of course, it has cool advantages.
Back to price comparison table on photostocks

Adobe stock short review

Adobe stock, formerly known as Fotolia, has also been included in the tribe of the world’s leading microstock for more than 10 years, has begun its activity back in 2004. Not so long ago, Adobe inc acquired Fotolia and began its rebranding in Adobe stock, which was finished in 2019. It does not make sense to present Adobe and also do not need to be introduced Adobe’s most famous products. At the time of this review writing, there were more than 160,000,000 high-quality images and video clips in the Adobe stock database. The buyer of this microstock can either buy credits packages or choose one of the different subscription plans. Here are available for payment credit cards and bank wire transfers, PayPal and Webmoney.
One of the positive sides of Adobe stock is an interface in different languages. Another plus of this photostock is the ability to download 10-40 stock images for free in the first month after registration at the Adobestock and purchasing an annual subscription plan. Buyers will appreciate this opportunity to test for free the quality of stock images from Adobe stock during the first month of working with the photo bank.
Back to the comparison table of photostock’s prices

Обзор Stockfresh

Stockfresh is a quite small microstock from Hungary, which started its online activity since 2010. Its founders are well-known personalities among professional contributors in the microstock market since 2000. The Stockfresh database has over 20,000,000 stock images to the day of this review. You can buy stock images by subscription and by Stockfresh credits here. Image prices are quite competitive, but the possibility for image choices is much worse than that of the market leaders. There are some local languages in the site interface. Payment is accepted from bank cards and via Swift, from Paypal and Skrill. We would recommend not to purchase subscription plan at Stockfresh for a period more than 3 months, because the active updating of the image database is imperceptible last time.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Review of Istock (Getty Images)

Istockphoto is one of the pioneers in the market of online photo stock agencies. It was founded in 2000 and for a long time was the undisputed market leader. They were the first photo bank which started to accept micropayments and became the first microstock on the Internet. But, over time, Istock’s slowness and obsession with his work model led to some loss of position. At this crisis stage, the Istock’s owners received the sell offer from Getty Images. Istock was sold and gained access to the resources of the new owners and, such a feeling, was stuck even more at some stage of development.
But, let’s back to the main task of Istock Getty Images, that is, to the sale of stock images. The buyer, like on other large microstocks, can buy a package of credits and download images from Istock. Besides credits buyer can purchase Istock subscription plan and download images under this plan. You can pay for services using credit cards or through Paypal. There are the option to choose local language for interface of site. In the stock database, there are more than 100,000,000 stock images.
Back to stock photos price comparison table

Description of GL Stock

A small microstock site, which began operations in 2008 under the name Graphic Leftovers and a total image database of 200 pieces. It was launched by a team of Americans from Missouri. In the process of development, in 2012 it was renamed GL Stock, under which it still work. In 2017, a new website was launched. There areexclusively stock photos and vector illustrations in the database of images for sale. The interface is quite simple and understandable for the buyer. During purchasing stock photos, the client can choose the type of license (standard royalty free or extended) and 3 sizes of the downloaded file. Photo files can be downloaded in the JPEG extension. During buying illustrations and vector images, there is no option to buy a JPEG file. The buyer can choose only the type of license and image size. There will be together a vector file (EPS) and JPEG in the downloaded archive. Subscription plans for buyers are not offered, there is only a stock image’s purchase for credits. You can fund the balance to receive stock credits by a credit card or via Paypal. GL Stock currently has over 4,000,000 high-quality images and photographs for sell.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Review of Canstockphoto

Canstockphoto.com is another Canadian stock in the top ten online microstock photography agencies. It was created in 2004 by a Canadian student from New Scotia and has since been slowly developing and offers very attractive and low prices for stock images and footages (video clips). The Canstockphoto database currently has over 49,000,000 stock images (JPEG, TIFF) and vector illustrations (EPS) and almost 2 million video files (HD720, HD1080, 4K) of excellent quality. By the way, on the main page of the Can stock photo, a list of the last purchased images is displayed. There is the option to choose the site language.
For buyers, there are 3 ways to buy stock images. The buyer can make an instant purchase of a image or footage by paying with a credit card or with a Paypal wallet. The second and third option are the industry standards. Microstock credits and subscription plans. By the way, when buying an image for credits, the discount compared to instant purchases for real money will be up to 56%. When ordering a Canstockphoto subscription plan and downloading files from the microstock by a subscription, the effective discount will be fantastic 95% compared to instant purchases and up to 70% compared to purchasing for credits. Canstockphoto has a minimum subscription plan om 1 week and a maximum on 1 year. In principle, it looks like other microstock sites.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Purchase stock images from Bigstockphoto

Big stock photo was created in 2004 in the USA. The service was actively developed, but in 2009 was acquired by the more successful competitor Shutterstock. Now Bigstock is one of the brands under umbrella of Shutterstock. Immediately after the purchase in 2009, there were announcements about the merger two microstocks, but after almost 10 years, finally, Bigstock continues to function as a separate photo stock with its own images base, its customers and its contributors. Almost all this time, this microstock service was focusing on selling stock images through subscription plans. Unlike the mother company, there was no possibility of purchase of stock images for credits. But since 2019, Bigstockphoto also has conditions for buying credit packages and one-piece purchases for Bigstock credits.
Currently, Bigstock offers for sale about 85,000,000 cheapest stock photos, videos and vector graphics on many different topics. The base, of course, is smaller than that of the mother company, but the plus is that on this photostock you can buy stock pictures even cheaper than on Shutterstock. Payment for subscriptions or purchase of credits are possible via PayPal or with the help of bank credits cards Visa and Mastercard. Another positive aspect of this stock photo agency and image repository is the availability of a free test period during 1 week. During this test week, buyer can download 5 stock images absolutely free. This option distinguishes Bigstock from other microstocks. To access test period for free downloads of stock graphics and videos, you need to activate Bigstock subscription plan by entering your credit card number and choosing a subscription plan. But, money will be not debited from the credit card and will be not blocked until 7 days have passed. Therefore, in order not to get a negative balance on the credit card, simply do not forget to cancel the subscription no later than on the seventh day from the moment of activation. In the same way, you can download video from stock for free, also by test subscription. There will be a limit for stock video downloads – 1 free download per day.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Alamy stock review

Alami is the first macro photobank to start working with micropayment sales of stock photos, video clips, vector illustrations and panoramic images. The Alami’s base currently has at about 163,000,000 graphics and video files under a royalty free license. Alamy’s image prices are not very low, but this is not surprising given their specialization as macrostock. There are many transnational advertising agencies among the clients of this resource . All content is sold under 2 types of RF and RM licenses. You can pay for the images of this macrostock using credit cards or through Paypal.
Back to stock images price comparison table

About Crestock for buyers

Crestock photobank was founded in 2005, and in 2010, at the peak of its growth, it was sold to the Canadian Photo Bank Masterfile. To current date, the Crestock database has around 40,000,000 high-quality stock images, including high-resolution stock photos (JPG, TIFF), vector illustrations (EPS) and excellent images. There is the opportunity, like most, to buy a microstock subscription plan or to purchase the package of credits with a credit/debit card or via Paypal. But, you can simply pay for the stock image directly with a credit card, without wasting time on the purchase of credits. Crestock seemed to be stuck back in 2010 in the state in which it was sold to Masterfile. Nevertheless, the microstock site works, the database of stock images is supported, buyers regularly purchase graphic content there, that is, this photo stock holds its fairly small market share.
Back to stock images price comparison table

About Pond5

Pond5 is an American image stock agency, where the main emphasis is on the sale of stock video files, stock audio files (WAV, MP3), special effects, 3d models, and after all of the above, there are, of course, stock photos and vector images, templates for After Effect. Buyers at Pond5 are more interested in just videos and audio tracks. Yes, at the time of its appearance, the microstock was just aimed at selling stock media files, and later there was already an expansion in the othe types of content and graphic content for buyers appeared on the site. Almost 18 million stock video clips, one million music tracks, more than a million music effects, 26 million photos and more than 11 million illustrations were presented in the Pond5 database at the time of writing this review. The main customers of this microstock are large television channels and film companies. Prices for stock photographs and illustrations are indicated in the comparative table of prices on photo stocks, but it should be noted that the contributors of Pond5 have the opportunity to set prices independently and therefore they can be higher than those indicated in comparison. At their officical site you may find many special offers from Pond 5. Payment for purchases on this microstock may be done through standard channels: bank cards or Paypal.
Back to stock images price comparison table

123RF review

The microstock 123rf.com began its work in 2005 and since then it is among the ten most popular microstock sites in the world. There are more than 110,000,000 stock works (high quality photos, vector illustrations, video clips and audio) in its database. The monthly audience of 123RF is about 12 million users. Among the buyers of this stock at different times were such market leaders as Google, Amazon, Apple, Deloitte, Microsoft and others. Prices for stock images by subscription and by credits are very competitive against the other market leaders with comparable image bases. There is a section with free stock images, videos and audio recordings for download. You can pay for a 123RF subscription or buy 123RF credits by credit card. It is also possible through the contacts on the website to request the information about other payment options. Alternative payment methods besides credit cards are possible.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Purchase images in Pixtastock

Japanese microstock Pixtastock was launched in 2005. At 2020, the Pixtastock database contains almost 43 million stock photos, illustrations and video clips that can be bought at affordable prices. Payment methods for buyers are the same as on most other microstock – credit cards and Paypal. Options for purchasing images are also quite standard: by the credits or directly and by subscription plan. It’s cheaper to download stock images from Pixta stock using an annual subscription plan for $ 2,388. As part of the annual subscription, the buyer can download 9,000 stock images during the year. It is possible to work as a team under one corporate account, it means, when several users work under the same customer accounts on the microstock. Photostock sells images under a royalty free license (standard and extended). The local versions of the site interface on Pixtastock, unfortunately, is not implemented. There are only english and some asian languages. It is very uncomfortable for buers from other countries, given the attractiveness of Pixta’s prices.
Back to stock images price comparison table

Leave a Comment