How Many Pictures Does 8GB Memory Card Hold?

Feb 10, 2024 | Photography Tutorials

Whether you’re a passionate photographer or want to snap endless vacation photos, you may wonder: how many pictures can 8GB hold?

With memory cards being a key component of digital cameras, knowing the image storage capacity of your 8GB SD card can help you better manage your photo shoots.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  •     How an 8GB SD card’s storage capacity depends on camera resolution and image settings
  •     Photo estimate ranges for different camera types like DSLRs, mirrorless, and smartphones
  •     Tips to calculate your 8GB card’s actual image capacity
  •     Ways to maximize the storage of your 8GB memory card
how many photos can 8gb hold

Understanding how many photos, images, or pictures your 8GB memory card can hold ensures you get the most out of every pixel.

Let’s dive into photo capacities for 8GB cards and how to optimize your camera’s image storage.

Storage Capacity Estimates by Camera Type

The number of photos an 8GB memory card can hold largely depends on your camera’s resolution and image quality settings. Here are rough estimates for different camera types:

DSLR Cameras

Most digital SLR cameras are over 16MP, with some ranging above 45MP. At higher resolutions, storage capacity is reduced. For a 20MP DSLR camera, you can estimate:

– 10MB per JPEG image

– 30MB per RAW image

An 8GB memory card could store approximately 800 JPEGs or 266 RAW files.  

Mirrorless/Compact Cameras

For smaller 16MP mirrorless or compact cameras, you can expect:

– 5MB per JPEG image

If your mirrorless camera is 16MP, you could store about 1600 JPEGs on an 8GB card. Storage capacity goes up with smaller-resolution compact cameras.

Smartphone Cameras

Today’s smartphone cameras are typically 8-12MP. Their images take up less space compared to DSLRs:

– 2MB per JPEG image

A 12MP smartphone camera can hold around 4000 JPEGs on an 8GB memory card.

Action Cameras

Action cameras like GoPros produce images and video in smaller sizes. Assuming 12MP resolution, these cameras average:

– 5MB per JPEG image

This allows an 8GB memory card to store close to 1600 JPEGs.

The critical point is that higher resolution cameras produce larger image sizes, reducing the storage capacity of the 8GB card compared to lower resolution smartphones and action cams.

Real-World Capacity Calculation Tips

Check the Card’s True Capacity

When you format a memory card, it takes up the stated storage capacity. To find the exact usable space:

  •     Insert the 8GB card into your computer’s card reader
  •     Open up File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac)
  •     View the properties of the memory card drive
  •     Note the available space – it may be around 7.5GB instead of a full 8GB

Calculate the Average Photo Size

Image sizes vary based on camera settings. To customize your estimate:

  •     Take at least 10 sample photos with your camera in JPEG and RAW formats
  •     Check the file size of the images on your computer
  •     Calculate the average file size for the JPEG and RAW photos
  •     Divide the card’s capacity by the average photo size

Use Your Camera’s Photo Counter

Inserting your 8GB card into your camera will display an estimate of the remaining shots. Note this number to determine the total capacity based on your camera’s settings.

Check the Photo Count Periodically

The remaining capacity will drop as you take photos and fill up the memory card. Note the difference between the starting and ending photo estimates to calculate your card’s capacity.

You can dial in a personalized photo storage estimate for your 8GB memory card and camera setup by checking these indicators.

Maximizing 8GB Card Storage

A person who reviews and deletes photos on a digital camera

While 8GB cards hold hundreds or thousands of photos depending on camera resolution, there are ways to maximize the number of images you can store:

Shoot at Lower Resolutions

Most digital cameras allow you to set the image resolution or megapixels (MP). Lower resolution settings result in smaller image sizes, for example:

  •     20MP camera produces ~10MB JPEG
  •     8MP camera produces ~4MB JPEG

Shooting at 8MP instead of 20MP would allow you to store twice as many photos on the 8GB card.

Use JPEG Instead of RAW

JPEG compression shrinks photos to smaller file sizes than uncompressed RAW images. On a 20MP camera:

  •     JPEG images average 10MB each
  •     RAW images average 30MB each

You can store 3x as many photos on the 8GB card using JPEG instead of RAW.

Delete Low-Quality Images

When shooting continuously, some photos turn out blurry or have a lousy composition. Delete these unwanted images in-camera to regain storage space on your memory card while shooting.

While 8GB cards are inexpensive, carefully managing resolution, file format, and unwanted images allows you to maximize your memory card storage when photographing with compact cameras.

Getting the Most from Your 8GB Memory Card

The number of photos an 8GB SD card can store varies based on camera resolution and settings.

Higher resolution DSLR cameras store fewer photos:  around 800 JPEGs or 266 RAW images for a 20MP camera.

Lower-resolution smartphones can store thousands of images: around 4000 JPEGs for a 12MP phone camera.

Using lower resolution settings, JPEG file format, and deleting unwanted photos can maximize the storage capacity of your 8GB memory card.

Checking your memory card’s capacity and calculating average photo file sizes provides a customized estimate for your camera. Depending on the camera and quality settings, an 8GB card can hold anywhere from 250 to 4000 images.

If you plan to shoot hundreds of high-resolution photos, a 16GB or 32GB card may be a better option. Otherwise, an 8GB memory card provides ample space for storing photos under the right conditions. Carefully manage settings and file formats to maximize your 8GB card’s storage potential.

Disclaimer: "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases."

Stacy WItten

Stacy WItten

Owner, Writer & Photographer

Stacy Witten, owner and creative force behind LensesPro, delivers expertly crafted content with precision and professional insight. Her extensive background in writing and photography guarantees quality and trust in every review and tutorial.






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