How Many Photos Can 256GB Hold?

You can fit around 42,670 photos on a 256GB storage device, assuming the photos have a resolution of 20 megapixels each and are in the JPEG format. This number will change accordingly if you have a higher or lower resolution.

I’m Caleb, and I have five years of photography experience. I specialize in sports photography, and I’ve shot many games across several sports, ranging from basketball to soccer.

In this article, I’ll go over how many photos you can fit on a 256GB memory card or hard drive and what factors will raise or lower that number.

If you’re wondering whether you have enough storage, keep reading for an easy-to-understand explanation.

How Many Photos Can 256GB Hold?

If you’re shooting on a 20-megapixel camera, you can store approximately 42,670 JPEG format pictures on a 256GB memory card. 

The amount of photos you can keep on a single device primarily comes down to the file format and the resolution. Twenty megapixels is a middle-range resolution, and many cameras today fall somewhere near that number.

However, many older cameras will have a lower resolution than this, while more recent cameras trend higher. The number listed above is just an estimate, and the actual number may be higher or lower depending on what resolution your specific model of camera is.

If you’re not sure what resolution your camera has, you should do a quick search for your model’s product information. Resolution is usually one of the first specs shown on product pages.

How Many RAW Photos Can 256GB Hold?

It’s not just resolution that determines file size. It’s also the format. The RAW file format allows for greater control during the editing process, and many professional photographers prefer it. However, the format also creates much larger files.

If you’re shooting in RAW format, you’ll only be able to hold around 4,270 photos on the same 256GB memory card.

Of course, that’s still enough space for most photographers to work comfortably. But if you’re in a situation where you can’t move your photos to a computer for a while, like if you’re traveling, you may want to bring extra storage if you’re shooting in RAW.

RAW file sizes also increase at higher resolutions, just like their JPEG counterparts. So you might also want to consider extra storage if you’re shooting in this format and using a very high-resolution camera.


Here are some other frequently asked questions about memory cards and storage.

Is 256GB Enough Storage?

For the vast majority of photographers, yes. Unless you’re shooting high-resolution RAW files or working with video, you usually won’t have to worry about running out of space with a 256GB memory card.

How Many Videos Can 256GB Hold?

That depends on too many different factors to answer. Video file sizes vary greatly and are impacted by the length in addition to file format and resolution.


A 256GB memory card can fit about 42,670 JPEG format photos, but that’s only an estimate that assumes a 20-megapixel resolution. Obviously, if you’re shooting RAW, the file capacity also goes down significantly.

Your mileage may vary depending on your camera’s resolution, so check your specs before deciding if you need more or less storage.

What’s the largest memory card in your own collection? Tell us in the comments!

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