Always looking for solutions to store the images is a side effect of being a photography enthusiast. Fortunately, technological improvements have made image storage more convenient. By simply installing a memory card, you can snap thousands of images without worry.

The question how many photos a memory card can hold? It depends on the storage capacity size and the images’ file size. There is no uniform file size for the photographs. Raw file characteristics, such as the resolution at which you take the shot, can have a big impact on file size, and, as a result, your memory card may only be able to contain a small number of images.

After purchasing a 32GB/64GB memory card for your camera may feel like you are getting a pass to snap an endless amount of photos, but in reality, that is not the case. All memory cards eventually run out of space.

Knowing how many photos a memory card can hold is essential before buying one for your camera or other devices. In this article, we will try to address this issue in the best way possible. You will get the answer for every memory card storage size available on the market.

What Factors Determine Image File Size?

camera gopro

There are many factors that determine image file size. The size of an image is measured in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB), or gigabytes (GB).

The image’s dimensions are one of the biggest factors determining how much space it will take up on your computer. This is called the “physical dimension.” The higher the physical dimension, the larger your file size will be.

The resolution of your image also affects its size. A high-resolution image has more pixels than a low-resolution image, so it takes up more space on your computer’s hard drive.

Several things dictate the size of a photograph. Resolution of the Image, compression settings, and even the shooting conditions are all important considerations.

1. Image Resolution

The most important factor affecting file size is resolution. Resolution determines the number of pixels per inch (PPI) in an image, directly affecting its size. The image resolution refers to how many pixels fit horizontally and vertically on your screen in each inch. The better the quality of a photograph, the more pixels it contains – but this also means it takes up more space.

If you take a photo with a resolution of 72 PPI and then resize it to 200 PPI, the resulting image will be twice as large as the original photo. However, if you change nothing but the resolution, then everything about that image — from sharpness to color saturation — will also be increased two-fold. This means that resizing always results in lossy compression, which can degrade image quality significantly depending on how much you resize it and what kind of photo it is (e.g., low-quality JPEG vs. high-quality RAW).

2. Compression settings

You may select from a variety of shooting modes on most digital cameras. In professional photography, for example, you may always shoot in RAW. The RAW format saves as much data as possible. Therefore images saved in this format will take up a lot more space.

The amount of compression you use when saving your images can greatly affect the overall file size. The higher the compression, the smaller the image will be but the more it will lose its sharpness and quality. If you are using a free photo editing software like GIMP or Photoshop Elements, there should be an option to adjust the quality of your image when saving it. This will help you find the right balance between file size and quality.

The most used image file format is JPEG. In this format, photographs are compressed, resulting in a smaller file size but a lower image quality.

All the DSLRs offer numerous JPEG quality settings, such as extra-fine, fine, and normal. These settings will have an impact on the file size. Some cameras offer to shoot in sRAW and mRAW, which are a hybrid of RAW and JPEG formats.

3. Shooting Environment

The size of a picture can also be influenced by factors such as ISO and shutter speed. Pictures with a higher ISO take up more storage space.

The shooting environment plays a major role in determining the file size. If you’re shooting in a studio, your image will be much smaller than shooting outside.

The same applies to shooting conditions. Your images will be different if you’re shooting during a cloudy day versus a sunny one. It’s all about lighting and how much light is available when you take an image. The more light, the smaller the file size; less light means larger file sizes.

Also, capturing a white wall with a JPEG will result in a smaller file size than photographing a crowded city scene. That’s because the JPEG compression algorithm identifies equal parts in the image and compresses them together.

4. Dimensions

The dimensions of an image determine the file size. The more pixels there are, the larger the image will be. This makes sense because each pixel is made up of color information and brightness information, so the more pixels you have, the more data there is to store.

5. Number of colors used in the image

The more colors you use, the larger the file size will be. For example, if you use 24-bit RGB images (which have 256 colors) instead of 8-bit grayscale images (which have only 256 shades of gray), your files will be twice as large.

How To Calculate How Many Photos Your SD Card Can Store?

Determining the precise number of photographs that an SD card can save is difficult due to the numerous variables involved. Not to ignore, the camera you are using will also impact you.

To better understand, we have looked at the three most popular devices that use memory cards to save photos: a smartphone, a DSLR, and a GoPro. Now, each device comes in various configurations, each with a profusion of settings to alter.

We also have picked the most popular image resolution for mobile devices, which is 12MP, including the photos taken with a Nikon D7200, and averaged the sizes of several photos (in both JPEG and RAW file formats). Finally, for the GoPro camera, GoPro Hero 9 Black has been used with the resolution set to 12MP, which is the most popular setting.

These findings apply to all types of memory cards, including SD, Micro SD, CompactFlash, and others.

How Many Photos Can Be Stored In 16GB Card?

It has been discovered that on smartphones, JPEG image size ranges from 3.5MB to 7MB, depending on the lighting and what’s in the frame. The average size is 5.2MB, and according to that 16GB memory card will be able to store approximately 3,150 photographs.

16GB Card Capacity

DSLR (Standard)






GoPro Hero 9


On GoPro, the image sizes range from 3.4MB to 5.2MB, with an average of 4.3MB. You can store 3,810 photos on the 16GB memory card. In both of these examples, 12MP resolution was used. The card would only be able to contain roughly 2641 JPEG photographs if the resolution was increased to 16MP.

12 MP/16.6 MP/24.2 MP Storage

12 MP

3810 Photos

16.6 MP

2641 Photos

24.2 MP

236 Photos

The median JPEG image size on the D7200 when shooting in Standard was 10MB, implying that a 16GB SD card could hold roughly 1,638 photos. However, if you consider RAW images ranging from 20MB to 40MB, you’ll only be able to capture 400 to 810 pictures, counting on file size.

How Many Photos Can Be Stored In 32GB Card?

A 32GB SD card should be able to contain roughly 6,300 photographs captured on a smartphone with a 12MP camera using the same parameters as before. Similarly, a 32GB SD card will hold approximately 7,620 pictures on the GoPro.

32GB Card Capacity

DSLR (Standard)






GoPro Hero 9


Using the DSLR, for instance, Nikon D7200, a 32GB SD card will hold 3,277 JPEG photographs, assuming their average size is 10MB. In the case of RAW files, the number of photos might range from 819 to 1638.

12 MP/16.6 MP/24.2 MP Storage

12 MP

7620 Photos

16.6 MP

5500 Photos

24.2 MP

563 Photos

How Many Photos Can Be Stored On 64GB Card?

Images shot with a 12MP resolution on a smartphone average around 5.2MB in size. A 64GB SD card can carry around 12,600 JPEG photos. That quantity will be roughly 15,240 photographs on a GoPro, with an average file size of 4.3MB when shooting in 12MP.

64GB Card Capacity

DSLR (Standard)






GoPro Hero 9


You can get away with saving roughly 6,552 JPEG Pictures and somewhere between 1,638 and 3,277 RAW photos on a DSLR.

12 MP/16.6 MP/24.2 MP Storage

12 MP

15240 Photos

16.6 MP

10821 Photos

24.2 MP

1103 Photos

You must think that the 64GB card is more than enough for a day shoot, as it can provide storage for many images regardless of the device or settings.

How Many Photos Can Be Stored In 128GB Card?

If you simply intend to use your smartphone for photos, a 128GB SD card might be excessive. It must hold 25,200 JPEG photographs, sufficient for some people to shoot in a lifetime.

128GB Card Capacity

DSLR (Standard)






GoPro Hero 9


Using this card with a GoPro will give you even more shots – around 30,480 – but having so many pictures on one card can be unmanageable for an unprofessional photographer.

12 MP/16.6 MP/24.2 MP Storage

12 MP

30480 Photos

16.6 MP

21940 Photos

24.2 MP

2412 Photos

In a Nikon D700 DSLR, a 128GB SD card can hold almost 13,104 JPEG photographs in Standard quality. But if you alter the quality, that number will reduce or increase. Depending on the file size, it can also save a significant number of RAW photos, ranging from 3,277 to 6,553.

All professional photographers caries at least one 128GB card in their back bag. It’s ideal for long tours, such as weddings, adventures, or commercial campaigns. This card will last longer than a few days if you are not taking many photos.

How Many Photos Can Be Stored In 256GB Card

Most people do not want to carry a lot of data with them. Therefore, 256GB SD cards are more than enough for most people. On your phone, it should be able to capture about 50,400 images.

256GB Card Capacity

DSLR (Standard)






GoPro Hero 9


GoPro cameras can take 60,960 images on a 12MP setting. You would need a 265GB SD card to hold all of those photos. We do not recommend investing in such a large card if you’re taking pictures with your GoPro.

12 MP/16.6 MP/24.2 MP Storage

12 MP

60960 Photos

16.6 MP

43891 Photos

24.2 MP

4476 Photos

Like other devices, a 265GB SD card might be too much for a high-end DSLR. It has a maximum capacity of storing 26,208 JPEG photographs and 6,554 to 13,107 RAW images, which is more than enough for any shoot. But some photographers prefer to carry it when they go on long tours and do not want to have any storage issues.

Results Table

The table below summarizes the picture storing capacity of different SD cards on different devices. Check it out to get a quick and easy understanding.

DSLR (Standard)1,6383,2766,55213,10426,208
DSLR (RAW)400 – 810819 – 16381,638 – 3,2773,277 – 6,5536,554 – 13,107
GoPro Hero 93,8107,62015,24030,48060,960

How to Calculate a figure for your own camera?

If you cannot calculate how many images are taken from your camera, they can be stored on different SD Cards. So you can determine which SD card size is right for you. To determine the number of images, you can keep on your device, take a few pictures and see how large they are. Then use that number to figure how many photos you’ll be able to store per gigabyte (1GB = 1,024MB).

How Large Of A Memory Card Should You Choose?

Selecting the right memory card comes down to getting one that meets your requirements. For example, if you work with JPEG photos, you can get away with a memory card that is 32GB – 64GB. If you go to 128GB while dealing with smaller photo file sizes, it will take much longer to fill up the card, which is not always bad.

But if you work with raw photos, you need a memory card with a storage capacity between 64GB – 128GB, which will provide you ample space to store images for a shoot or two. Alternatively, if you make videos, you should use an SD card larger than 128 GB. Otherwise, you will run out of space when recording long videos quickly.

With that said, it is important to inform you about the setbacks of selecting a small or very large memory card. A small memory card is not a good option in most cases because you will likely need multiple memory cards.

However, the difficulty with a large memory card is that you have more image files at risk if something happens to it. Ultimately, the best option is to always back up your image files on a PC as soon as possible.

Remember A Memory Card Stores Much More Than Just Images

You should also be aware that most digital devices store more than just pictures. For example, Using a micro SD card on your phone might keep applications and app data.

If You would utilize most of your memory card on a GoPro for video files. There may be more files to consider — for instance, every MPEG-4 video clip is automatically accompanied by THM and LRV files generated by the GoPro.

Because it’s difficult to predict how much space such files will take up and how much actual useable space you are left with, you should take precautions and go for a bigger memory card size.

So Which Memory Card Size is Best for You?

Earlier in the article learned that the best memory card size for you depends on various circumstances, including the camera you use and how you shoot photos, and that there is no simple answer to queries like “How many photographs can a 32GB SD card hold?” If you frequently shoot bracketed RAW exposures, you’ll need a higher capacity card than someone who exclusively shoots standard quality JPEGs.

Keep in mind that not all memory cards are made equal.

Even within a single memory card brand, such as Sandisk, there might be substantial variances amongst SD cards of the same capacity.

The Sandisk Extreme Pro is the greatest memory card you can buy.


In this article, we tried to address your queries about the different memory cards, including how many pictures a 16GB/32GBGB/64GB/128GB/256 GB memory card can store. This blog also answers how to determine which card is best for you. However, one additional factor to consider while choosing a memory card.