The number of minutes your memory card can hold depends on your recording settings. Shooting with 2.7K resolution holds around 3.6 minutes of video per GB, and 4K holds around 1.8 minutes of video per GB. Lower resolutions and bit rates can store longer videos per GB.
Hi, it’s nice to meet you. My name’s Larry, and I’m a passionate filmmaker with nearly a decade of experience using cameras. I’ve recorded with all types of cameras and have gone through hundreds of memory cards.
In today’s guide, I’ll explain how many minutes of video you can record per GB of storage space. This way, you can properly prepare for your next recording session without worrying about running out of space.
Let’s dive right in.
- What Factors Affect My Video Size?
- How Many Minutes is in a GB?
- How Many Minutes of Video Can My Memory Card Hold?
- How Many GB is 60 Minutes of Video?
- Closing Thoughts
What Factors Affect My Video Size?
How many minutes of video per GB depends on these factors:
- Frame rate
- Codec/File format
- Bit rate
You may think that the video resolution affects how many minutes of video each GB can hold, but this isn’t the case. File size actually depends more on your camera’s bit rate and frame rate.
This is because bit rate refers to speed and file size, while resolution refers to width and height. However, higher resolutions use a higher bit rate, so the two are correlated.
Let’s discuss each of these influential factors individually.
Frame rate is the frequency at which consecutive images are displayed or captured. For example, if you use 30 frames per second (FPS), your camera captures 30 images per second and strings them together to create the video.
When you increase your video’s frame rate, you’ll see a significant increase in your file size. For instance, if you go from 30 FPS to 60 FPS, you can expect your file size to double as well.
Codec & File Format
Codec is the program that is responsible for encoding and compressing your video into the desired video format. A lossless raw encoder will not compress your video, causing a massive file size.
Alternatively, a lossy codec such as H.264 can store the same video at a fraction of the file size. Different codecs are used to achieve a balance between storage space and video quality.
Bit rate is the number of bits per second recorded in the video file. As I mentioned in the previous section, a higher bit rate results in better video quality and larger file size.
Bit rate is expressed in megabits per second (Mbps). From 1080p HD to 4K video, you can expect a bit rate of 8 to 70 Mbps. Furthermore, a higher frame rate also leads to a higher bit rate.
How Many Minutes is in a GB?
The total file size of your video is primarily determined by your bit rate.
- Video file size = bit rate x duration
For example, filming in 1280×720, 60 FPS, 8-bit in HDV codec can record about 1.5 hours with 15 GB of storage space. On the other hand, recording in 1920×1080, 30 FPS, 8-bit in ProRes HQ codec might be as large as 170 GB for 1.5 hours.
Older cameras with less technical capability can record longer per GB than newer cameras using high resolutions and bit rates.
Let’s take a close look at how many minutes of video each GB can hold, depending on your recording settings.
|Resolution and Aspect Ratio||24 FPS Minutes/GB||30 FPS Minutes/GB||60 FPS Minutes/GB||120 FPS Minutes/GB|
To gather these numbers, I inserted a formatted 64 GB SD card into my GoPro camera, Then, I set the video resolution and frame rate based on the settings shown in the chart. The available storage space is shown on my LCD screen. So I divided the remaining time by 64 to calculate the number of minutes per GB of space on my SD card.
Keep in mind, these are approximate numbers. As mentioned previously, there are many factors affecting your video file sizes. The purpose of this chart is to give you an overview and an estimation of how many minutes your memory card can hold per GB.
How Many Minutes of Video Can My Memory Card Hold?
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of how many minutes of video your camera can hold per GB.
|Resolution||16 GB||32 GB||64 GB||128 GB||256 GB||512 GB||1 TB|
|1080p 16:9 120/240||28.8||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,800|
|1080p 16:9 24/30/60||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,843||3,600|
|1440p 4:3 60/120||28.8||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,800|
|1440P 4:3 24/30||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,843||3,600|
|2.7K 4:3 24/30/60||28.8||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,800|
|2.7K 16:9 60/120||28.8||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,800|
|2.7K 16:9 24/30||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,843||3,600|
|4K 4:3 24/30||28.8||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,800|
|4K 16:9 24/30/60||28.8||57.6||115.2||230.4||460.8||921.6||1,800|
I found these numbers by inserting each pre-formatted SD card size (16 GB, 32 GB, etc.) into my camera and letting it record until the entire memory card was filed. Then, I noted the length of the video.
On the left-hand column, the first number is the video resolution (eg. 1080p, 1440p, etc.). The second number represents the aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9). Lastly, the third number shows the frame rate (24,30, etc.).
How Many GB is 60 Minutes of Video?
60 minutes of video requires anywhere from 10 GB to 200 GB, depending on your bit rate and compression format.
The best way to find out how many minutes of video per GB your camera can record is by running a test. Simply take out your camera and record using your regular settings for 10 minutes. Then, look at how big the file size is by viewing the video details on your camera.
You can take the video file size and multiply it by 6 to see how many GB you need to record 60 minutes of video.
Let’s discuss a few questions you may have about how many minutes of video per GB.
How long is a 10 GB video?
A 10 GB video can range from just a few minutes to over an hour. The exact length of the video depends on the recording settings you use to film the video. Higher resolutions, frame rates, and bit rates result in shorter video per 10 GB. Furthermore, your compression method and file format impact how large the file size is.
How many minutes of 1080p video per GB?
Pure, uncompressed 1080p is about 5.6 MB per frame. As such, that’s about 140 Mbps or 8.4 GB per minute. If you use compression, you can record for longer than 8.4 minutes per GB of storage space.
How big is a 2-hour video file?
A 2-hour video file typically ranges from 32 GB to 64 GB. However, your recording settings dictate the video file size. Higher resolution videos require more storage space because they use a higher bit rate. As such, a 4K 2-hour long video would be significantly larger than a 480p 2-hour long video.
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how many minutes of video per GB your memory card can hold. The exact answer you’re looking for depends on your recording settings. Therefore, the best piece of advice I can give is for you to shoot a test video that’s 10 minutes long and see how large the video file size is.
But now I’d like to hear from you. Do you have any additional questions about video file size? Feel free to leave your recording settings in the comments, and I’ll do my best to estimate how many minutes of video your camera can record per GB of storage space.