Rule of thumb for number of pictures on memory card?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Susan P, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Susan P

    Susan P Guest

    Can some one here please advise me.

    I am referring of cameras in the 4 to 5 Megapixel category which
    would cost about $250 new.

    My question is: Is there a rule of thumb I can apply to work out how
    many pictures I can store in a certain capacity memory card, such as
    64 MB?

    I saw some charts for two different cameras and they seemed to have
    quite different numbers. I was trying to match for the same sort of
    quality and the same size image/print.

    Is there a rule of thumb I can apply? Something like .... "a pretty-
    good quality color 8x10 stored as a jpeg will need 2 MB".

    (Of course that figure is just guesswork.)

    Thank you.
     
    Susan P, Jun 29, 2005
    #1
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  2. Susan P

    Bob Williams Guest


    Good Guess!
    The number of MB used by a camera to record, say a 4 MP image, depends
    on several things.
    1. The amount of detail in the image itself.
    2. The format (tiff, jpeg)in which the image is saved.
    We will assume jpeg.
    3. The amount of compression selected by the user.
    We will assume finest quality jpeg.
    4. The compression algorithm used by the camera manufacturer.
    We will assume Canon, Nikon, Olympus (Kodak compresses more than

    most others).
    Having said all that, an "average" 4MP image saved in finest quality
    jpeg format will require about 1.5 - 2.0 MB of memory
    That will make a high quality 8x10 print.
    Bob Williams
     
    Bob Williams, Jun 29, 2005
    #2
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  3. Susan P

    parisphotog Guest

    Buy a good camera and as you change res it'll tell you how many shots
    you can shoot on your card.

    Shoot at high res and get a card around 512 Megs or just a bit lower.
    Cards are really cheap these days. Why skimp?

    Don

    Camera manuals, Photoshop, photographers monographs:
    http://www.1world-design.com/book/index.html
     
    parisphotog, Jun 29, 2005
    #3
  4. Susan P

    Ron Hunter Guest

    There are several factors that determine how many pictures will fit on a
    card of given size, and some of them aren't easily quantifiable. First,
    you need to know the parameters your camera uses for the compression,
    the setting (if any) of the camera for compression, and then the actual
    compression is affected by the actual subject matter of the image.
    My camera is a 4 mp, and files range from about 300k to nearly 2 meg.
    If I were going to estimate the number of pictures on a card, I would
    estimate 1.5 meg for each 4 mp picture, and 2 meg for each 5 mp picture.
    That should give you a conservative estimate of how many pictures you
    can get on a card.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jun 30, 2005
    #4
  5. The camera manual will tell you that. Also some cameras will display
    the number of images that will fit onto a given memory card.
     
    Nathan Gutman, Jul 1, 2005
    #5
  6. Susan P

    Guest

    Susan,

    The number of pictures stored will first depend on which file size you
    have your camera set to store pictures at. At the largest file size
    2272x1704 you will get 32 +/- pictures.
    At this point let me tell a little story. Just after I bought my 4 mp
    camera my wife and I drove from San Francisco to Seattle. As a newbie,
    I left the camera set at the factory setting and every picture I took
    could only be printed maybe at 5x7. I was so bummed out. I had some
    awesome pictures to view but cannot print easily or well. So I now
    shoot at the largest setting my camera will shoot. Now I can upload a
    picture to a developeer online and get 20"x30" posters if I choose.
    And because storage chips are sooo cheap now, I have several.

    Good luck good shooting
    Gray G.
     
    , Jul 1, 2005
    #6
  7. Susan P

    Stewy Guest

    For 4 and 5 megapixel cameras the (approximate) rule of thumb would be a
    simple 1mb for each picture - a 256mb card will hold around 250 pictures.
     
    Stewy, Jul 2, 2005
    #7
  8. : In article <96844879048A772A58@66.250.146.159>,

    : > Can some one here please advise me.
    : >
    : > I am referring of cameras in the 4 to 5 Megapixel category which
    : > would cost about $250 new.
    : >
    : > My question is: Is there a rule of thumb I can apply to work out how
    : > many pictures I can store in a certain capacity memory card, such as
    : > 64 MB?
    : >
    : > I saw some charts for two different cameras and they seemed to have
    : > quite different numbers. I was trying to match for the same sort of
    : > quality and the same size image/print.
    : >
    : > Is there a rule of thumb I can apply? Something like .... "a pretty-
    : > good quality color 8x10 stored as a jpeg will need 2 MB".
    : >
    : > (Of course that figure is just guesswork.)
    : >
    : For 4 and 5 megapixel cameras the (approximate) rule of thumb would be a
    : simple 1mb for each picture - a 256mb card will hold around 250 pictures.

    My advise is to choose some subject at home that has lots of contrasting
    elements (like a bookshelf full of books, I used a wide angle view of my
    very full DVD shelves) and shoot until the memory card is full. I did
    this with my Ist-DS and found that even tho a new card in the camera
    shows a capacity of 164 images, I took 326 images before the camera
    would take no more. So I always state my capacity as a range of images.
    In general I figure that the capacity shown on the camera when I give it
    an empty card is the low end, and the high end seems to be about double
    that. This rule of thumb works both for my Ist-DS and for my coolpix 2200
    (backup camera). But I suggest that you try it and see for yourself.

    BTW, the reason I mention a high contrast image for the test because the
    more contrasting detail in an image the less compressing will be done in
    the JPG conversion. Of course this means that if your images have large
    low contrast areas, or large single color areas, you may be able to get
    even more images on the card because the single color areas can compress
    much more efficiently. But it is better to assume a capacity that is
    "likely" and be pleasantly suprized in the field than the reverse. :)

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
     
    Randy Berbaum, Jul 2, 2005
    #8
  9. From: "Stewy" <>


    | For 4 and 5 megapixel cameras the (approximate) rule of thumb would be a
    | simple 1mb for each picture - a 256mb card will hold around 250 pictures.

    Just a comment...
    You need to get you nomenclature correct.

    1mb = 1 megabit
    1MB - 1 megabyte

    1mb <>1MB
     
    David H. Lipman, Jul 2, 2005
    #9
  10. M = mega = 1,000,000
    m = milli = 1/1000

    See SI units prefix definition for details
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_prefix
     
    Harlo Peterson, Jul 2, 2005
    #10
  11. From: "Harlo Peterson" <>


    |
    | M = mega = 1,000,000
    | m = milli = 1/1000
    |
    | See SI units prefix definition for details
    | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_prefix
    |

    Ah... someone paying attention :)
     
    David H. Lipman, Jul 2, 2005
    #11
  12. Oliver Costich, Jul 3, 2005
    #12
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