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Any advantage (to contributor) in providing hi-res (gt 40Mp) images?


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Hi. I'm currently shooting with a 24mp camera, which personally I find to be a sweet spot in terms of resolution. In terms of shooting for stock though, I wonder if a higher resolution might be advantageous, in terms of

1. giving you competitive advantage if the client is actually wanting a higher res image than others have available

2. flexibility to crop in (pseudo telephoto) and still have a high(ish) resolution image

3. get paid more, since higher res images command higher prices

 

Does Alamy actually welcome high resolution (greater than 40 megapixel) images?

Does anyone actually have experience of switching to a high res camera and seeing their earnings rise as a result?

 

Any pertinent comments welcome (especially from Alamy). I am, as might be guessed from this query, a relative newbie here. I do know however, all that stuff about concentrate more on what you shoot and the quality of the images you deliver... I just want to know if, all other things being equal, delivering higher res images is going to make you more money?

 

Thanks...

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3 minutes ago, Steve Teare said:

I just want to know if, all other things being equal, delivering higher res images is going to make you more money?

 

Simple answer = No!

 

Phil

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How many clients need images that big for their purposes is the question. Not many I would have thought. Plus extra costs to you for file storage and time taken to edit due to large file size etc.

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I seem to remember this topic being discussed in the past and it is I suppose possible that some contributors provide high resolution images for some niche market, but I think 24MP is more than enough generally. Press, sports and wildlife photographers often use high MP camera so they can crop heavily as necessary but even with 24MP you can crop a vertical from a landscape and still get good quality above the 17MB uncompressed threshold.

 

There was a fairly recent thread on the same subject and I pointed out that there was no longer a way to filter by file size as there used to be - but they've added it now!

The filter sidebar now has 15, 24, 48 & 70MB minimum file size options (so this must be uncompressed file size - I wish they'd use MP). Strange to have 15MB as the minimum for upload is 17MB, perhaps that is allowing for Stxxximo.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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38 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Strange to have 15MB as the minimum for upload is 17MB, perhaps that is allowing for Stxxximo.

Archival?

 

wim

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9 minutes ago, Vincent Lowe said:

I never crop, I leave it up to the buyer who might want room for text etc.

I've only ever done it once actually, when I noticed that the vertical option was markedly better than the landscape version. I wonder if picture buyers would always think to crop a vertical from a landscape, experienced buyers of course but others maybe not so much.

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58 minutes ago, Vincent Lowe said:

I agree with Phil - No..!

 

Just a note about 2 though 'flexibility to crop..'  I never crop, I leave it up to the buyer who might want room for text etc.  (Copy Space).

I can absolutely see the legitimacy of that argument, but personally I tend to the other extreme, because I want the image to have maximum impact (especially in thumbnail) so buyers are more likely to pick it. I tend to regard the raw photo just as the input material from which the image is created in post, even for documentary type images. Sorry - that sounds pretentious. I just mean different people do things differently.

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2 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

I seem to remember this topic being discussed in the past and it is I suppose possible that some contributors provide high resolution images for some niche market, but I think 24MP is more than enough generally. Press, sports and wildlife photographers often use high MP camera so they can crop heavily as necessary but even with 24MP you can crop a vertical from a landscape and still get good quality above the 17MB uncompressed threshold.

 

There was a fairly recent thread on the same subject and I pointed out that there was no longer a way to filter by file size as there used to be - but they've added it now!

The filter sidebar now has 15, 24, 48 & 70MB minimum file size options (so this must be uncompressed file size - I wish they'd use MP). Strange to have 15MB as the minimum for upload is 17MB, perhaps that is allowing for Stxxximo.

 

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Thanks for your comprehensive reply Harry. I agree with you that number of pixels makes much more sense as a filter rather than file weight in megabytes. I imagine this would make more sense to buyers too.

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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

I've only ever done it once actually, when I noticed that the vertical option was markedly better than the landscape version. I wonder if picture buyers would always think to crop a vertical from a landscape, experienced buyers of course but others maybe not so much.

 

I tend to take portrait and horizontal photos of the same image these days if the image warrants it.

 

Allan

 

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Steve T,

 

I seem to be selling very well using my 24 MG Sony a6000 or one of my Sony RX100s, a 5 and a 7. These are just 20 MG. And when I want to, I crop. The tiny pocket Sony cameras have many advantages that make up for the 20 MG. 

 

 

Edo

Edited by Ed Rooney
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Here are the pros and cons from my experience of shooting high res here for the past 3+ years:

 

I'm currently shooting with a 42 and a 61 MP Sony a7rii & a7riv

 

Love the flexibility it gives me though I rarely crop.  It helps with print sales but I believe the size is overkill for stock.

 

The 61MP files are especially tricky to work with - they take longer to process in LR and PS and fill up my hard drive so quickly - much longer than the 42MP files. I have a fast MacBookPro from 2019 with 32GB RAM - If you want higher res, I'd suggest not going beyond 42MP though if I was just shooting stock, I'd be happy sticking with 24MP. 

 

Alamy did license a few of the large files for $$$ but they've also gone for far less. The files are beautiful but take a lot longer to process and you really need a good large monitor and a very fast computer, so take those costs into consideration too. And lots of TB for backing up the files to get them off your computer hard drive so it doesn't fill up.  Shooting conservatively, it's amazing how fast those 124GB SD cards get full. And be sure you get very fast ones. There are some 124GB cards that are way too slow.

 

Honestly, I've shot much much less than usual thanks to Covid, but I could not fit all the files I've shot in just 3 years on my 2TB MacBookPro hard drive.

 

Before getting the 42MP camera, my entire archive from 2005-2017 was duplicated on 2 4TB drives along with backups of my iMac and older MBP. 

 

Since getting the first Sony, I regularly backup just my current MBP hard drive onto two 4TB drives. 

 

To account for the larger files, I purchased dual 6TB hard drives to backup my archive in 2018.  I badly underestimated and had to upgrade to dual 12TB hard drives. 

 

Of the 73 sales (licenses) I've gotten here since getting my 1st 42MP Sony in 2018, only 14 of them have been the high resolution images, mix of PU, presentation, web and print. Did get three $$$ for personal use/presentation (but also some $$ for personal use). I didn't do the math, but from a quick estimate it seems the average price was higher for the high res files, but I also got some good $$ and $$$ sales from older files taken with my 12MP Nikon D700 and 16MP Oly OMD-1 and Nikon D7000 during that same time period.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love the Sonys, but I would not invest in them for simply selling stock images - my 14 sales here certainly haven't reimbursed me for even one of the cameras, let alone the new lenses, faster computer and new monitor. I sprung for the second high res camera last year and a new monitor recently because I got a grant that covered the costs - but I sometimes regret going with such high resolution large files(the 61MP). The 42 MP files are large but more manageable so if you opt for high res, 42MP is more than enough. (I have to downsize my jpeg files to 11 or even 10 when I upload to FAA so they can be uploaded!).

 

Large prints are gorgeous - beautifully detailed - but overkill for stock though buyers may think they need bigger files - I don't know how savvy they are - In the past, I've had clients who need web only images tell me they need them to be "high resolution" and I just smile and send their web designers a properly downsized file and everyone is happy. Even web designers have told me me to be sure the file is "300 dpi" - non-photographers can be clueless but I'd guess, based on my sales, that most are just searching to find the right image regardless of size.

 

When I looked at my last 1,000 searches in measures, I didn't see a single [FS] - file size - qualifier - maybe I've seen [FS] once or twice in the past, not sure when the last one was. And unless they are cropped, which is quite rare, all my 42 and 61MB files meet the highest 70MB FS criteria.  And lots of those high res files showed up in the searches but not for FS. 

 

Lots to think about. The prices for high res cameras are quite reasonable but there are lots of other costs in both time and money to consider. Hope this helps

 

Edited by Marianne
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1 hour ago, Marianne said:

When I looked at my last 1,000 searches in measures, I didn't see a single [FS] - file size - qualifier - maybe I've seen [FS] once or twice in the past, not sure when the last one was. And unless they are cropped, which is quite rare, all my 42 and 61MB files meet the highest 70MB FS criteria.  And lots of those high res files showed up in the searches but not for FS.

 

That's because it wasn't there as a filter on the clients side.

I used to get those searches regularly.

Try setting the date well before the redecoration started.

 

wim

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Of course Alamy could always put in a higher threshold filter in the future I suppose, 70MB is just 24.5MP so Fuji users like myself would need to have a 26MP X-T3, X-T4 or X-Pro3 to join the high rollers.

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I have no issues shooting with 24MP D750's, and only uploading full resolution images if I suspect it might be printed large. Most of my uploads are resized to 4000 pixels on the longest side, and even those are overkill for all web use and 99.99% print use. Years back before contributing to Alamy I sold an image that was full size, shot on a 10.3MP Sony DSCR1 at ISO 160 tripod mounted, and it was printed on a large banner for a conference. 

Edited by sb photos
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6 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

I've only ever done it once actually, when I noticed that the vertical option was markedly better than the landscape version. I wonder if picture buyers would always think to crop a vertical from a landscape, experienced buyers of course but others maybe not so much.

 

I've found most buyers appear to be lazy and very rarely crop. When suitable I supply both landscape and portrait options.

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10 minutes ago, sb photos said:

I've found most buyers appear to be lazy and very rarely crop. When suitable I supply both landscape and portrait options.

I'm inclined to agree with Steve here, I think the thumbnail should have some kind of obvious merit and in the case I was referring to although I wanted to upload an image I didn't think the landscape version warranted it whereas the portrait crop did. I wish I could remember what the image was!

 

It reminds me of when I used to photograph with a Hasselblad, I adored the square format because I knew that, unless I was leaving them square  of course, I was intending to crop them either to portrait or landscape if they were prints or mount them in 645 masks if they were transparencies for presentation. However the contact sheets (of say a business portrait) may not have looked that good overall because I'd deliberately allowed for clutter to creep in knowing they were to be cropped. Copy space is one thing but needless clutter is quite another.

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14 hours ago, Marianne said:

Here are the pros and cons from my experience of shooting high res here for the past 3+ years:

 

I'm currently shooting with a 42 and a 61 MP Sony a7rii & a7riv

 

Love the flexibility it gives me though I rarely crop.  It helps with print sales but I believe the size is overkill for stock.

 

The 61MP files are especially tricky to work with - they take longer to process in LR and PS and fill up my hard drive so quickly - much longer than the 42MP files. I have a fast MacBookPro from 2019 with 32GB RAM - If you want higher res, I'd suggest not going beyond 42MP though if I was just shooting stock, I'd be happy sticking with 24MP. 

 

Alamy did license a few of the large files for $$$ but they've also gone for far less. The files are beautiful but take a lot longer to process and you really need a good large monitor and a very fast computer, so take those costs into consideration too. And lots of TB for backing up the files to get them off your computer hard drive so it doesn't fill up.  Shooting conservatively, it's amazing how fast those 124GB SD cards get full. And be sure you get very fast ones. There are some 124GB cards that are way too slow.

 

Honestly, I've shot much much less than usual thanks to Covid, but I could not fit all the files I've shot in just 3 years on my 2TB MacBookPro hard drive.

 

Before getting the 42MP camera, my entire archive from 2005-2017 was duplicated on 2 4TB drives along with backups of my iMac and older MBP. 

 

Since getting the first Sony, I regularly backup just my current MBP hard drive onto two 4TB drives. 

 

To account for the larger files, I purchased dual 6TB hard drives to backup my archive in 2018.  I badly underestimated and had to upgrade to dual 12TB hard drives. 

 

Of the 73 sales (licenses) I've gotten here since getting my 1st 42MP Sony in 2018, only 14 of them have been the high resolution images, mix of PU, presentation, web and print. Did get three $$$ for personal use/presentation (but also some $$ for personal use). I didn't do the math, but from a quick estimate it seems the average price was higher for the high res files, but I also got some good $$ and $$$ sales from older files taken with my 12MP Nikon D700 and 16MP Oly OMD-1 and Nikon D7000 during that same time period.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love the Sonys, but I would not invest in them for simply selling stock images - my 14 sales here certainly haven't reimbursed me for even one of the cameras, let alone the new lenses, faster computer and new monitor. I sprung for the second high res camera last year and a new monitor recently because I got a grant that covered the costs - but I sometimes regret going with such high resolution large files(the 61MP). The 42 MP files are large but more manageable so if you opt for high res, 42MP is more than enough. (I have to downsize my jpeg files to 11 or even 10 when I upload to FAA so they can be uploaded!).

 

Large prints are gorgeous - beautifully detailed - but overkill for stock though buyers may think they need bigger files - I don't know how savvy they are - In the past, I've had clients who need web only images tell me they need them to be "high resolution" and I just smile and send their web designers a properly downsized file and everyone is happy. Even web designers have told me me to be sure the file is "300 dpi" - non-photographers can be clueless but I'd guess, based on my sales, that most are just searching to find the right image regardless of size.

 

When I looked at my last 1,000 searches in measures, I didn't see a single [FS] - file size - qualifier - maybe I've seen [FS] once or twice in the past, not sure when the last one was. And unless they are cropped, which is quite rare, all my 42 and 61MB files meet the highest 70MB FS criteria.  And lots of those high res files showed up in the searches but not for FS. 

 

Lots to think about. The prices for high res cameras are quite reasonable but there are lots of other costs in both time and money to consider. Hope this helps

 

Thanks Marianne for such a detailed exposition on the subject - and from first hand experience. It answers lots of questions I had and, as you say, gives me lots to think about. 

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13 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Of course Alamy could always put in a higher threshold filter in the future I suppose, 70MB is just 24.5MP so Fuji users like myself would need to have a 26MP X-T3, X-T4 or X-Pro3 to join the high rollers.

 

or go full GFX 💙.  Not sure my laptop could even handle those files

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On 15/08/2022 at 22:37, sb photos said:

I've found most buyers appear to be lazy and very rarely crop. When suitable I supply both landscape and portrait options.

Understandable as they are working to tight deadlines and want something that they can use and turnaround quickly and easily. Like you, I tend to do horizontal/vertical when and where possible.

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