Taking photos like a professional is a real job. Unfortunately, website creators do not necessarily have the financial resources for this. The image bank is the perfect solution since it allows you to recover quality, royalty-free photos and videos, completely legally. Below, our comparison to access the best image bank in 2022.
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Legality with an image bank
If image banks are so successful, it is because they (fraudulently) use an image that is not royalty-free can be very expensive. Photographers no longer hesitate to hire lawyers to obtain compensation for illegal use of content. After all, it's perfectly legitimate to pay a photographer for the work he did and the time he spent producing it.
It is therefore necessary to ensure that all images, photos and videos used on a website (or other media) have had the approval of the owner of the content so that it can be replicated. . For an image used without authorization, the fine can rise to several thousand euros – which should deter you. Be careful to protect yourself well, as the bill can be very high. A solution in our comparison of the best image banks makes it possible to reduce this risk as much as possible with ease, at a very reasonable cost.
Now there you have it, there are several large and best image banks available on the internet. Shutterstock, Adobe Stock (formerly Fotolia), Getty Images, Dreamstime and 123RF are all recognized players around the world in this category. They share a large part of the market, ahead of less recognized and smaller players.
We have therefore established this comparison of image banks to help you find the one that best meets your expectations. Below, you will find details of each of these platforms to identify the best image bank according to your specific use. The platforms we have mentioned are a good compromise between free (limited) image banks and images from premium sources such as AFP or Reuters.
Comparison: the best image bank in 2022
|Price per image
|Monthly subscription price
|From €1 per image(depending on format)
|5 images = 49€(9.8€/image)
|From €1 per image(depending on format)
|From €1 per image(depending on format)
|5 images = 39€(7.8€/image)
The best image banks in review
Below, you will see details of the major platforms that are available on the French market, with the most attractive offers. They each have their specificities (notably on the diversity of images, videos and other content), however with a core that is common to them. In this image bank comparison, you will see information on the history of each one. We detail important information as well as their various current offers.
The 5 best image banks in 2022:
- Adobe Stock
- iStock by Getty Images
Below, we have put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each of these image banks. This selection is updated over the months to give you a good overview of all the offers available on the web. They will allow you to have as much content as possible on all types of themes. This concerns images, photos, videos or other music. The formats are displayed explicitly on each platform.
1) Adobe Stock (ex-Fotolia)
Fotolia is originally a French company that was founded in 2004 by successful entrepreneur Thibaud Elzière. Ten years after its creation, the site was bought by Adobe, which integrated it into its Creative Cloud suite, and then renamed it Adobe Stock. It still remains accessible to the general public and offers no less than 125 million different contents: images, vectors, videos. To return to our comparative guide to the best image banks, Adobe Stock does not offer music as is the case with Shutterstock – but the value for money is very favorable and advantageous.
According to information provided by Adobe Stock, more than 7 million people use the service every day to benefit from royalty-free images. The platform also prides itself on being the bank where contributing artists receive the highest commissions on the market, which is why the world's best artists, photographers and image creators distribute their works on Fotolia” (became the Stock image bank).
For those familiar with the Adobe group's artistic environment (Photoshop, Lightroom, Premier, After Effects), this is an even more obvious choice. From a UX point of view, this image bank is the best in our comparison. This is an excellent tool that seriously stands out among the best tools on the market.
At the very top of our comparison of image banks, not far behind Adobe Stock, we find the famous Shutterstock. It’is an American company which was founded in the early 2000s, and which is now listed on the New York stock exchange. It is today the largest online image bank in the world with more than 314 million pieces of content on the site.
While it was originally based solely on a monthly subscription system, it has now been possible for several years to’ Buy content individually. Currently, an offer allows you to have 10 free images with a promo code. Every week, 1.3 million new contents are added to this image bank.
Every day, more than 200,000 new images join a large library of 180 million images. Added to this are 12 million videos (including 2 million in 4K) as well as hundreds of thousands of songs. You can see our Shutterstock review to find out more about this excellent platform, which is one of our favorites on the market.
Of its 1.8 million customers around the world, the Shutterstock image bank is pleased to have both international and advertising agencies, websites and even bloggers. With a price list adapted to all needs, the Shutterstock platform is one of the best image banks on the internet.
We will also appreciate the customer support (available in French) which is particularly available in the event of a request. We have been using it for several years, and we have never been disappointed by its offering. This is one of our favorite platforms in our image bank comparison. Along with Adobe Stock, Shutterstock is our second favorite tool.
3) iStock by Getty Images
iStock by Getty Images is a much more high-end stock than the other three, which also has an impact on the price of the products. This can be useful for large companies or for magazines looking to have even more high-end images, including many celebrity photos. More classic images are also available.
As you can see, iStock by Getty Images is slightly different from the other image banks in this comparison. However, the basic offering is very similar, and iStock largely competes with its competitors. However, it’s a niche market and it has difficulty positioning itself against the ogres Adobe Stock or even Shutterstock.
Dreamstime is part of the same generation as Shutterstock, and it also comes from the United States. Founded in the year 2000, Dreamstime is an image bank with more than 89 million photos and a base of 472,000 photographers to regularly feed the base with new content. On average, 3.5 million photos are added each month. In total, Dreamstime is pleased to have 23 million users (free and paid).
In terms of pricing policy, Dreamstime is quite close to the competitors that we mentioned above: the customer can purchase an image pack one-off or a monthly package. Note that the Dreamstime platform works with a system of credits that can be spent (depending on the content and its format, the number of credits for a product changes).
Dreamstime also offers an interesting video base. Customers can also sign up for a monthly video subscription, which can be very convenient in some cases. The price for this best image bank is significantly lower than the competitors, and this can make it a good compromise. The quality and quantity of data is, however, less complete than Shutterstock or Adobe Stock.
123RF is an image bank that was created in Malaysia, and which offers the general public no less than 104 million different contents. As you can see in our comparison of the best image banks, 123RF offers images, visuals, videos as well as music. In total, it can boast a community of 300,000 content producers, and 12 million customers to its credit.
As you can see in this comparison of image banks: whether Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Getty Images or even 123RF, all rights offer subscriptions for a number of # 8217;limited images (with credits) or a monthly plan. However, it's the monthly subscription that is more useful than purchasing a one-time image pack. However, it is less popular and known than Shutterstock or Adobe Stock in the circle of image banks on the French market.
What is the image bank ?
How all content is produced ?
As its name suggests, an image bank is a resource that aggregates a large number of images that are royalty-free. This includes photos, visuals, illustrations, icons or even videos and music in some cases. The comparison of the best image banks therefore aims to compare these different offers in France.
This content is produced by professionals and artists who are then paid for each download of their products by the image banks. The principle is the same as Deezer which charges listeners a subscription, and which pays part of the commission to the artists who created the photo or video content. In the end, it's completely legitimate and normal to pay a sum for work carried out.
Let's continue this comparison of the best image banks with the prices.
Free or paid: which is the best solution ?
While there are free (and very limited) image banks, others require payment. Free image banks are generally very limited in terms of content, and you will have to quickly migrate to a paid image bank to have different and more premium visuals. Also, opting for a better paid image bank means recognizing the work of photographers and other content producers. It's the least we can do.
You generally have to subscribe to either a monthly subscription or a fixed amount which will allow you to download a limited number of images over a given period of time. With these 2 versions, the customer will then have access to the entire best image bank and will be able to choose the images that they like the most. This is a good way to have unique (or almost unique) images in very good quality.
Generally, the best image banks also offer several models of use, depending on whether it is for reproduction in very large numbers (such as in magazines or on posters ) or for limited online use. In all cases, it is strictly forbidden to resell the image directly, without having taken this option. Depending on the formula you want, the price of an image generally ranges between €0.3 and €20 per unit.
And you, what is your favorite image bank ?