How Many Pictures Can 256GB Hold? (Large Capacity Memory Card)

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Calculating how many pictures 256GB can hold depends on several factors, which we’ll explain in this guide.

A 256GB is a large capacity SD or CF card that’s popular with professional photographers, due to the number of pictures it can store and the relatively affordable price (when compared to larger capacity memory cards.) 

If you want to learn how many pictures a 256GB memory card can hold, first we need to look at some specific examples of 256GB memory card usage.

How Many Pictures Can a 256GB Memory Card Hold?

256GB Card in a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera

Using the EOS R5 mirrorless camera as an example, let’s calculate how many photos you can hold on a 256GB memory card. A raw file is approximately a 45.4 MB file, while a large JPEG is 13.5 MB. 

This means that by shooting only raw, you can hold 5638 photos, but if you shoot large JPGs, then you can hold 18962. If you choose to shoot raw+JPG, then you could hold 4346 photos. 

Learn more about what memory card to buy here.

256GB Card in a Mobile Phone

On average, a 12MP camera phone produces photos that are 3MB if JPGs or 19MB if they are shoot in raw. You could hold 85333 JPG photos or 13473 raw photos on a 256GB memory card. 

256GB Card in a GoPro

Assuming your GoPro delivers photos with a 10MB file size, then you could hold 25600 pictures on a 256GB memory card. To calculate the number on your camera, follow any of the techniques explained in the following sections. 

How to Calculate How Many Pictures 256GB Can Hold

The first thing you need to do is have the storage space and the file size in the same unit. Since photos are expressed in MB

, let’s calculate the number of MB on 256GB. 

1GB=1000MB, therefore 256GB=256oooMB. 

Now, divide 256000MB by the amount of MB of one of your photos. This will give you the total number of photos that you can hold on a 256GB memory card. 

For example, if the photos from your camera are 20MB, then 256000/20= 12800 photos. 

How to Check How Many Photos 256GB Can Hold on a Camera

Almost every camera, from a simple compact to a professional DSLR, will tell you how many shots you have left somewhere on the LCD panel. 

If you insert an empty 256GB memory card into your camera and check that number, you’ll know how many pictures you can hold with the current settings. If you change the size, resolution, or file format, the screen’s number will adapt to the new information and tell you how many of those images it can hold. 

How to calculate memory card usage with a computer

You can also check the number of photos that your 256GB card can hold by connecting it to your computer. Check the free space available on your empty card – it’s never the total 256GB. (Check how to format an SD card on a Mac.)

Now, check the file size of multiple photos taken with your camera – each image will have a different size, but you can make an average. 

Then, divide the free space on the card by the average file size of your photos, and you’ll know how many images you can hold on a 256GB memory card. 

If you also own smaller capacity cards, you can see how to check how many images a 16GB or 128GB card can hold in our other articles.

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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