I'm not an admin, but I both buy and create stock imagery. Honestly, images below 4mp are mostly useless to me and many others as it limits our ability to crop and resize as *we* need. Often there's little need to have a 4mp image because you can use your feet to do the cropping (i.e., move closer to the subject).
Many thanks for the feedback Ayapic.
Is it the case that, as often as not, buyers prefer RAW files, with no edit?
Please expand a bit.
A RAW file doesn't always look great, and may need some tweaking before it can show its full potential.
From that perspective, it might make sense to post one's pictures in pairs - the original RAW, as well as a jpg, to showcase the RAW's potential.
Does that make sense?
4MP is very small. Most current cell phones create images much larger. You can still crop in most cases and be above the minimum. For web use, you are correct that an even smaller file could be used however many of our customers are using stock for print in which case you need larger files.
My best advice is to get the shot in camera as much as possible to minimize the need for excessive cropping.
It really depends on the end use.m However, imagine you're going on a date. Do you dress up nice and make yourself really presentable, or do you just wear the bottom line basics and explain to the date that they can fix you up later?
There really is no single answer, but for the most part, you are wanting to create an image that is beautiful *and* functional. The more you succeed at both, the more the image will sell.
15+ years ago when microstock was just beginning, designers were happy to get nearly any kind of photo that *didn't* cost $300. We could take something ugly and spiff it up in Photoshop. For the most part, now, designers (like everyone else) wants to do the least work possible. If they see your RAW image and see 10 other images that are already Photoshopped and pretty, guess which on they're not gonna buy and use? On the other hand, if your image is so filtered and edited as to be mostly unuseful for most people, it's also going to be overlooked -- this is why you should generally aim for nice, moderate edits on most average images rather than go nuts and apply every filter in Photoshop.