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123RF Review (2023)

Good but not the best

Is it worth it?

No, we don’t recommend 123RF because it doesn’t excel in any aspect. It’s not the cheapest, its licenses aren’t the most comprehensive, it doesn’t have the most or highest quality images, and it doesn’t have any good, unique tools.


  • Plans with unlimited downloads.
  • Very cheap stock images.


  • Support doesn’t reply.
  • Iffy policy.
  • Relatively new.
123RF Logo
Photutorial Score
Photutorial Score = 3.4/5

Photutorial scores are objectively determined by our editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors consumers should consider when choosing creative products and services.
Images210 million
Extended licenseYes
Free trialYes

How much does 123RF cost?

123RF is surprisingly expensive for what it is. You can license (buy) images with three different buying options: PLUS Plan ($99/yr), Subscription Plans ($29–$139/mo), or Credit Packs ($30–$700). The PLUS Plan grants you unlimited downloads per month (max. 100 per day), but with the less comprehensive PLUS Digital Use License and from a limited image selection of about 100 million. You can also start with a 7-day free trial.

If you need proper stock photo licensing and full access to the 123RF collection, subscriptions will be your best bet. You can pick between 20 and 350 monthly downloads—remember that the larger the subscription, the lower the price per image. Based on how long your need the subscription, you can also opt between the more expensive monthly and about 15% cheap annual plans.

Finally, you should pick credits if you need assets you cannot get with subscriptions (audio, videos, fonts) or if you need image downloads irregularly. To use them, you buy a Credit Pack of 10 to 1000 credits, costing between $30 and $700. You can then use credits to buy any asset (10 credits for all videos, except 30 for videos).

123RF licensing & terms

As its name suggests, 123RF is a royalty-free stock image site, and hence all licenses are their version of a royalty-free license. You can download images and all other assets with one of the following three licenses: PLUS, Standard, and Extended. Here’s a complete rundown of 123RF licenses:

Available withPLUSSubscriptions, CreditsCredits
Content availablePhotos, vectorsPhotos, vectorsPhotos, vectors, music, video, fonts
Cost$99 per year$0.34–$10 per image$42–$60

Best Alternatives

Some of the best alternatives to 123RF are Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock, and Depositphotos.

  • Shutterstock is the best overall option because it’s good in any situation. Specifically, we recommend it for subscription plans, Extended licenses, and Editorial content.
  • Adobe Stock is also a great stock photo site, but it’s slightly more expensive than Shutterstock. However, it’s the best choice for graphic designers using Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Although Shutterstock and iStock can both be integrated into the Creative Cloud as well, the native Adobe Stock integration is the smoothest. Adobe Stock also offers premium images at higher prices.
  • iStock is very similar to Shutterstock but with a lot smaller database of images. We recommend it for premium stock images or if you want the lowest prices.
  • Depositphotos is like Shutterstock but cheaper for small subscriptions.
123RFShutterstockAdobe StockiStock
Best forBest for startupsBest overallBest for Graphic DesignersBest for Subscriptions
Images180 million392 million280 million140 million
Extended license$59–$130$67.96–$99.50$79.99$144–$216
Free trialYes (10 images)Yes (10 images)Yes (10, 25, or 40 images)Yes (10 images)
Review(current article)Shutterstock reviewAdobe Stock reviewiStock review

123RF Images

123RF is a popular source for high-quality images, both technically and artistically. Its library contains over 180 million creative works, with 90,000 new pieces added daily, providing a vast selection to choose from. To ensure the quality of its content, 123RF reviews all images for technical and artistic value. You can purchase images in various sizes and licenses, with the price in credits varying based on your selection. Alternatively, subscribing to a plan allows you to download any image with a royalty-free license in any size.

Image size guide

  • S – Web & blogs, social media, and mobile apps
  • M – Brochures & catalogs, magazines, and postcards
  • L – Indoor & outdoor posters and printed banners
  • XL – Backdrops, billboards, and digital screen display

123RF offers a variety of JPG files with pixel densities ranging from 72 DPI to 300 DPI. For those needing larger file sizes, the company also offers TIFF files by purchasing an Extended License, though these come at a higher price. In addition to images, 123RF also offers vectors that can be downloaded in any of the previously mentioned sizes or as EPS files.

Payment options

You can pay for 123RF Subscription plans or Credit packs with a credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express) or with PayPal. Payments are usually processed within a couple of minutes, usually no longer than 2-3 mins. Thus, you’ll be able to almost immediately start downloading images.

123RF Payment options

123RF Mobile App

If you do a lot of work with your smartphone, you’ll love the app 123RF developed. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices. You can sign in with your account to browse, download, add images to lightboxes.

123RF app

Additionally, this app is also created for contributors, who can submit their images or monitor their sales with it.

123RF Tools


123RF offers a variety of online tools for quick editing. All the tools are free and easy to use.

  • Filter & Effects: you can choose between about a dozen filters similar to those on Instagram.
  • Auto Enhance Options: before you upload or download the image, you can do a couple of basic adjustments to it. These include Auto-color, Balance, Auto-level, Auto-tone, and Enrich. Long story short, these tools fix brightness (exposure), contrast, and colours.
  • Background Removal: the name speaks for itself.
  • Social Photo Crop (coming soon): automatically resize images based on the best composition for social media use.
  • Font Pairer: AI suggests the best font combinations.
  • Graphicmaker: redirects you to, a freemium online app for graphics
  • Color Matcher: a useful color palette tool.
  • Calendar: A calendar helps you plan your social media marketing campaigns

123RF Review Summary

123RF has a Photutorial rating of 4.1 based on 14 data points, indicating that it’s not the best stock photo site. Consumers most commonly complain about issues with disappearing downloads and slow customer support team.

Based on this 123RF review, encourage you to use a better alternative to 123RF, such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock, or Depositphotos.

123RF FAQs

How to download 123RF images without a watermark?

You can download 123RF without a watermark buy purchasing a licensing with subscription, download packs, or with credits. Currently, there’s no other legal way to get 123RF images without a watermark.

Is 123RF a safe site?

Yes, 123RF is a safe stock photo site with 3.8 rating from 1,900+ reviews on Trustpilot. However, some customers can’t use or find the photos after they pay and download them. In addition, many customers complain about very slow customer support team.

What does 123RF mean?

123RF is a stock photo agency of Inmagine Group. The “RF” in “123RF” stands for “Royalty-free”, which is the type of license. The “123” in the name is a random suffix to the RF.

Does 123RF have a free trial?

No, 123RF doesn’t have a free trial. 123RF used to have a free trial, but it was removed in 2021 when revamped its pricing plans. Now, 123RF is preparing a collection of free images, but it’s not yet ready.

How much does 123RF cost?

123RF costs $0.36-$3.00/image with subscriptions, $2.69-$9/image with download packs, and $1.80-$11.80/image with credits. Stock videos at 123RF cost $27-$41.3/clip, audio costs $1.80-$141.60/track, and Extended licenses cost $59-$130.

Rating Methodology

To review 123RF accurately, we took a holistic view of 31 stock photo agencies that incorporated image number, quality, variety, prices and pricing options, licensing terms, features, and customer support.

  • Image quality & variety: 20% of the score. We browsed each stock photo site for over 50 search terms and analyzed the resulting image quality and variety. Both were scored qualitatively based on our expertise and experience. The quality check comprised technical quality, including exposure, sharpness, grain, saturation, color temperature, and added value. The variety check was primarily focused on checking what percentage of images came from the same photo shoot.
  • Stock photo prices and pricing options: 20% of the score. Price is crucial in choosing stock photos, and having various options helps customers find the best plans. We checked whether the stock photo agency offers subscriptions, on-demand options, and which sizes. In addition, having a free trial is a bonus as it allows customers to get an insight into what they can expect. Finally, we considered the minimum, median, and maximum price per image and the price per extended license image.
  • Licensing terms: 20% of the score. We read and took notes on every stock image license. We compared them based on how many copies, reprints, impressions they allow, and indemnity value.
  • Image number: 15% of the score. The number of images is essential when rating stock photo sites because you can quickly run out of free photos when you need thousands of images. We checked each stock photo site’s database and took notes on the number of images.
  • Additional features: 15% of the score. Additional features are meant to simplify or enhance a customer’s workflow. We reviewed and tested all the additional features where possible. Since some are limited to enterprises, or we couldn’t get in touch with the support team, we searched for customers with access to the additional features and asked for their opinion.
  • Customer support: 10% of the score. Crucially, when testing customer support, we didn’t tell them who we were, so we got treated like every other customer. We took notes of the response times, contact options (live chat, email, and telephone), and the usefulness and kindness of the support teams.

Within each category, we also considered several characteristics, the number of images per most popular searches, technical quality, and added value. We also looked at the variety of pricing plans, minimum, median, and maximum image prices, and free trial terms. Finally, we evaluated 123RF’s customer support, licensing, and additional features that would enhance customers’ workflow.