How plenty of pictures deserve to your SD card hold? discovering the answer to this question might be the difference between having the ability to shoot all you need and having to make tough choices about which photos space worth keeping.

You are watching: How many pictures will a 16gb sd card hold

The five typical camera memory map capacities on sell are 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and also 256GB. In this article, we’re going to cover exactly how much room each that these alternatives offers in comparison come one an additional so the you deserve to make an educated decision around which size suits your requirements best.

But, before we carry out so, it’s an important to recognize the different factors which determine how much room any offered photo will take up.


What determinants determine image document size?

Several determinants determine how large a photo will be. Many notably, there’s the picture resolution (pixels), compression settings, and even the shoot conditions.


The image resolution defines how plenty of pixels to the right in each inch horizontally and vertically on your screen. The much more pixels there are in one image, the higher quality it i do not care – however this also method it will certainly take up more space.

Quality settings

Most digital cameras have different shooting modes that girlfriend can select between. For example, in expert photography you’ll nearly always it is in shooting in RAW. Images stored in the RAW layout will take it up significantly much more space together this format saves as much data as possible.

JPEG is the most usual image paper format. These images are compressed, definition the document size is smaller, however the photo quality is reduced.

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

Shooting conditions

Settings choose the ISO and also shutter speed have the right to also impact the dimension of an image. Pictures with a greater ISO frequently take up much more space.

Similarly, taking a JPEG photograph of a white wall will result in a smaller document size than, say, a scene in a liven city. The comes down to the method the JPEG compression algorithm works by identifying comparable areas in the picture.

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

As you have the right to see, it can be quite complicated to tell precisely how many images one SD card have the right to save because of how plenty of factors room involved. Not to forget, the an equipment you’re shoot on will also play a part.

To simplify things, we taken into consideration the three most common devices the you’re likely to usage a memory map to store photos in – a smartphone, DSLR, and a GoPro. Now, each of these devices has a multitude that variants v each supplying a plethora of setups that you can change.


So, for smartphones, we offered the most usual image resolution, which is 12MP. For the DSLR, we thought about pictures taken through a Nikon D7200 and also averaged out the sizes of multiple images (in both JPEG and also RAW record formats). And finally, for the GoPro camera, we supplied the GoPro Hero 9 Black, but set on 12MP, which is the most generally used resolution.

Note that these results use to all species of storage cards, it is in 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 found that the average JPEG picture size functions out to anywhere between 3.5MB come 7MB, depending on the lighting and what’s in the shot. Because that the services of convenience, let’s take the middle allude of 5.2MB. So, on a 16GB SD map that outcomes in around 3,150 photos.

Similarly, top top a GoPro, the image sizes varied between 3.4MB and 5.2MB; the average of i beg your pardon is 4.3MB, resulting in around 3,810 photos.

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

On the D7200 shooting in Standard, the average JPEG image size was 10MB, definition a 16GB SD map would be able to store approximately 1,638 photos. However, if you think about RAW images, i beg your pardon vary between 20MB and also 40MB, you’ll be able to shoot only about 400 to 810 images, depending on record size.

How numerous photos have the right to a 32GB SD card hold?

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

Considering the same parameters together before, a 32GB SD map should have the ability to hold about 6,300 photos shot on a smartphone through a 12MP camera. Similarly, ~ above the GoPro, a 32GB SD card will be an excellent for about 7,620 images.

With a DSLR, like the Nikon D7200, a 32GB SD card will hold 3,277 images in JPEG, considering their typical size is 10MB. In the case of raw files, this number can selection from in between 819 come 1638 images.

How many photos can a 64GB SD map hold?

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

The mean size the smartphone pictures shot in 12MP resolution works out to about 5.2MB. Utilizing that figure, a 64GB SD card will have the ability to hold around 12,600 JPEG images. Top top a GoPro, which has actually an average file size the 4.3MB while shoot in 12MP, the number will certainly be around 15,240 images. That’s a lot!

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

As you have the right to see, a 64GB SD card deserve to store a lot of pictures, irrespective of what maker and settings you’re shoot with. Because that a job shoot, most human being will uncover that a 64GB map is an ext than enough.

How numerous photos deserve to a 128GB SD map hold?

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

On a smartphone, a 128GB SD map may also be overkill if you’re going come be making use of it only for pictures. It should have the ability to hold 25,200 JPEG images and that’s much more than what some civilization will shoot in their lifetime.

Using this card on a GoPro will gain you even much more images – approximately 30,480 images, and it deserve to be rather cumbersome to have so many pictures on simply one card.

A 128GB SD card in a DSLR prefer the Nikon D7200 will have the ability to store around 13,104 JPEG pictures in Standard top quality – that number will certainly drop or increase depending on whether you change quality. It can likewise store a same amount the RAW photos – between 3,277 and 6,553, depending on how big the record is.

Most professional photographers have a 128GB SD map in their equipment bag. It’s perfect for long days of shooting, like a wedding or advertorial shoot, and also will additionally last you more than a couple of days if you’re not clicking a many pictures.

How many photos have the right to a 256GB SD card hold?

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

A 256GB SD map is much more than most world will ever before require. On her phone, that should have the ability to capture around 50,400 images. And also on a GoPro shooting at 12MP, it will certainly theoretically have the ability to take 60,960 images. I wouldn’t introduce investing in a 265GB SD map for one of two people of these devices if all you’re walk to be doing is taking pictures.

A 265GB SD card may even be too lot for a top-end DSLR. You have the right to shoot about 26,208 JPEG images and anywhere between 6,554 and 13,107 RAW photos with it, which is an ext than sufficient for most shoots.

Results an introduction Table

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

Calculating a figure for your own camera

I hope the above information helps you decide which size of SD card is ideal for you. If you desire to do the calculation yourself for her device, you deserve to take a couple of pictures and see how huge they are, and use the number to figure how countless images you’ll be able to store every GB (Remember, 1GB = 1,024MB).

A memory card frequently stores much more than just photos

Also store in mind that with most devices, you’re going to finish up storing more than just pictures.

For instance, if it’s a micro SD map for her phone, you might save apps and app data on them. On a GoPro, you’d obviously usage the mass of your memory map for video files. There might be extr files come think about – because that example, the GoPro automatically generates THM and also LRV papers that accompany every MPEG-4 video file.

It’s harder to estimate how much space such files will consume and also how much actual usable room you’re left with, therefore you have to err ~ above the next of caution and opt for a bigger memory card size.

So, what is the right memory map size?

Obviously, if price is not an issue, the biggest capacity map which provides you the many storage space is the best.

However, for most of united state price does matter, so you require to have actually a stormy idea of her photographing needs.

Do you walk on much longer trips or do expert wedding photography where you can’t afford to recorded without any type of remaining storage?

Or perform you just take a few photos a day and also often offload pictures to your computer system or cloud storage?

Do you just store uncompressed life photos, JPEG photos, or a mix that both?

Each instance calls for various storage capacity needs.

Remember, it’s always better to have actually a small extra space than uncover yourself having to go through and find photos you deserve to safely delete!

Memory card considerations past storage capacity

While it might seem that an ext storage = better, there’s actually a bit more to picking a memory card.

Whether you’re talking around SD storage card, micro SD card or CF card, they all have various specifications when it comes to read speed and minimum create speed. A greater spec card accelerates data transfers and also is crucial if you desire to document 4k video.

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

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For this reason, money might be better spent ~ above a smaller capacity memory map that offers superior performance, rather than just going because that the card that deserve to store the many photos.