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Topics - alexzappa

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I have a Pentax K5 with some nice lenses that I happily use for still images.

I tried to take some clips with it but I'm very disappointed with the muddy looking (excessive compression) and the rolling shutter jelly effect when panning, but looking for an upgrade in the Pentax family doesn't look so promising. Even the K3 and new K70 seem to be affected by the same problems.

I was thinking of taking another camery body with better video performance and use the lenses I own with an adapter.

What could be a good budget/Video quality compromise for a 1080/60p camera?
Micro 4/3 or something else?

I wouldn't want to spend much ( i.e. Panasonic GH5/GH4) and I feel the need for slow motion more than UHD.

Thank you for any advice

I want to share my experience as a newbie in Microstock so far, hoping that it could help other people just approaching this world.

I became aware of this kind of agencies some years ago, but thinking my images weren't good enough I didn't apply for a long time. Some months ago I decided to dedicate some time to see how it works: I read a lot of blogs and advices, edited and cleaned up my images archive and dived in.
I bought my first DSLR in 2008 so my hard disk was quite full of images:in reality not very stock oriented, but mainly travel, animals and landscapes  pictures.
To my surprise I was approved at Istock and Shutterstock at the first try and in June I started to upload to as many agencies as I could, setting a goal of 200 images online (per Agency) by the end of August. Right now I have about 500 images spread across 11 agencies, with a maximum of 300-350 images in a single agency: approval rate and selected files vary greatly from one site to the other, and sometimes my best seller with an agency is rejected by all the others. Misteries of Microstock!
I have to admit that my portfolio doesn't look great to my eyes when I compare it to the other images on the web, but one of the big surprise in this world is that the author perspective is really different from buyers one, and you may find out that an image that you consider just below average sells well while the ones that you'd print big for your home walls are not interesting for the market.

Anyway things got encouraging right from the beginning and I kept working on it.

After exactly 3 months since my first upload I reached my 100th download and below I share my experience with the different agencies:

1) Shutterstock : 55 DLs , mostly subscription but a big SOD (Single&Other Download) made me reach the first payout in August, already. It has been the most encouraging agency at the beginning, with the first sale just after a couple of days, but now things have started to slow down. Quite fast review time, with an average approval rate (about 60%)

2) Fotolia : 30 DLs, less then SS but with an often higher commission, sales are not so regular, but quite steady.Quite fast review time, approval rate is almost the same as SS, but they do chose different images. My best seller on Fotolia (7 DL) has been rejected twice by SS .

3) 123RF   : 7 DLs, quite easy upload and submission (no categories) but not very fast. Higher approval rate.

4) iStock :  4 DLs, quite good considering that I had only 30 images online until last week. Review time is painfully long, I had hundreds of images waiting for many weeks. The submission through Deepmeta is quite painful, too, since it doesn't recognize all the keywords in metadata; at least when you have finished your work offline you don't need to do anything else. Approval rate is quite high, the only rejections I have are due to errors in editorial captions (they don't like capital letters like SS wants)

5) BigStock : 2 DLs, slow sales but I knew it in advance. Not the best submission interface but exceptionally fast review: I wonder if it's really done by human reviewers.

6) DepositPhotos : 1 DL, slow sales and slow review time: newly approved images are released one at a time. Submission quite easy.

7) Photodune : 1 DL , same as DP, but review time is a little less.

8 ) Dreamstime : No sales. This has been my biggest disappointment: it's one of the top agencies and as far as I knew it should have been better than others for my style of images (nature, landscapes,...). Long review time and high approval rate, but with no results up till now.

9) Canstock   : No sales. Not great expectations that were confirmed, and very slow portfolio growth (25 submissions daily limit and slow review time). I continue to upload only becouse it's quite easy and no categories asked, otherwise I'd already given up.

10) Alamy     : No sales even if views counter is quite high. Painful submission interface, the only one that oblige you to add "most important keywords" online. Thinking of giving up, even if their approval rate is nearly 100%.

11) Pond5     : No sales. Signed up mainly to upload some Real Time and Time-lapse Videos, but in the meanwhile uploaded also images. The submission is quite  easy (no categories), but the review time is the longest among all agencies. And approval rate is the lowest (abut 30%).I do not quite understand their placement in Images market.

Overall, I was quite encouraged that things were starting to move even with a small portfolio and in summer time, so I tried to increase numbers in portfolio and was quite sure that September would have been a great month, but at the moment it seems difficult that September will be better than August. Anyway, I've finished uploading pictures from my archive: next goal is to keep producing and reach 1000 images online by the end  of the year, hoping that sales will follow.


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