Review of 123RF, no-nonsense giant in microstock

In this review we take a look at the international stock photo agency 123RF from Malaysia. 123RF is one of the largest providers of stock photos in the world with customers in 192 countries. Measured by number of items, it is a top-3 player. And measured by price, 123RF is among the top 10 cheapest stock photo agencies. In this review we explain briefly what you can expect from this agency. We will discuss the quality of the content and the positioning. And we present all price plans in clear tables.

Company profile

With over 104 million stock photos and 12 million active users, 123RF is one of the world’s largest players in the field of stock photography, illustrations, vectors and audio. The success of the company, which was set up in Asia, did not come out of the blue. The British Andy Sitt and Stephanie Sitt, founders of 123RF, had a clear strategy in mind from the start in 2005. On the one hand, the margins for photographers had to be higher than with competitors. On the other hand, a broad target group was activated, including semi-professional users and private individuals. In particular, individuals were at that time still an untapped audience by big stock photo agencies.

Impression of imagery at 123RF

Selection from the free stock photos of 123RF

Platform and strategy

123RF headquarters is located in Malaysia and the agency works mainly with employees who work from home. This strategy reduces costs. In comparison with other stock photo agencies, 123RF can use competitive prices and retain the broad target group. Meanwhile more than 300,000 photographers and other creative artists are connected to the platform. The platform has a simple appearance, where functionality goes for appearance. It is available in 14 languages.

On demand plans at 123RF

A payment model is used as usual in the market. In the first place, on-demand plans are available. Such a plan contains credits that are valid up to one year after purchase. There are packages available of 20, 40, 90 and 200 credits. Most stock photos can be purchased from 1 credits at a small resolution. For downloads with a higher resolution you have to pay more credits. With credits you can buy standard images, editorial images, vectors, videos and audio, with a standard license as well as extended License. Below you will find an overview of the various options.

20Up to 2021 US$1.05 US$🡆 More info
40Up to 4039 US$0.98 US$🡆 More info
90Up to 9082 US$0.91 US$🡆 More info
200Up to 200180 US$0.90 US$🡆 More info
400Up to 400353 US$0.88 US$🡆 More info

Image packages at 123RF

A second option is to purchase an image package of 5 or 25 images. The image packages are valid for a year after purchase. You can download photos, vectors and EPS files at any resolution. Compared to credits, an image package can offer financial benefits . This is especially the case when you are going to use images with large resolutions. Below you will find the prices of the various image packages at 123RF.

5 High-resUp to 539 US$7.80 US$
25 High-resUp to 25169 US$6.76 US$

Download plans at 123RF

A third option is the purchase of a download plan. This allows you to download 150 or 200 images monthly for one month or one year. A download plan can be used for downloading standard images and editorial images, vectors and EPS files. A total of four packages are available. The packages with 150 downloads have a restriction of 5 downloads per day. The downloads in the packages with 200 downloads can be used flexibly during the month. In the table below you can find the different download plans.

DurationImg/monthLimit/dayTotal imagesPricePrice/imageInfo
1 month1505 Downloads15079 US$0.53 US$🡆 More info
1 month200No limit200139 US$0.70 US$🡆 More info
12 months1505 Downloads1800730 US$0.41 US$🡆 More info
12 months200No limit24001299 US$0.54 US$🡆 More info

Free stock photos

A nice benefit of 123RF are free photos, vectors, audio files and videos that are available each month. At this moment there are 2 free files available in each category each month. On an annual basis this results in nearly 100 very useful free creative items. This service is available to all registered members, regardless of whether a download plan has been purchased.

Stock videos

Although 123RF is especially great in stock photography, the number of stock videos available also takes flight. The collection now includes millions of videos in all possible categories. Videos can be purchased with credits. The resolution of a download is decisive for the price you pay. For example, a 240WD video costs 20 credits and a 4K video costs 180 credits.

Affiliated companies

123RF originated from the Inmagine Group, an e-commerce company that originally sold premium large format photo prints. The technology company is one of the few globally operating players in the Asian industry. After the successful launch of 123RF, the company continued to spread its wings in the digital industry. For example, Inmagine has taken over websites such as Pixlr.com, Vectr.com and Storyandheart.com. It has also established new companies such as Stockunlimited.com


Digital economist and experienced user of stock photography for many purposes like blogs, advertising, websites and news media. Researcher of the market of stock photography. Loves to write about chances with visual content.

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