If you’re planning to upload videos for sale on Pond5, please be sure to follow these guidelines on video quality, file size and format, codecs, and other important details.

How to Prepare Your Footage for Upload to Pond5

Footage Quality Requirements

We accept footage that originates from high-quality cameras, including:

  • Professional cameras
  • Prosumer cameras
  • 3CCD consumer cameras
  • Smartphones with minimum 1080p basic resolution
  • Wearable cameras, GOPro or equivalent
  • Drones with minimum 1080p resolution

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

General Guidelines

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

We prefer that clips have no edits. If you have a file with several clips edited together that can be sold as individual clips, please separate them. Pond5 may determine certain sequences acceptable if they meet specific artistic or aesthetic standards.

Moderate color correction and effects are okay; 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.

Archival Footage

If you’re scanning your own film or have archival material (that is not public domain) please try your best to convert it to 1080p. We will consider lower resolutions on a case-by-case basis.


We prefer that the audio is removed before uploading to the platform. Exceptions include Editorial content or footage where the audio is crucial to the usage of the content.

Examples of acceptable audio include:
– archival clip of a speech from a historical figure
– wildlife clip with distinct animal sounds

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.

Note that we only accept audio recorded with high-quality microphones at a proper level. Sound from in-camera mics will most likely not be accepted. Pond5 considers audio quality just as highly as video; if audio quality is an issue on location, please disable it on your camera.

Duration and File Size


Clips should be in the range of 5 to 60 seconds.

File Size

  • HD clips or lower: up to 3GB
  • 4K/5K/6K clips: up to 5GB
  • 8K clips: up to 6GB
  • R3D (zip w/ .mov): up to 6GB
  • Vertical footage: up to 3GB
Resolution and Frame Rate

Frame Rate

23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 47.95, 47.96, 48, 50, 59.94, 60


HD and 4K resolutions are preferred, but we generally accept any type of resolution. See our recommended guidelines:


8192×4320     7680×4320     8192 x 4320


6144×3160     6144×3072


5120×2880     5120×2700     4800×2700


4096×2160     4096×2304     3840×2160


2048×1080     2048×1152


1920×1080     1280×720     1440×1080


640×480         720×480          720×486        720×576


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

  • Unmodified camera-native codecs, including R3D (see below), AVCHD, PRORES, DNxHD, DNxHR, M2TS, XDCam, MXF, HDV, DV, DVCProHD
  • ProRes RAW / ProRes 422 / 422 LT / 422 HQ / 4444
  • Avid native DNxHD / DNxHR
  • H.264 / H.265 (HEVC)
  • Photo JPEG
  • Animation or PNG. (Only for clips with embedded alpha channels/transparency).

We do not accept the following codecs:

  • Motion JPEG
  • AVI
  • Non-native MP4
File Format

All videos should be prepared in MOV or MP4. If your footage is in a different format (such as AVI), please convert it to MOV or MP4 before uploading.

If your editing program cannot export MOV files, we recommend 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.

Compression causes banding and artifacting, so you want to avoid compression as much as you can. Wherever possible, export at native resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate. Please check your exported files before uploading to make sure they are high-quality.

File Names

Please be sure your file names do not contain any special characters or accents.
Examples: &, å, ñ, é, ß, ®, ©, §, ç, ä, ø, ü, quote marks (“ ” or ‘ ’), or commas (,)

Spaces and dashes are not allowed.

New Archival Contributors

We have a small number of contributors that we accept for archival/vintage content, based on proof of copyright ownership of the whole portfolio. If you would like to become a contributor, please fill out this form. Note that submitting content and filling out the form does not guarantee your submissions will be approved.

If you have already submitted content, please wait until our Curation Team processes it. Thank you for your patience.

Uploading Editorial “News” Content

The age of mobile devices with high-quality cameras has made it easier than ever for anyone to capture footage of events as they unfold. Pond5 has seen the demand for this kind of Citizen Journalist footage with its recently launched Editorial collection under the filter “News & Archival,” and is actively seeking to add to it.

Whether you capture this content with expensive camera equipment or on your mobile phone, follow the steps below when preparing and uploading your content:

  1.  Include code CITIZENP5BRIEF in your keywords
  2. Don’t forget to add any applicable conceptual keywords to the clips
  3. Send your content to curation
  4. Once your content is live, our collection team will track down your content.

For additional guidance on what to shoot, check out our Citizen Journalism creative brief.

Uploading 360 VR Clips

Submission Guidelines

Please follow these guidelines for all 360 files you plan to upload:

  • Make sure your video is at least 45 seconds long
  • We accept 360 clips of up to a maximum of 119 seconds
  • You can upload items in 2:1 aspect ratio
  • 4K files are highly preferred over 1080HD
  • Do not include audio on videos
  • Add 360 metadata to your video content (see below)
  • Make sure to tag your uploads with keywords such as: “VR360,” “VR” and “360VR”

Adding 360 Metadata

For your files to be recognized as 360 videos by our player, please make sure to apply 360 metadata prior to upload. You can do this using Google’s metadata tool, available for download here. Please check Step 2 on that page for a detailed walkthrough.

Uploading Your Files

Once you’ve stitched your video, applied 360 metadata, and are ready to upload, please follow these steps:

1. Examine your file thoroughly within a 360-media player of your preference (such as Kolor, YouTube, or Facebook) and make sure it plays properly.

360 Video Screen Shot

2. Upload your file to your Pond5 artist account.

Upload Your Media

3. Go to the “Edit Item” page of your 360 video and make sure to include “360VR” in the title and description of the file, as shown in the example below:

File Information

4. Tag every 360 upload with relevant keywords such as: “VR,” “360VR,” “360 Video” and “Virtual Reality 360” alongside your regular conceptual keywords.


5. In the “Additional Info” section, please include a note to the curator stating that this is “360VR Footage.”


6. Submit, wait for your clips to be reviewed, and become part of the 360VR revolution with Pond5!

Uploading R3D (RED camera native files)

R3D files should be uploaded within a ZIP file containing:

■ raw .r3d file (required) ■ identical .mov file (required) ■ .rmd file (optional)

R3D files should be uploaded in a ZIP file, which must include the R3D file itself, as well as a color-corrected or original version of the MOV preview file not less than 1080P (1920X1080) in size. You may include an RMD (color-grading info) file if the preview clip is color graded.

After upload, you will be able to price/sell the video file separately or in combination with the R3D file bundle. The video file included should be provided in MOV file format with a ProRes 422 (or HQ), PhotoJPEG, or H264 codec. The ZIP file size should not exceed 6GB.

Please note that you can submit only one clip per zip. If you have a different version of the same clip, please submit that as a separate zip.

Uploading Videos with Alpha Channel

Video with an alpha layer should be uploaded using an embedded alpha channel in the Animation, PNG or ProRes 4444 codecs.

Downconverted 1080 Videos

All downsized items are provided in h264, .MOV, and Pro Res 422.MOV format (upon downloads).

Note: If your original upload has an Alpha channel, please keep in mind that downsized alpha channel versions are maintained and provided in PNG.mov format for buyers.