Pixels and Bytes

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Confused about how much space media takes up?

Video and image file sizes range based on both their content, such as how much light, color, and detail the image is made up of, as well as the image compression used on that camera model. A five-minute video of a rock concert will likely take up more space than a five-minute video of a baby sleeping using the same camera.

Audio files are much more consistent in size because the primary factors are sample rate and bit depth, regardless of what the audio content is–meaning, a five-minute orchestral piece will be about the same size as a five-minute heavy metal song.

FILE SIZE AVERAGES

VIDEO – Recorded HD video (AVCHD,H.264) is approximately 8GB per hour.

AUDIO – One-minute of stereo CD-quality audio is 10 MBs, but the average MP3 of the same is 1 MB.

PHOTOS – Jpeg sizes for cameras used in Studio 300:

5MP (iPhone 4) = 1.5MB
8MP (iPhone 4S/5) = 2.4MB
12MP (Canon S110) = 3.6MB or 36MB*
16MP (Canon A2400) = 4.8MB
18MP (Canon T4i) = 5.4MB or 54MB*

*RAW photo file sizes, which take up more space.
Average photo file sizes based on SanDisk’s memory card chart.

Don’t Be Fooled — although many great cameras have high megapixel counts, this does not automatically mean better quality images. The main advantage to higher MP, or higher resolution, is the ability to make larger prints. Resolution does relate to quality, as higher resolution images generally result in sharper and more detailed images, while lower resolution images can look stretched and rough. However, two of the most important factors when it comes to image quality are the camera’s sensor and lens.