How Much Does a 16GB SanDisk Memory Card Hold?

By Nicole Martinez

Like any storage medium, your memory card is formatted so that computers, cell phones and other devices can read it. Because of this formatting, which uses several hundred megabytes, your memory card has a true capacity slightly less than 16GB, but more than 15GB. The amount of data the card holds varies on the type and format of the files you wish to store.

Photos

It is difficult to judge how many photos your SanDisk memory card holds as so many factors affect photo file size. If you shoot in RAW mode, your files are larger than .JPEG files, and you can increase the quality, in megapixels, of your photos. This also increases the file size. For example, an 8-megapixel photo in .JPEG format has a file size of approximately 2MB, so you can save over 8000 photos of this file type to your memory card. The same photo, in RAW12 format, is 12MB and fewer than 1500 photos will fit on your memory card. If you lower the image quality in megapixels, you can save more photos to your memory card regardless of format.

Video

Videos also come in many different sizes. Some of them are high definition, so the number you can save to a 16GB memory card varies. For instance, a high-quality movie download of approximately 1GB will fit on your card less than 16 times due to the required formatting on the card. However, you can fit more than 1,600 30-second video clips or around 800 movie trailers on the same video card. You'll be able to fit approximately 30 full-length movies or 50 half-hour shows on your SanDisk memory card.

Music

According to speed test websites like thinkbroadband.com, a high-quality song in MP3 format has a file size of 5MB. However, shorter songs and those of lower quality may be smaller, while longer songs of higher quality are larger. Your 16GB card generally holds over 1600 high-quality songs. An entire audio CD can range between 50 and 100MB, depending on the number of songs, file format and quality.

Miscellaneous

Put virtually any type of file on your memory card, as long as there is space. For example, use a memory card in your smartphone to store apps. Many Android apps require only 1 or 2MB of space, so you can fit thousands on an empty SD card. Text documents, spreadsheets and even Web pages all vary in size, although they are typically less than 1MB in size, making them relatively easy to store in large quantities. Use your memory card to transfer installation files between computers. Calculate how the size of the files by remembering what 16MG represents --with 1024MB in 1GB, your SanDisk card offers approximately 1600MB of space.