If you have bought a digital camera recently, then you will be looking to buy a memory card for it. Different cameras use different types of memory cards. It includes the SD card, CF card, micro SD card, XQD card, etc. But they come in the same standard capacities like 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, etc. So, how many photos can 16 GB/ 32 GB/ 64 GB/ 128 GB memory card hold?

I know, you will be really interested in knowing the number of pictures that these memory cards can hold. It will help you to decide what memory card capacity suits you. Thus, you can order the right card capacity. We will find the answer to this question in this article.

I am not considering 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB memory cards since they are outdated capacities for any use. Also, memory cards with these capacities will cost you more.

Factors Deciding the Number of Photos in a Memory Card

The number of pictures that can be stored in a memory card is decided by various factors. I will explain all these factors.

1. Storage Image Format 🌄

The most important factor is the image file format that you are going to use inside the camera. In the case of a simple point and shoot digital camera, you will only have the “JPEG” option.

If you are using a DSLR/ Mirrorless/ Medium format camera, then you will have the option to record images in RAW format. RAW format is used by professional photographers and photography hobbyists. It gives you the ability to tweak camera parameters like white balance, exposure in a better way during the edits. Each manufacturer will have its own file naming convention for the RAW files.

In the case of interchangeable lens cameras, you will have multiple options for saving the pictures. You can either record the photos in JPEG alone, RAW alone, or JPEG+RAW. So, the number of images that can be stored depends on this selection.

2. Camera Megapixels 📷

Camera

Camera megapixels are the other factor. A higher megapixel camera will generate image files of larger size due to high resolution. So, a single image file will occupy more space. Hence, you can store only a few images. So, you need to ensure to invest in a memory card of higher capacity.

For example, a 12 megapixel camera can store only half the number of pictures as a 6 megapixel camera with the same memory card capacity.

3. Number of Bits 🏞

JPEG files will have 8 bits of information.

The RAW file will have 12 to 16 bits. So, RAW files will have more information and hence it will occupy more space than their JPEG counterparts.

Storage Capacity Vs Number of Photos 😎 

I will make use of the following facts to calculate the number of pictures that can be stored on the memory card with different capacities. 

These calculations for the number of photos against the memory card capacity are applicable to all types of memory cards. You can use it for SD cards, XQD cards, CF cards, C Fast cards, micro SD cards, etc.

A 1 GB storage media will have 1024 MB of memory. So, a 16 GB memory card will have 16 x 1024 MB = 16384 MB theoretically. If you check the actual storage capacity of the memory card in your camera or computer, you will see that it will be less than 16 GB. The actual capacity of the memory card will also differ between the cards.

If you use your camera to capture different pictures in different conditions with the same file format, you can see that the image file size will be different for all these images. But, still, we can do an approximate correlation of the megapixels with the image size.

The average raw file size of the image will be approximate twice the megapixels of the camera. For example, if you are using a 24 megapixel camera and capture the photo in RAW format, then the image file size would be around 48 MB (24 x 2).

16 GB, 32 GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256 GB are commonly available memory card capacities. You can also get higher storage capacities like 512 GB and 1TB. But, they are very expensive. 32 GB is the most popular capacity preferred by most people. So, you can easily get a 32 GB card for a lower price from sites like Amazon.

How many Pictures can 16 GB hold? 😎

16GB Micro SD card

16GB Micro SD card

The number of pictures that a 16 GB memory card of any type can store is given in the below table.

CAMERA MEGAPIXELS (MP)AVERAGE RAW FILE SIZE (MB)AVERAGE JPEG FILE SIZE (MB)NUMBER OF JPEG PHOTOS IN 16GB CARDNUMBER OF RAW PHOTOS IN 16GB CARDNUMBER OF JPEG+RAW PHOTOS IN 16GB CARD
360.91777826672319
5101.51066716001391
6121.8888913331159
7142.176191143994
8162.466671000870
102035333800696
12243.64444667580
14284.23810571497
15304.53556533464
16324.83333500435
18365.42963444386
204062667400348
21426.32540381331
24487.22222333290
26527.82051308268
28568.41905286248
306091778267232
31629.31720258224
32649.61667250217
33669.91616242211
346810.21569235205
357010.51524229199
367210.81481222193
4080121333200174
428412.61270190166
448813.21212182158
459013.51185178155
489614.41111167145
50100151067160139
6012018889133116

If you are planning to use a 16 GB memory card, then the above table will give you an idea about the number of pictures it can store.

How many Pictures can 32 GB hold? 😎

32GB SD card

32GB SD card

32 GB is currently the most popular memory card size used by most people. The table showing the number of photos that a 32 GB memory card can store is given below.

CAMERA MEGAPIXELS (MP)AVERAGE RAW FILE SIZE (MB)AVERAGE JPEG FILE SIZE (MB)NUMBER OF JPEG PHOTOS IN 32GB CARDNUMBER OF RAW PHOTOS IN 32GB CARDNUMBER OF JPEG+RAW PHOTOS IN 32GB CARD
360.93555653334638
5101.52133332002783
6121.81777826672319
7142.11523822861988
8162.41333320001739
102031066716001391
12243.6888913331159
14284.276191143994
15304.571111067928
16324.866671000870
18365.45926889773
204065333800696
21426.35079762663
24487.24444667580
26527.84103615535
28568.43810571497
306093556533464
31629.33441516449
32649.63333500435
33669.93232485422
346810.23137471409
357010.53048457398
367210.82963444386
4080122667400348
428412.62540381331
448813.22424364316
459013.52370356309
489614.42222333290
50100152133320278
60120181778267232

How many Pictures can 64 GB hold? 😎

64GB Compact Flash Memory card

64GB Compact Flash Memory card

When it comes to serious professional photographers, 64 GB is a commonly chosen memory card size.

CAMERA MEGAPIXELS (MP)AVERAGE RAW FILE SIZE (MB)AVERAGE JPEG FILE SIZE (MB)NUMBER OF JPEG PHOTOS IN 64GB CARDNUMBER OF RAW PHOTOS IN 64GB CARDNUMBER OF JPEG+RAW PHOTOS IN 64GB CARD
360.971111106679275
5101.54266764005565
6121.83555653334638
7142.13047645713975
8162.42666740003478
102032133332002783
12243.61777826672319
14284.21523822861988
15304.51422221331855
16324.81333320001739
18365.41185217781546
204061066716001391
21426.31015915241325
24487.2888913331159
26527.8820512311070
28568.476191143994
3060971111067928
31629.368821032898
32649.666671000870
33669.96465970843
346810.26275941818
357010.56095914795
367210.85926889773
4080125333800696
428412.65079762663
448813.24848727632
459013.54741711618
489614.44444667580
50100154267640557
60120183556533464

So, if you are planning to purchase one, you can crosscheck with the table above against your camera megapixels and file recording format to know the number of photos the 64 GB memory card can hold.

How many Pictures can 128 GB hold? 😎

128GB XQD memory card-

128GB XQD memory card

People who own a higher megapixel camera, like the 50 or 60 megapixel ones need to go for a memory card with higher capacity. They can choose the 128 GB ones.

CAMERA MEGAPIXELS (MP)AVERAGE RAW FILE SIZE (MB)AVERAGE JPEG FILE SIZE (MB)NUMBER OF JPEG PHOTOS IN 128GB CARDNUMBER OF RAW PHOTOS IN 128GB CARDNUMBER OF JPEG+RAW PHOTOS IN 128GB CARD
360.91422222133318551
5101.5853331280011130
6121.871111106679275
7142.16095291437950
8162.45333380006957
102034266764005565
12243.63555653334638
14284.23047645713975
15304.52844442673710
16324.82666740003478
18365.42370435563092
204062133332002783
21426.32031730482650
24487.21777826672319
26527.81641024622140
28568.41523822861988
306091422221331855
31629.31376320651795
32649.61333320001739
33669.91292919391686
346810.21254918821637
357010.51219018291590
367210.81185217781546
4080121066716001391
428412.61015915241325
448813.2969714551265
459013.5948114221237
489614.4888913331159
5010015853312801113
601201871111067928

The table above shows the number of images that a 128 GB memory card can hold, irrespective of the memory card type.

How many Pictures can 256 GB hold? 😎

256GB CFast memory card

256GB CFast memory card

A 256 GB memory card can be useful when you are out for long expeditions like travel or wildlife photography. It allows you to store more images.

CAMERA MEGAPIXELS (MP)AVERAGE RAW FILE SIZE (MB)AVERAGE JPEG FILE SIZE (MB)NUMBER OF JPEG PHOTOS IN 256GB CARDNUMBER OF RAW PHOTOS IN 256GB CARDNUMBER OF JPEG+RAW PHOTOS IN 256GB CARD
360.92844444266737101
5101.51706672560022261
6121.81422222133318551
7142.11219051828615901
8162.41066671600013913
10203853331280011130
12243.671111106679275
14284.26095291437950
15304.55688985337420
16324.85333380006957
18365.44740771116184
204064266764005565
21426.34063560955300
24487.23555653334638
26527.83282149234281
28568.43047645713975
306092844442673710
31629.32752741293590
32649.62666740003478
33669.92585938793373
346810.22509837653274
357010.52438136573180
367210.82370435563092
4080122133332002783
428412.62031730482650
448813.21939429092530
459013.51896328442473
489614.41777826672319
50100151706725602226
60120181422221331855

Refer to the table above to know the number of images it can store.

Final Words 😇 

So, now you know, how many pictures can a 16GB/32GBGB/64GB/128GB/256 GB memory card can hold. But, there is one more thing that you need to consider while selecting a memory card. It is the write speed. 

The write speed of the memory card should be greater than or equal to that of the camera write speed. Otherwise, you may end up seeing a slow recording of images, noticeable in burst mode.