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Depositphotos vs Fotolia vs iStock: Price, Quality & Variety Compared

DepositPhotos is a wise service to use if you plan on needing to ask a lot of questions about the photos from support personnel since they have multiple options for that. Fotolia has a huge library of 45 million downloads. This means they will be a good bet for those who need to buy in bulk. The iStock site has good search options making them ideal for finding images in a hurry.
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Depositphotos is a company where customers can by royalty free stock photos for businesses, schools and more. They offer plans where the customer can purchase one picture by size, or buy 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year subscriptions where the customer can have daily access to photos in stock. T... read more...
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Depositphotos overview on Knoji
Depositphotos — Best Features
Connect to support agents through live chat easily.
Rating on site is at 4.8 from over 600,000 customers.
Best for: Those looking for high quality support options.
Fotolia is devoted to offering affordable creative imagery. Their crowdsourced library includes millions of royalty-free images, vectors, illustrations and video footage clips. Whether you’re a professional designer, manager, presenter, small business owner or student, the right images for yo... read more...
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Fotolia overview on Knoji
Fotolia — Best Features
Over 45 million downloads available in the library.
Buy images for 27 cents with a subscription plan.
Best for: Those looking for the highest possible volume for selection.
Best deal: Buy a One Month Subscription and get the Second Month for Free - [activate coupon]
If you need some stock artwork for a project, one place many corporations go is to iStockphoto.  Formed to offer media without worries about royalty fees the company was a timely innovation.  The company was formed in 2001 by Bruce Livingstone.  He decided to offer his collection of p... read more...
⌊ Best coupon: 8% discount on purchase of 50 credits
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iStockphoto overview on Knoji
iStockphoto — Best Features
Get exclusive free photos on the site on a regular basis
Unique and extensive categories for searching including topics like "abstract."
Best for: Those looking to locate a particular image in a hurry.

It’s amazing just how many different uses people have for stock photos. Regardless of whether you need them for a personal or work-related project, there are many sites online that make t easy to get the stock photos you need. Here are a few examples.


DepositPhotos has millions of stock images that are high-quality and royalty-free.


  • Live Chat-This options is available in the top right corner of the main site, and a green dot there should indicate whether there are agents available. All you do is choose your name and email and your department, such as questions about buying, tax questions, or any other department, and then you hit the green “Start Chat” button to get going. It’s all in one screen so you don’t have to hunt around a lot.
  • Flexible Payment Options-You can get a monthly or daily subscription for images, or you can do a pay as you go approach.
  • Multiple Mobile Options-You can get mobile options on both the App store and Google Play.



Fotolia has a number of economic options available, and they also have a vast library of over 45 million different selections. You can call them for help at 888-674-2299. They give considerable savings both for first-time buyers and those buying in bulk, so it’s worth considering them if you fall in either of these categories.


  • Never Expiring Quota-If you get a subscription plan, your quota never expires due to a rollover. All your images will rollover from month to month no matter what. If you don’t get a subscription, then you only get 1 year for this.
  • Buy Images for 27 Cents-The best subscription plans lets you buy images for as low as 27 cents, which makes this site a good one for those who need a high volume with economical options.
  • LightBox Available-You can register for this service for free, and it will allow you to more easily access your images.
  • Easy Coupons-You don’t have to do a lot of hunting around for coupons most of the time. Often you can just hit the green “redeem” link at the top left corner of the site in order to instantly get savings of as much as 20% on whatever you’re looking at. This often depends on your situation, though. For example, you can get 20% off if you’re a first-time buyer when the promotion is running. It seems like it might be running for quite a while though since the expiration date reads as 2021.



The site iStock is by Getty Images, so they are definitely relaxed. There’s also a selection of millions of royalty-free images available here as well. There’s also a prominent and easy to use search bar right on the main page. They are often a good bet if you want to find a particular image in a hurry.


  • Easy to Use Search Options-The search bar is right at the top of the main page, and you can switch the type of file that you’re looking for from image to whatever easily.
  • Free Photos-You can get exclusive free photos through the site, usually at the bottom left corner. Once you click on it, there’s a big red button you can use to download it.
  • Wide Categories for Searching-There’s quite an extensive number of possible categories for searching on the site, including keywords like “abstract, ”emoji, icons, family pictures, baby, background photos, food, beauty, animal photos, beauty, business and many others.
  • Signature Artist Highlights-There’s a “signature artist of the month” section on the site that lets you get to know a bit more about these artists. You’ll see a bunch of their images as well as their story so you can figure out more about what to expect from them overall.


Head to Head


The standard price for DepositPhotos is $99 USD for a 1-month subscription. This gives you the ability to buy royalty-free images for around $1 per image. As well as access to 100 images per month for the “Monthly Subscription.” You can also access the “Daily Subscription” for the same price, except on a daily basis instead of per month. This is for 10 images per day. Or, you can do pay-as-you-go where you get 1 image per credit and 1 credit is about $1.

Fotolia offers photos for as little as 74 cents per image with the pay as you go option. This drops down to 27 cents if you get a subscription. The plan starts at $25 for 5 downloads per month. The 27 cents is if you get 750 XXL images, however, which goes for $200.

Purchasing 3 credits on iStock is going to cost $33 for pay per download. Each credit will give you either 3 essential images or 1 “signature” image. You can also get 250 images for $200 per month with the Essentials Subscription. This will only let you search the Essentials database, however. If you want access to the full database you’ll have to pay the $400 per month for the Signature Subscription. This price is cut to around $333 if you pay in advance for the entire year.

Quality and Variety

The DepositPhotos site has a Better Business Bureau seal, but if you click on it, it’s clear the site doesn’t currently have accreditation though they are listed with an address in Florida. Other indicators of quality include their 4.8 star rating out of 5 with over 600,000 feedback scores. There is quite a lot of variety on the site as well considering that you can download millions of different pictures.

According to the Fotolia site, there are 45 million royalty-free images, videos and vectors on the site. The site offers XXL images so the quality should be up to speed if that is a thing that you care about.

The iStock site has millions of selections in the realm of royalty-free images, videos, illustrations and other stuff. They also feature XXL in terms of quality at 5220 x 3481 dpi, as one example. 

Additional Information
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