How many photos can 1TB hold? (& how much video)

How many photos can 1TB hold

When it comes to professional photography, having large storage space is essential for storing high-resolution photos and videos. While 1TB might seem excessive for normal users, it is a standard capacity for passionate photographers. In this article, we will explore the answer for the question: How many photos can 1TB hold? Additionally, we will explore the storage capacity for videos, providing valuable insights for photographers looking to manage their digital media efficiently.

How many photos can 1TB hold?

With one terabyte of storage, you can store about:

  • 250,000 pictures taken with a 12MP camera or
  • 250 movies or 500 hours of HD video

Keep in mind that 1TB in memory card or hard disk is never equal 1000GB usbale storage. This is beacause when formatted and used in devices, part of the actual capacity is reserved for file systems and other management information, resulting in a lower available capacity. In addition, memory card manufacturers usually use a decimal counting system (base 10) to measure capacity, while computers use a binary counting system (base 2), which can also lead to differences in displayed capacity between the memory card and the computer. Therefore, the available capacity of a 1TB memory card is typically only about 930GB.

Assuming your photos are in raw format with an average size of 40MB, a 1TB memory card can store up to 23,250 photos. On the other hand, if your photos are in JPEG format with an approximate size of 5MB, a 1TB memory card can store up to 186,000 photos.

How many photos can 1TB hold
How many photos can 1TB hold

What affects photo file size?

The size of photos can be affected by several factors below:

Camera resolution

Resolution is one of the most important factors that affects the size of photos. Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image. The more pixels there are, the higher the resolution, and the larger the file size will be.

For example, consider a camera with a 12-megapixel resolution. This indicates that every photo you capture with it contains a total of 12 million pixels. Simillar to 16MP, 24MP, 48MP and so on.



Compression is the process of reducing the file size of an image by removing or simplifying some of its data. Compression is commonly used to make images easier to store, send, and share, as smaller file sizes take up less space and can be transmitted more quickly.

There are two types of compression: lossless and lossy. Lossless compression reduces the file size without lowering quality. This is achieved by removing redundant data and compressing the remaining data. When a losslessly compressed image is uncompressed, it will be exactly the same as the original image.

Lossy compression, on the other hand, reduces the file size by removing some of the image data. This results in a smaller file size, but also a loss of image quality. The amount of data that is removed depends on the level of compression applied. Higher levels of compression will result in smaller file sizes, but also more loss of quality.

Photo file format

File format refers to the way in which an image is saved and stored on a computer or other device. Different file formats have different advantages and disadvantages, and are suitable for different applications.

Some common file formats for digital photos include JPEGPNG and RAW. JPEG is a compressed format that is widely used for sharing and displaying photos, as it has a relatively small file size and can be easily viewed on most devices. PNG is a lossless format that supports transparency, making it useful for graphics and web design. RAW is an uncompressed format that contains all of the data captured by the camera’s sensor, making it ideal for professional photographers who need to edit their photos extensively.

Different types of compression
Different types of photo compression

Color depth

Color depth is the number of colors that can be represented in an image. It is usually measured in bits per pixel (bpp) or bits per channel (bpc). The more bits per pixel or channel, the more colors can be represented, and the larger the file size will be.

For example, a black-and-white image has a color depth of 1 bpp, as it only needs to represent shades of gray. An 8-bit color image can represent up to 256 different colors, or a 24-bit color image can represent up to 16.7 million different colors.

Color depth comparison
Color depth comparison

ISO and noise

One little-known fact is that ISO and noise also contribute to increasing image size. Increasing ISO when taking photos results in a higher amount of noise, making image compression more complex and less effective. On the other hand, raising ISO helps the camera capture more details, thereby increasing the image size as well.

Low Iso vs High Iso
Low Iso vs High Iso


The content of an image can also affect its size. Images with more detail and complexity tend to be larger in size than simpler images. This is because images with more detail require more data to represent accurately.

In addition, the color content of an image can also affect its size. Images with more colors or a higher color depth require more data to represent accurately, resulting in a larger file size. For example, a photo of a rainbow will be larger in size than a photo of a plain blue sky.

Image content
Image content

How many hours of video can 1TB hold?

The amount of hours of video that can be stored on a 1TB hard drive depends on several factors such as the video resolution, frame rate, bit rate, and compression format. Here are some estimates for common video formats and settings:

  • Standard definition (SD) video at 480p resolution and 30 frames per second (fps) with MPEG-4 compression: Approximately 250 hours of video.
  • High definition (HD) video at 720p resolution and 30 fps with H.264 compression: Approximately 125 hours of video.
  • Full HD video at 1080p resolution and 30 fps with H.264 compression: Approximately 83 hours of video.
  • 4K Ultra HD video at 2160p resolution and 30 fps with H.265 compression: Approximately 20 hours of video.
How much video can 1tb hold
How much video can 1TB hold?

What affects video file size?

Beside the resolution mentioned above. The size of videos can be variable by several factors below:

Frame Rate

Frame rate refers to the number of individual images, or frames, that are displayed per second in a video. It is typically measured in frames per second (fps). The frame rate of a video affects how smooth and fluid the motion appears on screen. A higher frame rate generally results in a smoother motion but the file size is bigger, while a lower frame rate may result in more stuttering or choppiness but the file size is smaller.

Setting up frame rate per second (FPS)
Setting up frame rate per second (FPS)

Bit Rate

Bit rate is the amount of data used to represent in a certain amount of time in the content. It is typically measured in bits per second (bps) or kilobits per second (kbps), or megabits per second (Mbps). Bit rate is an important factor in determining the quality and file size of digital video and audio.

For example, the standard bit rate for Full HD video is 8 Mbps, which means that every second, 8 megabits (Mb) or 1 megabyte (MB) of data is represented.

Video bit rate
Video bit rate


A codec (short for encoder/decoder) is a software algorithm that is used to compress and decompress digital video and audio files. Different codecs use different compression techniques, which can affect the size of the resulting file. The popular video codecs used today include H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), VP9, and AV1.

Revolution of video codec
Revolution of video codecs

Audio (if applicable)

Audio is an essential component of video, which can significantly impact the overall size of the video. Typically, higher audio quality corresponds to larger file sizes. The size of the audio can be estimated separately if the audio bit rate and duration are known within the video.

Audio can significantly increase the file size of a video
Audio can significantly increase the file size of a video

FAQ (Frequently asked questions)

1. What is the most effective compressed format for photos?

Despite JPEG is the most popular compressed format today. WEBP is considered one of the most efficient compressed formats for photos. WEBP uses a more advanced compression algorithm than JPEG, which means that it can achieve higher compression rates while maintaining similar image quality. This can result in smaller file sizes for WEBP images compared to JPEG images. However, WEBP may not be as widely supported by image editing software as JPEG.

2. Which is more important between bit rate and resolution for videos quality?

In general, both resolution and bit rate are important for video quality, and both factors should be optimized based on the intended viewing experience and available resources. For example, if the video is intended for viewing on a large screen or in a situation where fine details are important, higher resolution may be more important than bit rate. However, if the video is intended for streaming or transmission over a limited bandwidth network, lower bit rates may be necessary to ensure smooth playback.


We have explored how many photos can 1TB hold and how much video can be stored. Along with that, we have also discussed the factors that affect the file size of an image and video. Hopefully, you have gained useful information to make the most suitable choices for yourself.

Contact Kolorheaven immediately via the Hotline at +84.899.779.111 or email: if you want to use our services.

Contact Info:



KOLORHEAVEN is a powerhouse in the realm of real estate photo editing, driven by an unwavering passion for perfection. Our services encompass Real Estate Photo Editing, Floor Plan design, Video Editing, and 3D Visualization, making them a comprehensive solution for all your creative needs.


Don`t copy text!