A side effect of being a lover of photography is finding ways to store the photographs you take.
Thankfully, advancements in tech have made photo storage easier. You can now take thousands of photos with just a memory card.
Buying a 32GB memory card for your camera can sometimes feel like a license to take an unlimited number of photos, but you know that’s not true. All memory cards eventually fill up.
You probably are now wondering, “How many pictures can a 32GB memory card hold?” That’s what we wrote this article for!
How Many Photos Can a 32GB Memory Card Hold?
A 32GB can carry up to 5,500 photos, but this is not always the case as some factors affect how many pictures a 32GB memory card holds in practice.
Factors such as the quality settings of the camera, file format, camera resolution, and card reliability determine the number of photos a 32GB memory card can hold.
Let’s look at how each of these factors affects photo file size and the number of photos your memory card can carry.
Your camera’s quality settings determine how much space each photo takes up on the memory card. This holds true whether you’re shooting with a regular camera or your phone.
The higher the quality setting, such as High or Super Fine, the more space is taken up by each photo because they have more pixels and information.
You can find out how much space photos take in each of the formats by shooting in the different modes and checking their file sizes.
There are two main types of files that you’ll come across when it comes to photography: JPEG and RAW. JPEG is the most common file type for images captured by cameras and smartphones because they’re smaller in size.
JPEG files are compressed, meaning that the image has been made smaller to save space and make it easier to transmit across devices without taking up too much space.
RAW files, on the other hand, are uncompressed, minimally processed image files. Because they’re uncompressed, RAW files are typically much larger than JPEG files and thus take up more space on your camera’s memory card.
Another critical factor determining the number of photos that can fit into a 32GB memory card is the camera resolution. The higher the camera resolution, the larger the photo files.
Photos shot with a 20 megapixels camera, in standard settings, have larger file sizes than those shot on, say, a 15 megapixels camera.
When using memory cards, it’s always best never to use their full capacity, as it could affect their performance. Experts recommend not exceeding 90% of the card’s capacity.
However, some memory cards may malfunction before the 90% mark, affecting the number of photos the card can hold.
How Many Photos Can Your 32GB Memory Card Carry in Practice?
Having listed the different factors that affect the number of photos a memory card can hold, let’s now calculate the number of photos your 32GB memory card can hold in practice.
We’ll use the Nikon D7500 DSLR camera as an example.
- At 5MB per JPEG, a 32GB memory card will contain *5,468 photos.
- At 20MB each, a 32GB memory card will carry *1,367 RAW photos.
*This number represents ideal usage. That’s 90% of the actual storage.
But 32GB isn’t the only size of memory card available, right? So how many photos do these other card sizes carry? How many photos can a 4GB / 8GB/ 16GB / 64GB / 128GB / 256GB memory card carry?
|4GB||683 Photos||170 Photos|
|8GB||1,366 Photos||341 Photos|
|16GB||2,732 Photos||682 Photos|
|64GB||10,936 Photos||2,734 Photos|
|128GB||21,872 Photos||5,468 Photos|
|256GB||43,744 Photos||10,936 Photos|
*Data in the table is calculated for a 20.9MP Camera shooting JPEGs at 5MB and RAW files at 20MB.
What Size of Memory Card Should You Buy?
When buying a memory card, the size you need is determined by what you want to use it for. If you’re a professional photographer or regularly shoot RAW images, the larger sizes will be your best bet.
But if all you need is enough space for your personal photos, then one of the smaller ones will work just fine. Plus, you can always download pictures from your memory card to your computer if the card gets filled.
Does your device need a TF card or a microSD? What’s the difference, anyway?
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