ShutterStock vs Dreamstime vs iStockphoto vs Pond5 vs 500px: Stock Photography Websites Reviewed
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ShutterStock vs Dreamstime vs iStockphoto vs Pond5 vs 500px: Stock Photography Websites Reviewed

ShutterStock has a huge library of over 55 million royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors to choose from. Dreamstime also has a large collection with over 50 million photos, illustrations, cliparts and vectors with the largest weekly stated prices. iStockphoto has in addition to monthly plans, offers credits so customers can buy just what they need. Pond5 offers the widest variety of media that include Sound FX and After Effects. 500px is great for photographers that would like to share and sell their photos.
Covered in this report
ShutterStock — Best Features
ShutterStock has over 55 million royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors.
ShutterStock has more than 2 million music pieces you can purchase.
Best for: Customers looking for not only photos, but also musical pieces and video clips.
Dreamstime — Best Features
They currently have more than 300,000 contributing photographers and over 50 million photos, illustrations, cliparts and vectors.
Blog sections where you can share tips and read tutorials.
Best for: Photographers that would like to earn money by sharing and selling their photographs.
iStockphoto — Best Features
iStockphoto is owned by Getty Images, which means they have all of the Getty photos you can purchase.
They give you the option of subscribing or purchasing photos using credits as you need photos.
Best for: Those that would like to be able to purchase photos using credits with several licensing options.
Pond5 — Best Features
Has a collection of 200,000 HD video files.
Also offers Sound FX, after effects and 3D models.
Best for: Those that need HD video and Sound FX files for their internet projects.
500px — Best Features
Is one of the best sites to share your photos with the world.
Offers the ability to follow and share photos from photographers that share your interests.
Best for: Photographers that would like to join a community of photographers and sell their work.
Review

ShutterStock

ShutterStock was founded in 2003 by Jon Oringer and has their headquarters in New York City. They are a stock photography, stock footage and a stock music provider with a library of over 55 million royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors. ShutterStock also has over 2 million video clips and pieces of music that they make available for license. They are the leading provider of digital imagery operating in 20 languages and 150 countries.

ShutterStock Features

ShutterStock is a great place for anyone to look for royalty-free photos, illustrations, videos and music pieces that you can use for any type of project. You can begin your search on ShutterStock by looking through the following main categories:

  • Photos
  • Vectors
  • Editorial
  • Illustrations
  • Footage
  • Music
  • Icons

ShutterStock has many categories for you to search through, making it easy to find the exact product you are looking for. Once you click on a main category, you can further refine your search by New, Popular, Relevant or Undiscovered. A few of their main categories include:

  • Abstract
  • Animals
  • Buildings / Landmarks
  • Infographics
  • Beauty / Fashion
  • People
  • Business / Finance
  • Food and Drink
  • Interiors
  • Nature
  • Parks and Outdoors
  • Vintage

Once you sign up on ShutterStock, you can also receive free content every week and get a free vector of the week download. You will always be able to find what you need on ShutterStock as they add 440,000 stock images per week.

ShutterStock Pricing

ShutterStock offers several pricing plans subscriptions for you to choose from.

 

Basic License

Enhanced License

     

2 Images

$29

$199

5 Images

$49

$449

25 Images

$229

$1,699

Their enhanced license is for images for merchandise or print runs over 500,000.

ShutterStock also has several other plans:

  • Professional pricing plan for 750 images per month at a cost of $199 per month for a 1-year subscription, and 350 images per month for a price of $169 per month.
  • Team subscriptions include 750 images starting at 2 users for $299 per month for a 1-year subscription. They also offer 3 user and 4 or more user plans.

Dreamstime

Dreamstime has been online since 2000 and is one of the world’s largest Royalty free photography websites. They currently have more than 300,000 contributing photographers and over 50 million photos, illustrations, cliparts and vectors.

Dreamstime Features and Photos

Dreamstime has all types of photo topics like abstract, animals, arts, architecture, business, holidays, editorial, nature, people and objects. Some of their great features include:

  • Smart advanced search offers a multi-tiered in-depth search engine.
  • Secure and flexible payment options.
  • A free image section.
  • A referral program that allows you to earn money.
  • Keymasters will help you keyword your photos.

Dreamstime Features for Photographers

Dreamstime also includes photographer incentive programs like:

  • Blog sections where you can share tips and read tutorials.
  • In the news section for photographers that want to elevate their exposure as a photojournalist.
  • A monthly assignment contest.
  • Moderated forums.
  • Exclusivity rewards photographers with up to 60% of each sale.

Dreamstime Plans and Prices

Dreamstime offers credit packages and subscriptions, and they always have sales listed for their offers. Their current subscription plan prices are as follows:

  • 1 week duration includes 5 monthly downloads for $0.05.
  • 1 month duration includes 750 monthly image downloads for $197.
  • 3 months includes 750 image downloads per month (2275 total images) for $564.
  • 6 months offers 750 image downloads per month (4550 images) for $1,075.
  • 12 month plan offers 750 image downloads per month (9125 images total) for $1,724.

Their credit packages allow customers to pay per download, which is great to just pay for what you need at the time.

iStockphoto

iStockphoto was founded in 2000 by Bruce Livingstone originally as a free stock photo website. Since then, the company has been acquired by Getty Images and their stock of photos has grown substantially.

iStockphoto Stock Photos

All of their photos are royalty free, which means you only have to pay once to use the photo multiple times. They give you a legal guarantee that using their royalty free photos will not infringe on any copyright, trademark or any other intellectual property rights or violate any other rights of privacy.

iStockphoto has many stock photo categories to choose from including:

  • Architecture and Buildings
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Babies and Children
  • Beauty and Health
  • Technology
  • Animals and Pets
  • Families
  • Food and Drink
  • Sports
  • Illustrations and Vectors
  • Nature
  • Business
  • People
  • Landscaping

iStockphoto Stock Photo Pricing Plans

iStockphoto has subscription plans or you can buy credits towards photos. iStockphoto offers the following subscription plans.

iStockphoto Essentials

  • This plan starts at $40 per month for 10 downloads and goes up to $199 per month for 250 images.
  • 1 year plans range from $90 per month for 50 images per month to $168.58 per month for 750 image downloads per month

iStockphoto Signature Plan

  • 1 month cost $ 99.00 with 10 downloads per month and goes up to 250 downloads for $399.
  • 1 year costs $199 and allows 50 downloads per month and goes to

iStockphoto also allows customers to buy credits and download the images and videos you need using credits. They offer many different credits including:

  • 3 credits - $33.00
  • 6 credits -  $60.00
  • 12 credits - $115
  • 18 credits - $170

Pond5

Pond5 is great for anyone that needs to buy photographs and high quality video clips. Some of their customers include The Weather Channel, BBC, The History Channel and many others.

Pond5 Features

Pond5 offers the following types of media:

  • Footage
  • Music
  • Sound FX
  • After Effects
  • Images
  • 3D Models

Pond5 Plans and Prices

Pond5 offers the following current prices for their plans:

  • Pro: For $69 monthly or $559 yearly, customers can get 5 downloads per month from the collection of 200,000 HD video files.
  • Premium: This plan costs $139 monthly or $839 yearly and get 10 downloads per month from their collection of HD video files, 15,000 music files and 200,000 image files.

500px

500px was launched in 2009 and today is one of the best sites to share your photos with the world. 500px is a photo community for discovering, sharing, buying and selling inspiring photography.

500px Features

  • See the latest up-to-date work from the people you follow.
  • Personalize to your tastes in photography and follow the photographers you like.
  • Keep discovering photographers that share the same interests.
  • Take it with you on your iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

500px photography topics include abstract, animals, black and white, food, landscapes, nature, macro, people, street life, sports and much more.

500px Plans and Prices

500px offers the following plans and prices:

 

Web Ready

Retina Ready

Print Ready

Core Collection

$34 per photo

$99 per photo

$149 per photo

Prime Collection

$49 per photo

$149 per photo

$249 per photo

Photo Dimensions

1800px

2400px

>3000px

Resolution

72 dpi

144 dpi

300 dpi

Print Reproductions

Up to 500,000

Up to 500,000

Up to 500,000

Digital Impressions

Up to 1 million

Up to 1 million

Up to 1 million

All plans offer worldwide usage and unlimited media types. They also offer plans that enhance your license plans that range from $99 to $499.

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