How plenty of pictures have the right to your SD card hold? discovering the answer come this question could be the difference between having the capacity to shoot all you need and having to make hard choices around which photos space worth keeping.

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The five usual camera memory map capacities on market are 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. In this article, we’re going to cover how much room each that these options offers in comparison come one another so that you deserve to make an informed decision about which dimension suits your needs best.

But, before we do so, it’s vital to understand the different factors which determine how much space any given photo will certainly take up.


What components determine image record size?

Several factors determine how huge a photo will be. Most notably, there’s the image resolution (pixels), compression settings, and even the shooting conditions.


The photo resolution explains how countless pixels to the right in each inch horizontally and vertically on your screen. The more pixels there space in one image, the higher quality it i do not care – but this also means it will certainly take up much more space.

Quality settings

Most digital cameras have various shooting settings that you can pick between. Because that example, in expert photography you’ll virtually always it is in shooting in RAW. Photos stored in the RAW format will take up significantly an ext space together this layout saves as much data together possible.

JPEG is the most usual image file format. These pictures are compressed, meaning the file size is smaller, yet the photo quality is reduced.

It’s also worth noting that DSLRs additionally offer many quality choices under JPEG, prefer an extra-fine, fine, and also standard, based upon which record size will vary. Select cameras can likewise shoot in sRAW and also mRAW which room a middle-point in between RAW files and also JPEGs.

Shooting conditions

Settings like the ISO and shutter speed deserve to also impact the dimension of one image. Photos with a greater ISO frequently take up more space.

Similarly, acquisition a JPEG photograph of a white wall surface will an outcome in a smaller paper size than, say, a step in a busy city. The comes down to the method the JPEG compression algorithm works by identifying similar areas in the picture.

How did we calculate how many photos each SD card can hold?

As you can see, it have the right to be quite facility to tell precisely how many images an SD card can save due to the fact that of how numerous factors space involved. No to forget, the device you’re shooting on will likewise play a part.

To leveling things, we considered the 3 most common devices the you’re likely to usage a memory card to keep photos in – a smartphone, DSLR, and a GoPro. Now, every of these tools has a multitude that variants v each giving a plethora of settings that you have the right to change.


So, because that smartphones, we offered the most typical image resolution, i beg your pardon is 12MP. For the DSLR, we taken into consideration pictures taken through a Nikon D7200 and averaged out the sizes of multiple photos (in both JPEG and RAW paper formats). And finally, for the GoPro camera, we provided the GoPro Hero 9 Black, but set on 12MP, which is the most generally used resolution.

Note that these results apply to all varieties of storage cards, be it SD, Micro SD, CompactFlash etc.

How many photos can a 16GB SD card hold?

DSLR (Standard)DSLR (RAW)SmartphoneGoPro Hero 9

While shooting through the smartphone, we discovered that the mean JPEG image size works out come anywhere in between 3.5MB to 7MB, depending on the lighting and what’s in the shot. Because that the benefits of convenience, let’s take it the middle suggest of 5.2MB. So, top top a 16GB SD map that outcomes in roughly 3,150 photos.

Similarly, on a GoPro, the photo sizes varied between 3.4MB and 5.2MB; the average of which is 4.3MB, result in around 3,810 photos.

Both the aforementioned examples were v 12MP resolution. If it were to go as much as 16MP, the cards would have the ability to hold only around 2641 JPEG photos.

On the D7200 shoot in Standard, the median JPEG picture size to be 10MB, meaning a 16GB SD card would be able to store around 1,638 photos. However, if you take into consideration RAW images, i beg your pardon vary between 20MB and also 40MB, you’ll be able to shoot only around 400 to 810 images, depending on document size.

How many photos deserve to a 32GB SD map hold?

DSLR (Standard)DSLR (RAW)SmartphoneGoPro Hero 9
32GB3276819 – 163863007620

Considering the very same parameters together before, a 32GB SD map should have the ability to hold around 6,300 images shot ~ above a smartphone with a 12MP camera. Similarly, on the GoPro, a 32GB SD card will certainly be good for around 7,620 images.

With a DSLR, choose the Nikon D7200, a 32GB SD map will organize 3,277 pictures in JPEG, considering their mean size is 10MB. In the instance of raw files, this number can range from in between 819 come 1638 images.

How countless photos deserve to a 64GB SD map hold?

DSLR (Standard)DSLR (RAW)SmartphoneGoPro Hero 9
64GB65521638 – 32771260015240

The median size of smartphone images shot in 12MP resolution works out to around 5.2MB. Using that figure, a 64GB SD map will be able to hold about 12,600 JPEG images. ~ above a GoPro, which has an average file size that 4.3MB while shooting in 12MP, that number will certainly be approximately 15,240 images. That’s a lot!

On a DSLR, you’ll have the ability to get away v storing approximately 6,552 JPEG images and also between 1,638 and 3,277 life photos.

As you can see, a 64GB SD card deserve to store a the majority of pictures, irrespective of what maker and setups you’re shooting with. For a work shoot, most people will uncover that a 64GB map is much more than enough.

How numerous photos can a 128GB SD card hold?

DSLR (Standard)DSLR (RAW)SmartphoneGoPro Hero 9
128GB131043277 – 65532520030480

On a smartphone, a 128GB SD map may even be overkill if you’re going to be making use of it just for pictures. The should have the ability to hold 25,200 JPEG images and that’s an ext than what some human being will shoot in your lifetime.

Using this card on a GoPro will get you even an ext images – approximately 30,480 images, and it have the right to be rather cumbersome to have so many pictures on just one card.

A 128GB SD map in a DSLR choose the Nikon D7200 will be able to store around 13,104 JPEG photos in Standard quality – the number will drop or increase depending on whether you adjust quality. It can likewise store a fair amount the RAW photos – between 3,277 and 6,553, depending upon how huge the document is.

Most skilled photographers have a 128GB SD card in their equipment bag. It’s perfect for long days of shooting, like a wedding or advertorial shoot, and will additionally last you much more than a few days if you’re not clicking a the majority of pictures.

How plenty of photos can a 256GB SD card hold?

DSLR (Standard)DSLR (RAW)SmartphoneGoPro Hero 9
256GB262086554 – 131075040060960

A 256GB SD card is much more than most civilization will ever require. On her phone, that should have the ability to capture about 50,400 images. And also on a GoPro shooting at 12MP, it will certainly theoretically be able to take 60,960 images. I wouldn’t introduce investing in a 265GB SD map for either of these tools if all you’re walking to be doing is acquisition pictures.

A 265GB SD card may even be too lot for a top-end DSLR. You can shoot around 26,208 JPEG images and also anywhere in between 6,554 and also 13,107 RAW pictures with it, i beg your pardon is more than enough for many shoots.

Results review Table

DSLR (Standard)DSLR (RAW)SmartphoneGoPro Hero 9
16GB1638400 – 81031503810
32GB3276819 – 163863007620
64GB65521638 – 32771260015240
128GB131043277 – 65532520030480
256GB262086554 – 131075040060960

Calculating a number for your very own camera

I hope the above information help you decision which dimension of SD card is best for you. If you desire to carry out the calculation you yourself for her device, you deserve to take a few pictures and see how huge they are, and use that number to figure how numerous images you’ll be able to store every GB (Remember, 1GB = 1,024MB).

A storage card often stores an ext than simply photos

Also keep in mind that with most devices, you’re walking to end up storing more than simply pictures.

For instance, if it’s a micro SD map for her phone, you might save apps and app data ~ above them. Top top a GoPro, you’d obviously use the bulk of her memory card for video files. There could be extr files to think around – for example, the GoPro automatically generates THM and also LRV records that companion every MPEG-4 video clip file.

It’s harder to estimate how much room such papers will consume and also how lot actual usable an are you’re left with, for this reason you must err top top the side of caution and also opt for a bigger memory map size.

So, what is the best memory map size?

Obviously, if price is not an issue, the biggest capacity map which offers you the most storage room is the best.

However, for most of us price does matter, for this reason you require to have a turbulent idea of your photographing needs.

Do you walk on longer trips or do professional wedding photography wherein you can’t afford to captured without any kind of remaining storage?

Or do you only take a couple of photos a day and often offload pictures to your computer system or cloud storage?

Do you only store uncompressed life photos, JPEG photos, or a mix the both?

Each instance calls for various storage volume needs.

Remember, it’s always better to have a small extra space than discover yourself having to walk through and find picture you deserve to safely delete!

Memory map considerations beyond storage capacity

While it might seem that much more storage = better, there’s in reality a bit more to picking a memory card.

Whether you’re talking around SD storage card, micro SD card or CF card, they every have various specifications once it concerns read speed and minimum create speed. A greater spec card speeds up data transfers and also is necessary if you want to document 4k video.

For example, the most popular flash storage brand SanDisk offers SD cards in Ultra, Extreme and also Extreme agree versions which every have various performance specs.

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For this reason, money might be far better spent on a smaller capacity memory map that uses superior performance, quite than merely going because that the map that deserve to store the most photos.