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How Many Photos Can A 8 / 16 / 32 / 64 / 128 / 256 / 512GB Memory Card Hold?

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The number of photos a memory card holds varies due to several factors, such as the device you use, and the file formats it produces.

You can calculate how many images a memory card can hold by knowing the average image size produced by your device. Luckily, you can do this by working out a very simple calculation, which I will break down for you here.

I will also reveal how many images the most common memory cards on the market can store, so you don’t have to do the math if you don’t want to.

How To Calculate How Many Photos Your Memory Card Can Store

The capacity of a memory card available on the market is measured in gigabytes (GB). However, within a GB are Megabytes (MB) which are the most common size unit used for images. Inside of 1GB is 1000MB, meaning if you had 1000 images at 1MB each, you could store all 1000 images on a 1GB card.

Now to find out how many images a memory card can hold is very easy. You only have to divide the memory card’s storage size by a device’s image size.

Memory card storage size /  Size of an image  =  number of images a memory card can hold.

However, there is something to keep in mind when doing the math. You have to convert the units before dividing. The easiest way to do this is to convert the memory card’s gigabytes (GB) into megabytes (MB).

By using this formula, you can find out, for example, that an 8GB memory card inserted into a device that produces an average of 5MB per image can store 1600 images.

8000MB/5MB = 1600 images

In some cases, however, it may be difficult to perform these calculations because image sizes vary according to device and file format. But I’m here to make your life easier, and I’ve already made some estimates across a wide range of devices you likely use.

I will cover the following devices in this article: Smartphone (I used an iPhone 13 Pro as a reference, but the average file size is similar for any modern smartphone), my Canon DSLR Camera that shoots 30MP images, and a GoPro.

  • A smartphone produces images at an average size of 3-6MB.
  • A DSLR camera produces images at an average size of 27-35MB if the photo produced is in a RAW format; and 12-15MB, if the image produced is in a JPEG format.
  • A GoPro produces images of 7-10MB in size.

Based on the formula and values given above, I will provide you with an approximate number of images the most common memory card capacities can hold.

How Many Photos Can A 8GB Memory Card Hold?

Smartphone

On a smartphone, an 8GB memory card will store between 1,333 images (6MB per image) and 2,666 images (3MB per image).

8000/6 = 1,333

8000/3 = 2,666

DSLR Camera

On a DSLR, the number of images stored will vary depending on the file format chosen, whether it is RAW vs JPEG.

If the format chosen is RAW, an 8GB memory card will store between 228 (35MB) and 296 (27MB) images.

8000/35 = 228

8000/27 = 296

If the format chosen is JPEG, an 8GB card will store between 666 (12MB per image) and 533 (15MB per image).

8000/15 = 533

8000/12 = 666

GoPro

On a GoPro, an 8GB memory card holds between 800 (10MB each) and 1,142 photos (7MB each).

8000/10 = 800

8000/7 = 1,142

How Many Photos Can A 16GB Memory Card Hold?

Smartphone

On a smartphone, 2,666 (6MB per image) to 5,333 images (3MB per image) will fill a 16GB memory card. 

16000/6 = 2,666

16000/3 = 5,333

DSLR 

On a DSLR, A 16GB card can store between 457 (35MB per image) and 592 (27MB per image) images in RAW format.

16000/35 = 457

16000/27 = 592

If the format chosen is JPEG, a 16GB card will hold between 1,066 (15MB) and 1,333 (12MB) images.

16000/15 = 1,066

16000/12 = 1,333

GoPro

On a GoPro, an 16GB memory card holds between 1,600 photos (10MB each) and 2,285 photos (7MB each).

16000/10 = 1,600

16000/7 = 2,285

How Many Photos Can A 32GB Memory Card Hold?

Smartphone

On a smartphone, a 32GB memory card holds between 5,333 photos (6MB per image) and 10,666 photos (3MB per image).

32000/6 = 5,333  

32000/3 = 10,666

DSLR Camera

On a DSLR, A 32GB memory card can store between 914 (35MB per image) and 1,185 (27MB per image) images in RAW format.

16000/35 = 914

32000/27 = 1,185

 A 32GB memory card will store between 2,133 (15MB per image) and 2,666 (12MB per image) images in JPEG format.

32000/15 = 2,133

32000/12 = 2,666

GoPro

On a GoPro, a 32GB memory card holds between 3,200 photos (10MB each) and 4,571 photos (7MB each).

32000/10 = 3,200

32000/7 = 4,571

How Many Photos Can A 64GB Memory Card Hold?

Smartphone 

On a smartphone, 10,666 (6MB) to 21,333 (3MB) images will fill a 64 GB memory card. 

64000/6 = 10,666

64000/3 = 21,333

DSLR Camera

A 64 GB card will store between 1,828 (35MB) and 2,370 (27MB) images in RAW format.

64000/35 = 1,828

64000/27 = 2,370

A 64GB card can hold between 4,266 (15MB) and 5,333 (12MB) images in JPEG format.

64000/15 = 4,266

64000/12 = 5,333

GoPro

On a GoPro, a 64GB memory card holds between 6,400 photos (10MB each) and 9,142  photos (7MB each).

64000/10 = 6,400

64000/7 = 9,142

How Many Photos Can A 128GB Memory Card Hold?

Smartphone

On a smartphone, a 128GB memory card holds between 21,333 photos (6MB per image) and 42,666 photos (3MB per image).

128000/6 = 21,333

128000/3 = 42,666

DSLR Camera

On a DSLR, A 128GB card can store between 3,657 (35MB per image) and 4,740 (27MB per image) images in RAW format.

128000/35 = 3,657

128000/27 = 4,740

A 128GB card inserted in a DSLR camera can store between 8,533 (15MB) and 10,666 (12MB) images in JPEG format.

128000/15 = 8,533

128000/12 = 10,666

GoPro

On a GoPro, a 128GB memory card holds between 12,800 photos (10MB each) and 18,285 photos (7MB each).

128000/10 = 12,800

128000/7 = 18,285

How Many Photos Can A 256GB Memory Card Hold?

Smartphone

On a smartphone, a 256GB memory card holds between 42,666 photos (6MB per image) and 85,333 photos (3MB per image).

256000/6 = 42,666

256000/3 = 85,333

DSLR Camera

On a DSLR, a 256GB card can store between 7,314 (35MB per image) and 9,481 (27MB per image) images in RAW format.

256000/35 = 7,314

256000/27 = 9,481

A 256GB card inserted in a DSLR camera can store between 17,066 (15MB) and 21,333 (12MB) images in JPEG format.

256000/15 = 17,066

256000/12 = 21,333

GoPro

On a GoPro, a 256GB memory card holds between 25,600 photos (10MB each) and 36,571 photos (7MB each).

256000/10 = 25,600

256000/7 = 36,571

How Many Photos Can A 512GB Memory Card Hold?

Smartphone

On a smartphone, a 512GB memory card holds between 85,333 photos (6MB per image) and 170,666 photos (3MB per image).

512000/6 = 85,333

512000/3 = 170,666

DSLR Camera

On a DSLR, A 512GB card can store between 14,628 (35MB per image) and 18,962 (27MB per image) images in RAW format.

512000/35 = 14,628

512000/27 = 18,962

A 512GB card inserted in a DSLR camera can store between 34,133 (15MB) and 42,666 (12MB) images in JPEG format.

512000/15 = 34,133

512000/12 = 42,666

GoPro

On a GoPro, a 512GB memory card holds between 51,200 photos (10MB each) and 73,142 photos (7MB each).

512000/10 = 51,200

512000/7 = 73,142

Memory Card Table

The table below summarizes all the data given so far. In the first column, you can find the storage capacity of memory cards in GB. In the other columns, you can see the approximate number of images produced by memory cards for each of the listed devices. As you can see, the number of images varies with the file format.

Memory Card SizeSmartphone @ 6MBSmartphone @ 3MBDSLR RAW @ 35MBDSLR RAW @ 27MBDSLR JPEG @ 15MBDSLR JPEG @ 12MBGoPro @ 10MBGoPro @ 7MB
8GB1,3332,6662282965336668001,142
16GB2,6665,3334575921,0661,3331,6002,285
32GB5,33310,6669141,1852,1332,6663,2004,571
64GB10,66621,3331,8282,3704,2665,3336,4009,142
128GB21,33342,6663,6574,7408,53310,66612,80018,285
256GB42,66685,3337,3149,48117,06621,33325,60036,571
512GB85,333170,66614,62818,96234,13342,66651,20073,142

How Large Of A Memory Card Should You Choose?

At the end of the day, choosing the right memory card comes down to getting one that meets your needs.

For example, if you only work with JPEG images, you can get away with a memory card that’s 32GB-64GB. If you go to 128GB while dealing with smaller file sizes, it will just take much longer to fill up the card which isn’t always a bad thing.

But If you work with raw files, you need a memory card with a storage capacity between 64GB-128GB, which will give you plenty of space to store images for a shoot or two.

On the other hand, if you capture videos, you should opt for an SD card larger than 128GB. Otherwise, you will quickly run out of space when recording long video clips.

With that said, I feel it’s important to warn you against the setbacks of choosing a very small or very large memory card. 

A very small card is not a good option in most cases because you’ll likely end up needing multiple cards.

However, the problem with too large of a memory card is that if something happens to it, you have more files at risk. I personally opt to use 64GB cards for my photos and switch memory cards occasionally over a multi-day shoot. That way I don’t risk losing all my files if one card bites the dust.

Ultimately, the best solution is to always back up your files on a computer as soon as you can. That way you can rest easy your files are double safe, regardless of your memory card size. Some of my favorite memory cards are from Sandisk, and I share my favorite memory cards to choose from that brand here.

Happy Shooting!



Photo of author
I'm a Canadian photographer and photo retoucher turned founder of bwillcreative.com. Around here I help you to decode the mystery of photo editing with no-fluff videos and written guides to help you achieve your creative goals. Outside of shooting photos and my passion for educating, you'll find me mountain biking or on the trails with my dog, Sunny!

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