Video Upload Specifications

Video Quality Requirements

We accept footage that originates from high-quality cameras:

  • Professional Cameras
  • Prosumer Cameras
  • 3CCD Consumer Cameras
  • Smartphones with a minimum 1080p basic resolution
  • Wearable cameras, GoPro or equivalent
  • Drones must use a minimum 1080p resolution

Note: We can make exceptions for unique content, but these exceptions are rare.

If you are scanning your own film or have archival material (that is not public domain) please try your best to convert to 1080p. We will consider lower resolutions on a case by case basis and are happy to discuss with you further.

Accurate focus and exposure and proper camera settings and stable camera movements are essential for good footage. Using a tripod while creating stock video is encouraged.

We prefer footage without sound unless it has been recorded with high-quality microphones and at a proper level. In-camera mics will most likely not be accepted. This is up to the curator’s discretion. Pond5 considers audio quality just as highly as video. If audio quality is an issue on location please disable it on camera or mute the video on editing. 

If the audio associated with a clip could be useful to our buyers and doesn't contain any copyrighted material (such as music) or recognizable voices (which would require a model release), then the audio should be included with the clip. We will only accept footage with sound if the audio is essential to the shot. 

Moderate color correction and effects are OK; however, please remember that many buyers will color correct or otherwise modify the look of the footage after purchase, and will, therefore, desire a high-quality, minimally manipulated, or RAW, image to work with. We will evaluate videos with filters applied on a case by case basis

Note: If you choose to color-correct or stylize your footage, it would be best to upload both the original and the modified version, giving buyers more options.


Duration and File Size

Clips should be in the range of 3 to 60 seconds. 1080p clips need to be no larger than 3 GB for HD content. For 4K files, 5GB, and for R3D, 6GB including the .mov previews. We prefer that the clips have no edits, if you do have a file with several clips edited together which can be sold as individual clips, please separate them. Pond5 may determine certain sequences acceptable if they meet specific artistic or aesthetic standards, but these cases are rare. 


Resolution and Frame Rate

Camera-shot clips should be prepared at their native resolution and frame rate. For motion graphics work, we will accept any resolution/frame rate (the larger the better), but it's a good idea to stick to these standards:

We also accept 2K videos. 

Interlaced Footage is strongly discouraged.

Note: PAL and NTSC are non-square pixel formats. They are meant to be displayed at 4:3 or 16:9 (anamorphic) aspect ratios, and will not appear to have the proper proportions when viewed as square pixels (as on a computer monitor). Pay special attention when creating motion graphics work in PAL/NTSC. If possible, create clips at a higher, square-pixel resolution (eg HD1080 or 720) to avoid confusion and make your clips useful to a wider range of buyers.


Uploading Multiple Formats

Please know that we automatically downconvert 4K+ clips to 1080p, so both resolutions are not needed. 


File Name, Titles, Keywords  

File Name

Please be sure your file names do not contain any special characters, Cyrillic, dashes, underscores, or accents.

Examples:  [ , ] , - , _ , & , å , ñ, é, ß, ®, ©, §, ç, ä, ø, ü, or quote marks (“ ” or ‘ ’) or ( ) ~ ' , & \ / ! ? @

 Short file names are best when uploading in batch. 


Please avoid leaving native file names as your clip titles. External search engines utilize the titles from the Pond5 library so the more descriptive the better. Eg instead of titling a clip ‘Office building’, say ‘morning view of office building in Sydney, Australia, panning shot.’

Please do not number your clips in the title. You can keep track of your clips in the ‘My Uploads’ area under the ‘tech data’ tab so numbering clips for personal reference is no longer necessary.



For the time being, we only accept English keywords, titles and descriptions. Please ensure that keywords are relevant. While we accept a minimum of 5 keywords we would strongly encourage that contributors give clips a considerable number more than that as it increases a clips sales potential. 50 keywords is the limit. 


File Format

All videos should be prepared as in one of these file containers: .MOV, .MP4, or .M2TS.  If your footage is in a different format (such as .AVI), please convert it to .MOV or .MP4 before uploading. We do not accept AVI format clips.

If your editing program cannot export .MOV files, we advise using a free program called MPEG Streamclip or a professional conversion program such as Final Cut's Compressor/Adobe Media Encoder (look at alternative pro encoders) to perform the conversion (more information on that below). Compression causes banding and artifacting, so you want to avoid compression as much as you can, so wherever possible export at native resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate.

Please check your files before uploading to make sure they are high-quality.



We accept the following codecs (in order of preference):

  • Unmodified camera-native codecs, including r3d (see below), AVCHD, H264, PRORES, DNxHD, DNxHR, M2TS, XDCam, MXF, HDV, DV, DVCProHD.
  • Apple ProRes
  • Avid native DNxHD and DNxHR
  • H.264: We accept H.264 when it's the camera's native codec or as a broadcast quality intermediate. Camera-native files can be uploaded without modification. For intermediate H.264, make sure that it is set to the highest quality.
  • PhotoJPEG.  Please set to the highest quality possible.
  • Animation or PNG: ONLY for clips with embedded alpha channels. (transparency)

We do not accept the following codecs:

  • Motionjpeg
  • Avi
  • Non-native mp4


Uploading r3d  (RED camera native files)

.r3d - files should be uploaded within a ZIP file which must include .r3d file itself as well as color corrected or the original version of .MOV preview file not less than 1080P (1920X1080) in size.

You may include .rmd (color grading info) file if the preview clip is color graded.

After upload, you will be able to price/sell video file separately or in combination with .r3d file bundle.   

Video file included should be provided in .MOV file format with ProRes HQ/LT, Photo Jpeg or H264 codec.  

Zip file size should not exceed 6GB.


Legal Requirements

You must be able to agree to all provisions in our Contributor Agreement in order to sell media files on our site, please read it thoroughly and make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities.

When you upload a clip to Pond5, you are offering it for licensing to Pond5’s end-users, who will be able to use your work according to the terms of our Royalty-Free License.

You MUST be the copyright-owner of any footage you make available for licensing on Pond5. Generally, if you created the footage, you are the copyright owner and are free to upload and market your work. If you are unsure whether you are the legal copyright-holder of a clip, don’t upload it.

If you are interested in finding out more about copyright, or in registering your work with the US copyright office (this is not necessary, but it can afford you additional legal protections), you can take a look at their website: (regarding registering video work)


Talent and Property Releases

All commercially-oriented content that contains recognizable people must be accompanied by a signed Model Release (available here). Releases need to be signed by the model(s) as well as by a witness other than the camera person/uploader.

Even if you are filming yourself as a model, we require a Model Release, signed by you and a witness. Also, if there is a recognizable minor, a parent/guardian signature is required.

The witness doesn't need to be someone present during the shoot, but a third person that can verify the information on the document is legit. 

Property Releases (available here) are required in some cases when copyrighted or trademarked material appears in the shot (including on the audio track).

You can download standard Model and Property Releases here. We will accept other release agreements as well, as long as the legal provisions are roughly the same. Releases are accepted in any language.  

Before uploading clips of public buildings or landmarks, do a bit of research to see if you can legally sell images of it (for example, did you know the Hollywood Sign is owned by a nonprofit trust, and requires their permission for it to be shown in commercial films? For that reason, all clips of the Hollywood sign on our site are marked "editorial only"). We may be able to answer some of these questions, but you can get much more comprehensive information online.

Still need help? Contact us!

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  • Avatar

    A lot of rules, need recommended software, like record a great sounding WAV, AIFF, and MP3, most of my composed music is on cassette tape, I have know idea on changing it to DVD, or your WAV, AIFF, or MP3
    Recording software cost big bucks, That's not your problem, It is Mine.

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    Is there a preferred bit rate for 4k footage?

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    how can change for status the video from offline to online ?

  • Avatar

    ModernTONES, have you tried Audacity?  It's free audio recording software and seems good, there are plenty of tutorials online too.  Nero is good for file conversion, they do a free version but the full version only cost me £29.99.   I do my video editing on Premiere which does cost but if you're doing audio then try Audacity. 

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    Thank you very much for this help!

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    Is there a preferred bit rate for 4k footage? If pond5 converts all 4k to 1080, are you saying pond5 doesn't really sell 4k? Can you give preferred formats for 4k?

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    Hey David,

    We do sell a lot of 4K content. Downconverting items to HD simply gives buyers more options, but 4K is increasingly becoming more and more popular, so offering both resolutions will certainly maximize your sales potential.

    With regards bit rates, the higher the better! Higher bit rate = less chance of color banding, pixel aberrations and other random nasties.

    As per our Video Upload Specifications, all videos should be prepared in the one of these file containers: .MOV, .MP4, or .M2TS, with .MOV and .MP4 generally being the preferred formats. 

  • Avatar

    Dear Isabel,
    I have a camera Sony HDR550, but it shoots in the interlaced 1080i
    Is it possible to convert to progressive 1080p or even some other possibilities
    Thank you,

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