The bottom line
Photocase is a solid choice for artistic photos that you may use in commercial and editorial projects. However, to remove the obligatory credit line, you must pay an additional $90, which is too expensive for most customers. Therefore, we recommend cheaper alternative to Photocase.
We’re always on the hunt for excellent and unique stock photo sites. When we find one, we happily present it to you. Although Photocase is a unique stock agency, it’s not very good for several reasons.
Photocase at a Glance
- Images: Photocase has a relatively small collection of high-quality and artistic images. These can be a great choice for abstract, fine-art, or premium designs, blogs, and merchandise.
- Cost: Images cost $15–$45 when bought with cash, but you can reduce the price to $8.30–$24.90 by using Credit Bundles, which grant 20–45% discounts.
- Support: It’s very difficult to reach anyone through customer support, especially when you query is not related to buying.
What We Liked:
- Images are high-quality, often artistic, and unique, meaning you likely won’t find them at other stock photo sites.
- Credit Bundles give you up to 40% discount, thus reducing the minimum price per image to $8.30.
What We Didn’t Like:
- Images are very expensive compared to other stock agencies who sell them for $8.00 or less on-demand and for as low as $0.22 with subscriptions.
- The Basic License requires you to credit Photocase and the author regardless of the use case. To get rid of the credit line, you must buy “No Proof of Copyright” extended license, which costs $90.
- Customer often doesn’t reply or takes very long to respond.
- Extended licenses are very expensive compared to other stock agencies, costing $690 if you buy all three of them in addition to the $15–$45 for the image.
- Although it does provide indemnity, it is very ambigously defined and we fear that it allows them to cough themselves out of situations where they would have to pay for it.
Photocase was launched in 2001 as a photography community platform but quickly grew into a stock photo agency. Being founded in Germany, it is often best suited for the European market. However, its heavily curated images will leave everyone satisfied.
Photocase sells images on-demand only. You either pay for each image individually or buy credits that you can then spend on images. Images come in three sizes, costing $15, $30, and $45. They differ in the resolution, dot per inch, and use case.
S ($15 or 5 credits):
- Web size
- Suitable for electronic media from thumbnail to hero shot.
- 0.8 megapixels
- 72 dpi
M ($30 or 10 credits):
- Print size
- Suitable for the design of print media up to approx. A4.
- 4 megapixels
- 300 dpi
L ($45 or 15 credits)
- Full size
- Suitable for large prints or just to stay flexible
- Max resolution
- 300 dpi
All image sizes are also eligible for a 20% discount when used for editorial purposes.
If you buy credits, you can get more images compared to buying them with cash since every credit bundle comes with at least a 20% discount.
- 25 credits – $61 ($2.44/credit) and 20% discount
- 50 credits – $116 ($2.32/credit) and 25% discount
- 100 credits – $215 ($2.15/credit) and 30% discount
- 250 credits – $490 ($1.96/credit) and 35% discount
- 500 credits – $920 ($1.84/credit) and 40% discount
- 1000 credits – $1,690 ($1.69/credit) and 45% discount
- 1000+ credits – Contact Photocase by phone, email, or chat.
Note: Photocase increased the prices of Credit Bundles by 10% on average in 2022.
Photocase sells images with two licenses:
- The standard license you get with every image purchase.
- Allows up to 500,000 copies.
- You may use it for print products, for the web, advertising, and promotion.
- You must credit the author and Photocase with: “Artist Name / Photocase”
There are three extended license, which grant you additional rights to the Basic License. You may get one of them, two, or even all based on your requirements.
- No Proof of Copyright ($90 or 30 Credits): Allows you to use the image without having to provide copyright proof.
- High Print Runs ($300 or 100 Credits): Allows for the use of the photograph in a total print run of over 500,000 copies.
- Merchandise and Templates ($300 or 100 Credits): Allows for the use of the photo in templates and as resale merchandise such as posters, mugs, or T-shirts.
How Photocase Compares
Shutterstock vs Photocase
Shutterstock is the best alternative for commercial stock photos. With over 400 million images, it’s the largest and most popular stock photo agency. Shutterstock sells images for much less than Photocase: from $0.22 to $4.90, with on-demand subscriptions ranging from $9.16 to $14.50. The cost of an extended license ranges from $67.96 to $99.50, depending on whether you buy in bulk or not.
Shutterstock also doesn’t require you to credit with images, even if you buy them for as little as $0.22. Only if you use editorial images do you have to credit them. Shutterstock also offers increased compensation of up to $10,000 for the Standard License and $250,000 for the Enhanced License. These features and low prices make Shutterstock a much better choice than Photocase.
Adobe Stock vs Photocase
Adobe Stock is the best Shutterstock alternative, and it’s also a good substitute for Photocase. Adobe Stock is the second largest stock agency, with over 280 million images. It offers very flexible subscriptions ($0.26-$9.99/image) as well as even more flexible on-demand purchasing with credits ($8.00-$9.99/image). Extended licenses are also significantly less expensive than at Photocase, costing only $79.99 per image. Adobe Stock can also be integrated with Creative Cloud, which is a great solution for designers.
Adobe Stock also sells premium images for around $100, which is more expensive than images from Photocase, but you also get a much broader license, which would cost you $200+ at Photocase. As a result, Adobe Stock is an excellent choice for graphic designers and marketers in need of high-quality images or versatile subscriptions.
Photocase Image Quality
Photocase is not like the other stock photo sites, that have large libraries of barely curated stock images. Indeed, Photocase puts a lot of emphasis on curating the photos that they add to their library; consequently, the Photocase library is considerably smaller than those of other stock photo sites, but the image quality is all the better.
This German company has always believed in the authenticity of their photos, and today, when the authentic style is highly sought after, their efforts are paying off. Naturally, to make this happen, Photocase has one of the strictest curating processes—nothing but superb-quality, both content-wise and technically, is allowed to enter the library.
Of what good use are great bonuses and excellent images, if you can’t find what you’re looking for? To make sure that your search is efficient and comfortable as possible, Photocase developed a neat search engine.
Naturally, you can search by keywords, just like on Google. On the left side, you’ll also find several filters that help narrow down the search results. On the right side, you’ll find Pro Search, that opens a dialogue box within you can perform an advanced keyword search, similarly to Google.
Another nifty little feature is Lightbox. You can think of Lightboxes as personal albums, to which you can save the image you like for later, that’s similar to Alamy’s.
Our Experience with Customer Support
Let’s start with a quote from the Photocase website: “We’ll get back to you right away.” Based on our experience, this isn’t true at all. We tried reaching Photocase customer support twice. The first time, it took four days to receive a response, which wasn’t kindly formulated at all. On the second try, this time with a different question and another email, we haven’t received a response at all. It’s not been half a year.
So in our experience, Photocase customer support responds only when you want to spend more money. But when you got a general question or you ask for something, you will have a hard time reaching them.
Photocase review: Bottom Line
To summarize, Photocase is a well-established stock photo company, and with its 19 years worth of highly-curated images, you find just what you need for your project or your business.
To find more stock photo alternative, check my comprehensive best stock photo sites post.
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