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Friday, October 22nd
Crestock is relatively small and unknown by comparison to the other heavy hitters we reviewed. It may be due to its spartan and cheaper-looking user interface - the font size was way too small and we had to increase it in the browser to reduce eye strain while using the site. But it also could be less popular given that when we tried to access it on a moderately filtered WiFi network, it was blocked as not safe for the workplace.
After the network administrator unblocked the site, it was apparent that Crestock is not keeping its browser security certificate updated. We saw a "Not Secure" symbol and message. We then (cautiously) looked through the Crestock collection.
Frustrating To Search
Crestock has photos, illustrations, and vector art, but no videos that we could find. Search filtering is somewhat minimal and nowhere near as accessible or powerful as other stock photo sites. It was also rather slow at producing results. If you're doing regular adjustments to filters or paging through multiple results, it will take you a while. Also, when we added "with people" to the filtering for our seemingly harmless dogs search, we got a "not safe for work" image in that result set. There is no ability to turn on a safe search feature that we were able to find.
Continuing our search for "black and white puppy dogs", the images we found on page one of the results felt overly doctored with the majority of them having the backgrounds removed. There was little in the way of uniqueness that would have made our design projects stand out in any way. Rather, the images would have made it look as if they were found in a Google Images search and not properly licensed.
Affordable Pricing, But Lower Resolution
Pricing is pretty great for these low-quality images, as one might expect. There were images as low as $0.25 and as high as $1.00 but not much higher. And, you can purchase 50 credits for under $50 or a generous 20 image per day (for 30 consecutive days) subscription plan for under $200. The problem is that the highest resolutions we found for many images were about half the size of what's offered on other sites.
Extended Licensing Available
Extended licensing is also available of images for consumer merchandise, electronic templates, unlimited print runs, and unlimited seat licenses. But, again, we weren't that impressed with the quality of the images or the photographers overall.
Surprisingly, Crestock has some good reviews, but they're mainly centered around the low cost. At such poor quality, it's not surprising that the value of the images would also be perceived as worth so little money. Move along to another service if you want better options for your design projects.
Stock photo services provide images for use in editorial (news), website, commercial, entertainment, and artistic projects to illustrate and visualize various concepts and ideas. Such images enhance storytelling value by instantly communicating what the piece is about.
Stock photos can be purchased individually or in "packs" or groups, either with a monthly or yearly subscription or as a one-time, on demand arrangement. Generally, the longer your subscription term and the more images you purchase, the lower the cost per image.
Some stock photo sites contain higher quality images than others - depending on the photographers' skill, experience, reputation, and the ways they choose subjects, compose and light their photos. So, it's important to consider this when the price on one site seems very high compared to others.
Image types are typically photos but also include anything of visual value. That covers video, vector art, illustrations, editorial photos for news stories, and formatted templates for social media, blogs, marketing materials, and ads.
Photo resolutions are measured in pixels (dots) and range from low pixel density (a horizontal resolution of around 400 pixels) to high pixel density for 4K images (a horizontal resolution of 4,096 pixels) and, increasingly, 8K images (7,680 pixels). The higher-resolution images are for high-definition TV output, computer screens, and print. The lower resolution images are typically used on websites with pixel dimension restrictions or that need to balance quality with image load speed on slow connections.
Some stock photo websites offer unlimited numbers of downloads per image. Others provide just a single download, after which you'll need to repurchase the image at full price if you need to download it again.
Licensing restrictions are oriented around the type of use you have for the image, video, or photo as well as use frequency (royalty-free vs. more per-use limited "rights managed" images). For example, TV broadcast and print licensing will often be more restrictive than website image licensing. And, you can license images on some stock photo sites for your exclusive use, meaning that the image will be removed from their catalog once you purchase it. Be sure to read the licensing terms carefully for each asset you purchase and download. If you're found using it against the licensing agreement, you may be charged a steep fine for each out-of-license use.
It's also important to be aware that not every stock photo site will be available on internet connections having strong filtering. Stock photo sites can contain images and videos that are not family friendly or "safe for work". So, if you have trouble viewing a stock photo site due to a content warning in your browser, check with your network administrator about getting an exception made for that stock photo site's domain name.
As you decide which provider to use for your stock photos, it may be helpful to keep the following factors in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online sources of stock photos today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect images for your website, newsletter, or other projects!
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