How Many Pictures Can 16GB Hold? (Memory Card Capacity)

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Calculating how many pictures 16GB can hold depends on several factors, which we’ll explain in this guide.

We’ve already discussed how many pictures can 8BG hold, so 16GB memory cards are the next step up in terms of capacity.

First, let’s look at some specific examples of 16GB memory card usage.

How Many Pictures Can a 16GB Memory Card Hold?

16GB Card in a Camera (DSLR, Mirrorless, etc.)

Start by learning the file size of the images produced by your camera. Let’s say the raw files are about 35.6 MB, and the JPGs are 5.6MB. This means that a 16GB memory card holds 449 raw files or 2857 JPG files. 

This example represents the RAW files and L/Normal JPGs from a Canon EOS 90D. You’ll learn later in the article how to calculate it for your camera.

16GB Card in a Mobile Phone

The pictures were taken with an iPhone, ranging the 1.8MB to 2.2MB. So, if you use a 16GB card on this phone, you’ll be able to hold between 8,888 and 7272 photos. 

To figure out how to calculate the number of photos you could take with your phone, you’ll need to know the resolution and apply the calculations as explained in the last section of this article. 

16GB Card in a GoPro

A GoPro takes photos that occupy between 3.4 MB and 5.2 MB. This means that you can hold between 4705 and 3076 pictures on a 16GB memory card. 

This can change depending on the version of GoPro that you use. 

How to Calculate How Many Pictures 16GB Can Hold

Considering that one GB (gigabytes) is one thousand MB (megabytes), all you have to do to calculate how many pictures a 16GB can hold is divide 16000 MB by the MB of the picture your camera

produces. 

In other words, if your camera takes photos that are 30MB, simply divide 16000/30. This means that a 16GB card can hold 533 pictures from your camera. 

Side note – if you are shooting multiple photos of 30MB each, you’ll need the fastest card to process the images quickly. This is also true if you’re shooting 4k video – see our article on SanDisk Ultra vs Extreme.

How to Check How Many Photos 16GB Can Hold on a Camera

If you don’t know how big are your images, you can always use your camera to determine how many pictures a 16GB card can hold. 

Insert an empty (new or formatted) 16GB memory card into the camera. Now, look at the LCD screen to see how many photos are left – that’s the total number of images that you can fit in a 16GB card using those settings on your camera. 

If you change the size or format of the images in the camera menu, you’ll see that the number of images remaining is different. That’s how many photos a 16GB card would hold with these new settings. 

How to calculate memory card usage with a computer

Using your computer is a more precise way to calculate the number of pictures you can hold on a 16GB memory card. 

Start by connecting the card to the computer using a fast memory card reader or the computer’s card slot – if it has one. Then, look at the information on the card and see how much space is available. You’ll notice that the space is less than 16GB, even if it’s empty because the formatting takes some of the space. 

Now, unplug the card and take some pictures. Make them very different, some solid colors and others with lots of detail – this way, you’ll have a wide range to make an average. 

Connect the card to the computer again and see the file size of your photos. Now, divide the first number you got from the empty card by the average size of an image from your camera. 

The result will be the number of photos you can hold on a 16GB card. If you’re interested in investing in a bigger capacity card, check our article on how many photos a 128GB card can hold.

Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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