I just got a new canon 6d, put in a 32 gb card and set shooting mode at RAW. The camera indicates that I can only take 160 pictures! I am able to store 1000+ images in RAW on my t5 rebel. What's going on?

  • 4
    Have you tried reformatting the card in the camera?
    – mattdm
    Jun 16 '14 at 0:46
  • 1
    If that doesn't work the next questions is, "Has the card previously been partitioned?"
    – Michael C
    Jun 16 '14 at 2:21
  • I use a 32Gb card in my 5D Mk III and can comfortably take over a thousand. At approx 2mp less than mine, you shouldn't have any issues. That said, the exact number will vary as what you take will affect each image file size. Format the card in-camera and see if that helps.
    – Mike
    Jun 16 '14 at 8:56

Canon 6D's RAW files are somewhere in 23 to 28 MB range (24-26 on average), depending on what settings (particularly ISO) you have and what theme you photograph.

Note: The size variance is due of Canon's CR2 has loseless compression inside as well as some JPG thumbnails/previews of the actual RAW data and also because, as I said, some settings (for example high ISOs) have a lower compression ratio (due of noise introduced).

So, let's say that we have on average 25 MB/file. On a 32 GB raw will fit 32*1024/25 ~ 1310 files.

1st, try to (re)format the card. Sometimes, the proprietary data put on card by one camera will cause problems on another cameras (Hasselblad cameras/PhaseOne backs are known to do this). See which is the empty space in GB on the card in the camera and in a computer. If the capacity is way off from 32 GB (expect some minimal difference for filesystem structures) then use the Disk Manager (on Windows) or an analogous tool on your operating system to see why the partition(s) is so small. If you will not see any 'unused space' or another partition which would justify the small capacity of the main partition then you have a fake. Return the product.


There are approximately 32768 megabytes in 32 gigabytes. Divide the larger number by the file size of each RAW image (eg: 70 megabytes a photo), and you will have how many the 32 gigabyte card will store. (468 by this example)

  • 1
    Storage devices (including memory cards) almost universally use decimal bytes rather than the binary prefixes often used in computing. On the one hand, this seems like a blatant inflation of the numbers. On the other hand, they're kinda right, since the metric prefixes are decimal. There's a movement among the nerd-class who care about this sort of thing to use MiB, GiB, and TiB instead of MB, GB, and TB, but it hasn't caught on in general. So, a 32GB card has 32,000,000,000 bytes, or 32,000 megabytes, or about 29.8GiB.
    – mattdm
    Dec 23 '16 at 18:24
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    Citation: Look at the bottom of this Sandisk page; it has a footnote which reads 1MB=1,000,000 bytes. X = 150KB/sec. 1GB=1,000,000,000 bytes.
    – mattdm
    Dec 23 '16 at 18:25
  • There's also some space used by the filesystem, and overhead due to cluster sizes etc. So the actual space available will be a bit less.
    – vclaw
    Dec 23 '16 at 18:41

1200. Page 103 of the user manual says an 8 GB card holds approximately 300 shots which average 23.5 MB. Just multiply by 4 and you get how many images fit in 32 GB.

The size is approximate as it depends on image content but the counter which tells you how many images fit is also based on the approximate size since it cannot know how images you have not shot yet will compress! Expect being able to shoot ±20% from the estimate.

Format your card then since it is most likely you have other files in there. Perhaps from your old T5, so it might be good to take a peek in case there are images you want to keep in there.

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