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  • How Big Are iPhone 4 Photos and Video?


    In trying to decide whether to go all-out for the 32GB iPhone 4 or save a hundred bucks and just get the 16GB, one of the considerations is photo and video size. My whole music library won't fit on any iPhone (or any iPod for that matter), so that's not going to be the deciding factor. But will I regret it if I have a small iPhone and decide to take some video? We don't yet know exactly how big the iPhone's 720p HD video will get, but fortunately, someone has done the calculations and the answer seems to be that you'll want all the space you can get if you're planning on shooting video. Feel free to skip the next few paragraphs if you want to avoid the math.

    Justin Horn at WhenWillApple? did a similar estimate last year when trying to decide whether to get a 16GB or 32GB iPhone 3GS. To determine file size for still images, he just does a simple scale up from the size of the files generated by the 3GS's camera: since the 3GS generates an average file size of 1.3 MB at 3.2 megapixels, Justin figures that the pictures taken on the 5-megapixel camera of the iPhone 4 will be about 2.7 MB each. Not that big a deal… even with a bunch of music and apps on your iPhone, you can probably take a couple hundred pictures before noticing it.

    In order to figure out video size, Justin goes to Apple's best frenemy Adobe. They have a guide up on their website that gives simple formulas for calculating the amount of space that video will take up. First, you determine the size of a single frame using the formula:
    Frame size K = ([Pixel Width x Pixel Height x Bit Depth] / 8) / 1024
    Figuring that the 720p HD camera will image at a bit depth of 24 colors, Justin calculated ( [960 x 720 x 24] / 8 ) / 1024 for 2025 KB per frame. Then, he multiplied that by 30 for the number of frames per second and got the figure of 60.75 MB for each second of uncompressed video. Justin had estimated a 60:1 compression ratio for the H.264 video on last year's 3GS but found that to be a bit high in practice. Assuming a 40:1 compression ratio made the math come out right, so he's making the same assumption for the iPhone 4's video compression, he ended up with 1.518 MB per second of compressed video. So if you want to store as much as 250 minutes of video on your iPhone 4, say 50 five-minute clips, he calculates it will take 21.73 GB (1518.75 KB/sec compressed * 250 min * 60 s / min * 1 MB / 1024 KB * 1GB / 1024 MB)

    Bottom line: unless you want to take four hours of HD video on one go on your phone, or carry that much around in your pocket, you'll probably be fine with the 16GB model. However, if you're taking a bunch of videos, and carry a lot of music, sideload a bunch of apps and have a whole library of books, 32GB might be a reasonable decision. At least, that's what I just talked myself into...
    This article was originally published in forum thread: How Big Are iPhone 4 Photos and Video? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 85 Comments
    1. bobby563's Avatar
      bobby563 -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      I believe they have made a limited number of 64Gb chips - but don't (yet) have the capacity to mass produce them in the numbers required.
      They said in December 2009 that they would start mass production in Q1 of 2010. But I don't know how that went.
      And even if Apple could've used them I think they wouldn't. Cuz they changed so much. they're gonna need the memory and RAM(which is only at 256mb) for the next iphone, to make it look even more appealing.

      BTW here's the link from toshiba:
      http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2009_12/pr1501.htm
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      It didn't - it was put back to Summer 2010 and the new plant won't be ready until early next year - I'm not sure if even that will give them enough capacity.
    1. TweegyBlink's Avatar
      TweegyBlink -
      Most of all App runs over the cloud, like for example music you don't need to store any of them on your iPhone just get an App like Pandora or any free radio stations and for movies there is a great App called Air video it allows you to stream videos in great quality from your computer at home.
      By using this method you won't have to store any large data on your iphone ))
    1. 12jmartinez's Avatar
      12jmartinez -
      wheres the 1 terabyte model?
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by TweegyBlink View Post
      Most of all App runs over the cloud, like for example music you don't need to store any of them on your iPhone just get an App like Pandora or any free radio stations and for movies there is a great App called Air video it allows you to stream videos in great quality from your computer at home.
      By using this method you won't have to store any large data on your iphone ))
      I refer to my answer in post #46....
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      So much talk of where's the 64gig... Most of the crap that's gonna be on the phone won't be used as much it'll just be there because you wanted to watch it and then you'll forget about it. I know of no other phone that houses 64gig capacity. Why be greedy? Just put what you REALLY need on it and get over it.
    1. gafu's Avatar
      gafu -
      Some of us DO forget that this is still considered a "phone" after all is said and done....maybe the need for more space shifts you towards an iPad?
    1. lovemyifone's Avatar
      lovemyifone -
      I was going to pre order the 16G but, after reading all of this I've been thinking if I just buy the 32G, I had every single iphone since day 1 , 1st generatin 8G, iphone 3g 16g, and 3gs 16g maybe this time I'll go with 32G. I have an idea I will get 30 pieces of paper and divide into 2 piles write 16g in 15 of those pieces of paper and 32G on the rest of the papers throw them in a jar and shake it and pick one , Yes yes I will be doing my own raffle sound crazyyy yes I know .
    1. badass1469's Avatar
      badass1469 -
      haha lol i was going for the 32 even before this, and now I'm definitely going for it.
    1. cjgonzales1900's Avatar
      cjgonzales1900 -
      Got a 32GB iPad 3G so I think the 16GB iPhone 4 is ok... Music and Apps is all i need on the iPhone.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      There is no reason to go bigger than 32gb. Do you really listen to gigs and gigs of music at one time? I sync a little bit of everything and when I am tired of it I sync different stuff.
    1. cjgonzales1900's Avatar
      cjgonzales1900 -
      Quote Originally Posted by gafu View Post
      Some of us DO forget that this is still considered a "phone" after all is said and done....maybe the need for more space shifts you towards an iPad?
      Agree. If you need more space for movies or videos buy the iPad and the Camera Kit. Then you can just import the Movies to the iPad and not fill up your iPhones data. Thats at least what i plan on doing.
    1. Raptors's Avatar
      Raptors -
      I need a 256GB iPhone in my life
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Grrr....where is my 1TB iPHone.
    1. dubt2's Avatar
      dubt2 -
      go big or go home
      32 black with a white back, just to b orginal
    1. p3eps's Avatar
      p3eps -
      Quote Originally Posted by MetallicaFan1991 View Post
      They should have put an micro SD card slot in, hopefully next year they'll put a micro SD slot and a 64GB option .
      They'll never put an SD Slot in... that means you can buy the cheaper option and top up the memory with a card. They'd rather tie you down... just like they do with the non-removable battery too!

      White or black? I have a few friends with the white 3GS and they're full of inground dirt on the back. Put it down on a table without a cover on, and it scratches and picks up dirt. I'm hoping with the glass back, the 4G won't suffer from this. I like the white front, so I'm going to risk a 32gb white one!
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Justin13 View Post
      After going back and watching the keynote, it appears that Apple is using real 720p HD (16:9 1280x720p vs the 4:3 I assumed at first). I have updated the page with the following calculations:
      I'm not good with math but did I read this right...118MB NOT GB of storage for every 1 minute of 720p video (roughly of course?) If so then the 16GB will def work for me. I read on here a few days ago where someone was claiming the phone would eat up about 1GB of 720p per minute! I wonder where he got that calculation from?
    1. mallenass's Avatar
      mallenass -
      -GOING.ALL.THE.WAY

      p.s:**thats what she said
    1. Evilsaint's Avatar
      Evilsaint -
      hmph last year i convinced myself to get the 16 gb cus i had the ipod nano 5g thinking id lisn to music on it while keeping my iphone empty it really dint work out that way for some reason i felt i must lisn to music from my iphone and ended filling it up :P
    1. Justin13's Avatar
      Justin13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dayvidpriddy View Post
      I'm not good with math but did I read this right...118MB NOT GB of storage for every 1 minute of 720p video (roughly of course?) If so then the 16GB will def work for me. I read on here a few days ago where someone was claiming the phone would eat up about 1GB of 720p per minute! I wonder where he got that calculation from?
      Yeah, based on my latest update on my post, 118 MBytes per min for full 1280x720 HD recording.

      I actually think this is the high end of the possible range of storage. If Apple is able to crank up the compression with the faster CPU in the iPhone 4 it could be as little as 79 MBytes per min. My guess is it will fall somewhere between those 2 numbers.

      Quote Originally Posted by Evilsaint View Post
      hmph last year i convinced myself to get the 16 gb cus i had the ipod nano 5g thinking id lisn to music on it while keeping my iphone empty it really dint work out that way for some reason i felt i must lisn to music from my iphone and ended filling it up :P
      Yeah, I was the same way with my iPhone 3G. Figured I would use my 80GB iPod which was filled to about 60GB for music so I could have all my music. I realized I had a lot of music that I just had to have, but never listened too. So making some better playlist I'm able to get by with just my iPhone for the past year and half or so.