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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. coolemt's Avatar
      coolemt -
      Thanks for that. Gonna be a tough decision.
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      id go with 16gb i got ipod touch forcall my storing needs which is just music
    1. Bill69's Avatar
      Bill69 -
      i think it is stupid there is no 64 gig model an ipod touch that thin can house it then they could have engineered it into this model.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      grrrr where is the 64 version?
    1. CMOSlabs's Avatar
      CMOSlabs -
      Going for the 32g. Always running out of space on all of my computers and gadgets, usb sticks, etc. Still looking for the ram upgrade for my brain
    1. Kyle Matthews's Avatar
      Kyle Matthews -
      Grr where is the 256GB solid state version?
    1. knguyen's Avatar
      knguyen -
      "At least, that's what I just talked myself into..." Lol. I have a 16GB 3GS and I rarely go over 4GB. I'm getting the 32GB this time to store some movies on it. I figured the screen will be awesome to watch movies on.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      grrrr where is the 64 version?
      Exactly! That and a bigger/better battery were probably my two most hoped for changes to the 4.

      Hmm, is there anyway we could bluetooth connect our old 3gs' to the 4 to act as a wireless external harddrive? THat way we can just keep it in our back, briefcase, cupholder, etc. and have additional space for media. Just popped into my head, haven't really thought all that in depth about it yet.

      Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Matthews View Post
      Grr where is the 256GB solid state version?
      Well for all intents and purposes, it is the solid state version. It's just missing that extra 224gb :P
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      StealthBravo Posts: 14,682
      grrrr where is the 64 version?


      That will next years model. Isn't that the apple way.
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      grrrr where is the 64 version?
      I second this. My music library is already too big for my 32GB 3GS as it is, you think they could have bumped up the storage for the iPhone 4, hopefully the bigger battery will make up for the shortcomings of the hard drive space.
    1. vedavis's Avatar
      vedavis -
      iP4 is probably so crammed that there isn't room. The chip makers are making strides in nanometer memory cells, so maybe next year.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Matthews View Post
      Grr where is the 256GB solid state version?


      when we've got mobile devices packing that much memory, i'll gladly ditch my laptop
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      I agree with you guys...I have had enough grief with space and having to uninstall apps or remove some music just to make room and not run out of memory...Going with 32GB...wish there was already a larger capacity
    1. akuamakana's Avatar
      akuamakana -
      thats why i love this site i was wondering where to order my phone and if i should get 16 or 32 now both wuestions are resolved thanks guys
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Matthews View Post
      Grr where is the 256GB solid state version?
      Quote Originally Posted by CMOSlabs View Post
      Going for the 32g. Always running out of space on all of my computers and gadgets, usb sticks, etc. Still looking for the ram upgrade for my brain
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      grrrr where is the 64 version?
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      I second this. My music library is already too big for my 32GB 3GS as it is, you think they could have bumped up the storage for the iPhone 4, hopefully the bigger battery will make up for the shortcomings of the hard drive space.


      I agree with you guys...I have had enough grief with space and having to uninstall apps or remove some music just to make room and not run out of memory...Going with 32GB...wish there was already a larger capacity
    1. Masterz1337's Avatar
      Masterz1337 -
      I'm planning on getting a GPS app for the iPhone 4 (as I'm sure many people upgrading from a 3G will), does anyone know what the average size is for one of the GPS Apps?
    1. iphone?3gs's Avatar
      iphone?3gs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post
      I'm planning on getting a GPS app for the iPhone 4 (as I'm sure many people upgrading from a 3G will), does anyone know what the average size is for one of the GPS Apps?
      It depends on the GPS app but it is usually over 1gb to about 3 or 4, but what do we know maybe, just maybe apple will include turn by turn navigation in iPhone 4 .... too much to ask i guess...
    1. EddieLeonard's Avatar
      EddieLeonard -
      Well I have 4.34 GB free on my 3GS 16GB with 5.74 GB being used for music, 235.8 MB for photos,3.45 GB apps and 552.8 MB in other. So I think I will be safe having a 16GB iPhone 4 or should I save a bit longer and get the 32GB?

      Help Please!!!
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Quote Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post
      I'm planning on getting a GPS app for the iPhone 4 (as I'm sure many people upgrading from a 3G will), does anyone know what the average size is for one of the GPS Apps?

      That depends on where you are and if you either get for just your country or for your region...average size for a single country is around 360MB hope that helps
    1. eZStaR's Avatar
      eZStaR -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Matthews View Post
      Grr where is the 256GB solid state version?
      Well played.

      But guys, there are many variables you have to consider, not EVERYONE have a thousand songs on their ipod, I personally have max of 400-500 [2.5-3 gb], and time to time I have 2-3 movies [1.5 GB] with 150 apps [7.8 GB] approx. That still leaves me about 2.5-4 GB free out of 16 on my itouch. [I can always take out apps to save space, not like Im using all the apps every day] I would say those remaining bits of memory should suffice for 720p video/pictures. You can always convert the 2.7 mb pictures to less memory and still retain most of the quality using a photography software.