How many pictures can 256GB hold? - Renee Robyn (2023)

How many pictures can 256GB hold? How many photos can you fit on your SD card? Understanding the answer to this question could mean the difference between being able to take all the images you need and having to make difficult decisions regarding which ones should be kept.

The five most popular sizes of camera memory cards are 256GB, 128GB, 64GB, 32GB, and 16GB. In this post, we’ll compare the amount of space that each of these solutions offers to one another so that you can decide which size best meets your needs.

Most likely, you’ve always been curious about how many images can fit on your memory card. I’m here to respond to that today.

We must examine the two distinct shooting settings and how they impact the file size in order to respond adequately to this query.

The Differences between JPG, Brand-Specific Raw, and DNG

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Many picture file formats employ JPG compression. The most popular image format for usage with digital cameras and other photographic photo-capturing equipment is JPG.

Only the information that the camera determined to be valuable to save is “compressed” into these photos. It’s okay if you post your photos directly to your archive or to social media. But as a result, they don’t provide much room for play during post-processing.

The entire raw information of the scene you are photographing is contained in a raw image. This indicates that every single pixel your camera is capable of capturing has the entire dynamic and color spectrum.

Compared to JPG files, raw picture files are much larger. They provide you more flexibility when using post-processing software to alter exposure levels, white balance, and color.

Most manufacturers have proprietary raw file formats. Nikon uses NEF, Canon uses CR2 and CR3, and so on.

A digital negative is known as a DNG. in a raw format independent of the brand. It is identical to a typical raw file in all respects.

How many pictures can 256GB hold?

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It should be able to record roughly 50,400 photographs on your phone. Additionally, a GoPro with a 12MP camera should be able to capture 60,960 pictures. If all you want to use these gadgets for is snapping pictures, I wouldn’t advise spending the money on a 265GB SD card.

Even a high-end DSLR may be unable to handle a 265GB SD card. With it, you may capture between 6,554 and 13,107 RAW photographs in addition to around 26,208 JPEG shots, which is more than enough for the majority of shoots.

How many pictures can a 128GB SD card hold?

A 128GB SD card for a smartphone might even be overkill if you solely want to use it for photos. More than some individuals may ever photograph in their lives, and it should be able to store 25,200 JPEG images.

Even more, shots can be obtained by using this card with a GoPro; there are roughly 30,480 images total; however, having this many images on a single card can be a hassle.

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Approximately 13,104 JPEG photographs can be stored on a 128GB SD card in a DSLR like the Nikon D7200; the amount will alter based on whether you choose to change the quality. The number of RAW photos it can hold ranges from 3,277 to 6,553, depending on how big the file is.

Most seasoned photographers carry a 128GB SD card in their bag of accessories. It will also last you longer than a few days if you’re not taking many images. It’s ideal for long days of photography, like a wedding or advertorial shoot.

How many pictures can a 64GB SD card hold?

Images that are taken with smartphones and have a 12MP resolution typically have a size of 5.2MB. By applying that calculation, a 64GB SD card can store around 12,600 JPEG photos. This translates to almost 15,240 photographs on a GoPro, which records images at a 12MP resolution with an average file size of 4.3MB. It’s a lot!

On a DSLR, you can get away with saving approximately 6,552 JPEG pictures and 1,638 to 3,277 RAW pictures.

How many pictures can a 32GB SD card hold?

Using the same criteria as before, a 32GB SD card ought to be able to accommodate around 6,300 photos taken with a smartphone’s 12MP camera. Similar to this, a 32GB SD card on a GoPro will hold roughly 7,620 photos.

When using a DSLR like the Nikon D7200, a 32GB SD card can store 3,277 JPEG photographs at an average size of 10MB. This number might be anywhere from 819 and 1638 pictures for RAW files.

How many pictures can a 16GB SD card hold?

Depending on the illumination and what is in the shot, we discovered that the average JPEG image size while using a smartphone ranges from 3.5MB to 7MB. Take the intermediate value of 5.2MB for the purpose of convenience. The total number of photographs on a 16GB SD card is, therefore, about 3,150.

Similar to this, the image sizes on a GoPro ranged from 3.4MB to 5.2MB; the mean was 4.3MB, producing roughly 3,810 photographs.

Various Memory Card Types

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Choosing the best memory card for your needs will depend on the camera you have at the time. The speed, capacity, and brand of your memory card are all up to you.

More photos can be taken if the card is larger. You can save more images, but you also run the risk of losing or destroying some or all of them. How well the memory card can manage the data will depend on speed. Although a quicker memory card will cost more, you can use burst or continuous modes with it.

CompactFlash is the first form of memory card (CF). One of the top two memory cards for digital cameras is CF. They will complement different digital SLRs and larger-sized digital cameras because they are the largest in terms of size.

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Secure Digital memory cards are the second kind (SD). They are becoming more widespread among compact digital cameras and laptops because of their small size. Your gloomy photographs are protected by a tab on the side of the card that is present in these cards.

Lastly, MicroSD cards are smaller than Secure Digital memory cards. For tiny gadgets like cell phones, GoPros, and drones, they are ideal. These cards have a higher chance of disappearing, but when used with an adapter, they can function as an SD card.

What factors affect image file size?

The size of a picture is determined by a number of things. The image resolution (in pixels), compression settings, as well as shooting circumstances are of particular importance.


How many pixels fit horizontally and vertically on your screen depends on the image resolution. An image’s quality increases with the number of pixels it contains, but it also entails a larger file size.

Quality Settings

You can select from a variety of shooting modes on the majority of digital cameras. For instance, shooting in RAW is almost always the norm in professional photography. RAW stores the most data possible; therefore, images stored in this format will require a lot more storage space.

The most used image file format is JPEG. These pictures are compressed, which results in smaller file sizes but a worse-quality image.

Shooting Conditions

Other factors, such as the ISO and shutter speed, may also have an impact on the image size. Larger photos typically result from a higher ISO.

Similar to how taking a JPEG image of a white wall will result in a bigger file size than a scene in a busy city. Basically, that has to do with how the JPEG compression algorithm works by identifying similar parts in the image.

How many photographs can each SD card store, according to our calculations?

The number of variables at play makes it difficult to determine exactly how many photographs an SD card can store. Not to mention, the camera you’re using will have an impact.

To make things easier, we focused on the three types of cameras you’re most likely to use to store images on a memory card: smartphones, DSLRs, and GoPros. Each of these devices now comes in a wide range of variations and offers a wide range of settings that you can modify.

Therefore, we chose the most popular image resolution for smartphones, which is 12MP. We analyzed images captured with a Nikon D7200 for the DSLR and averaged the sizes of several images (in both JPEG and RAW file formats). Last but not least, we used the GoPro Hero 9 Black with the most popular resolution of 12MP for the camera.

Keep in mind that these outcomes apply to all memory card kinds, including SD, Micro SD, CompactFlash, etc.

What size of memory card is best, then?

If cost is not a factor, it is obvious that the card with the highest capacity and the most storage space is the best. But the bulk of us value affordability; therefore, you should have a broad idea of your photographic needs.

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Do you spend more time traveling, or do you work as a professional wedding photographer where you can’t take the chance of running out of storage? Or do you omit taking photos altogether and routinely upload them to your computer or a cloud storage service instead?

Do you only save uncompressed RAW photos, JPEG photos, or a combination of the two? Different amounts of storage capacity are required depending on the situation. Never forget that having a little more space is preferable to having to look through your photos to discover the ones you can safely remove!

While it might appear that more storage is always better, there are a few more factors to consider when selecting a memory card.

Whether you’re referring to an SD memory card, a micro SD card, or a CF card, each has different read speed and minimum write speed requirements. If you want to record 4K video, a higher-spec card is necessary because it speeds up data transfers.

Because of this, it might be wiser to spend money on a memory card with a lesser capacity and higher performance as opposed to just choosing the card with the maximum storage space.

FAQs on How many Pictures can 256GB Hold

Do photos take up a lot of storage?

It’s a good idea to move your photos and movies as soon as possible to the cloud because they might use up a significant amount of space on your device. There are many apps available that can help you, which is fantastic news.

Do screenshots take up more storage?

The camera’s pixels outnumber the screen’s by an 8:1 ratio. Screenshots are typically saved as PNG files (at least on Android), which are less compressed than JPG files from the camera but typically still bigger than screenshots.

What photos take up the most storage?

An image that has been edited and compressed is known as a JPEG and is great for everyday use. These photographs are simple to share via email, text, and social media and don’t require much storage space. RAW files, however, are much larger and can take up a lot of storage space. Simply put, raw photo data is what RAW files are.

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    Rhenzel Purgatorio

    As a writer and nature photographer, I am driven by a deep passion for capturing the beauty and wonder of the natural world. With a keen eye for detail and composition, I strive to create images and stories that inspire awe and appreciation for our planet's incredible biodiversity. Whether through the written word or the lens of my camera, I am committed to sharing the magic of nature with others.

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