How Many Photos Can a Memory Card Hold?

How Many Photos Can You Store On Your Memory Card?

The answer depends on the type of camera you have. Secure Digital (SD), Memory Stick (MS) and xD-Picture Cards are the most popular among pocket digicams and CompactFlash (CF) and SD cards for Digital SLRs (professional zoom style cameras). A few cameras have two card slots and some models have a single slot that will accept two different types of cards (for example, xD and SD).

The actual number of pictures that can be stored on a card will depend on the camera model and how much the JPEG files are compressed. Some cameras apply higher compression ratios that others. Card capacities will be significantly higher when lower resolution/quality settings are used.

Photographers who use DSLR cameras will find they need higher storage capacity – especially if they shoot raw files.

A way to estimate how many RAW (unprocessed and uncompressed) photos will fit on a memory card is to divide the gigabytes of the card by three times the pixels of the camera . For example: a 1GB memory card is about 1 billion bytes. A 5MP camera is 5 million pixels. Each pixel on a color RAW image file uses three bytes, so divide 1 billion by 15 million and you get about 67 photos. If you shoot in JPEG format, you will normally get roughly twice as many photos than this estimate because the camera compresses the photo information to save memory space. 

The charts below are will allow you to calculate how many images per card: 

Photos: Compressed (JPEG 100% quality) Images per card:




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