Watch How to Squeeze 350,000 Photos on a 512GB Memory Card

Apr 7, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

Watch How to Squeeze 350,000 Photos on a 512GB Memory Card

Apr 7, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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D4s_512GB

It’s been over a year since the first 512GB memory cards were announced, but it was usually their price that drew most of the attention, and it’s quite understandable why considering they can cost more than some DSLRs.

While we all knew that 512GB is massive, Jared Polin (aka FroKnowsPhoto) really drives it home in this video. After sharing with his viewers that the D4s can shoot over 13,000 RAW files, he was asked how many JPEGs could fit in the card.

It took a while for the card to load due to its ridiculous capacity but, the results show that some people will never again have to swap their memory card. EVER.

In order to get the most out of the card Jared set the image quality on the D4s to JPEG basic and the size to small. The result was a jaw-dropping 347,000 photos remaining on the camera’s top LCD. Yes, that’s over one third of a million photos in just one card.

Now take into account that you will usually be able to get more photos than the LCD show, I’d guesstimate that I get 5-10% more, and you’re awfully close to 400k. The D4s, along with the Canon 1D X, has the sturdiest shutter of all DSLR and is rated to last 400,000 actuation. In other words, you could pretty much wear out the shutter before having to use a fresh memory card!

YouTube video

Chances are you will have a hard time finding a D4s owner that shoots just JPEG basics, but while this video was made out of curiosity rather than a recommendation to do so, there are many beginners and enthusiasts that do in fact shoot this way.

These photographers will be able to get fewer photos out of their cameras due to the standard sensor in beginner cameras containing 24MP compared to the 16MP of the D4s. On the other hand, low-end DSLR shutters are rated to only 100,000 actuations so one card could go through four cameras.

Most people agree that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, and this card has enough space for all your eggs, future eggs and chickens.

If for whatever reason you fancy this concept, you can’t be too picky when it comes to choosing as there are only two 512GB memory cards currently available – Lexar’s $880 CF card Jared Used and the $600 SD card made by SanDisk.

At less than half the capacity but at a fraction of the size, SanDisk recently announced the world’s highest capacity MicroSD card packing 200GB.

Obviously these cards weren’t made for us to squeeze a lifetime worth of photos on a single card. Instead they aim at meeting the demands of ever increasing sensor sizes and Ultra High Definition video resolutions. Large sensors such as the D810’s 36MP or the 5DS/R’s 50MP, and 4K video are becoming rather common and neither SanDisk nor Lexar are willing to be the bottleneck of today’s megabyte-gobbling technology.

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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7 responses to “Watch How to Squeeze 350,000 Photos on a 512GB Memory Card”

  1. Sean St Denis Avatar
    Sean St Denis

    Is that RAW format?

    1. Eddie Riggs Avatar
      Eddie Riggs

      I have two 256GB SD cards for 2 different cameras. One an SLR, and one a compact point and shoot. My laptop only has 1TB of storage. The biggest issue I have is transfer speed. It takes 30 minutes to transfer 50GB from the SD card to the laptop. If you filled up a 512GB card, I would imagine the transfer taking all night. These cards will make it possible for people to record their daily lives on something like a GoPro for months at a time. Like Microsoft’s original Lifecam, but in 4K resolution with HD sound. The next big change will be computers with 1Petabyte of storage

    2. Thomas Jakob Brablec Avatar
      Thomas Jakob Brablec

      13, 800 RAW, 347, 000 Basic JPEG.

  2. Dan K Avatar
    Dan K

    does that mean Mr “I shoot raw” shoots JPG small?

  3. Ezra Ekman Avatar
    Ezra Ekman

    Using this card for anything other than video (and you’d be better served for video with a solid-state drive in an external device, such as something by Atomos) is foolish. Although it is more rare for name brands, memory cards do fail. Using a card with such a large capacity is putting your eggs all in one basket, and is asking for trouble, in my opinion. It also ignores the best practice of always formatting your card in-camera before a new shoot, running the risk of corruption introduced by using the same card in multiple devices. Again, it’s rare, but it does sometimes happen.

    Best-case with this card: you won’t miss a shot due to card-swapping, though this can be managed without a problem if you pay attention while shooting. Worst-case scenario with this card: you lose every image you shot during a session, instead of just a few of them.

  4. Markus Gröger Avatar
    Markus Gröger

    Sean St Denis, did you read the article? 100k RAW, 347k small standard jpg.
    Due to its price, these cards doesn’t make sense at all right now. I think today the the nist capacity you gain for the best price are 128gb sd cards for aprox. 100USD/EUR

    1. Thomas Jakob Brablec Avatar
      Thomas Jakob Brablec

      Just a correction: 14k RAW.