- Part 1: Background
- Part 2: How Many Photos Have I Taken?
- Part 3: What Cameras Have I Used?
- Part 4: How Much Disk Space Do My Photos Take?
- Part 5: How Have the Megapixels of Pictures Changed Over Time?
- Part 6: Conclusion
How Much Space Am I Using?
So, I’m taking more photos over time, as my behavior is more used to taking lots of digital photos and just storing them. And I’m adding different kinds of cameras into the mix. And we know, just from Moore’s Law, that those pictures are getting bigger (more pixels) with less compression (less artifacts). How much space was I adding to my library every year?
So, 2012 and beyond sent me off the deep end, and at first glance, it doesn’t look like I was adding much to the library on a year by year basis until the DSLR came in. But that’s not true – the DSLR additions have just squashed the scale. Let’s look only up to 2011, before the DSLR.
In 2011, I added nearly 3GB of pictures. Compare that to 2001, when I added 0.13GB (130MB) of pictures. I was definitely adding a ton more pictures, right? Yes, but that’s not the real story for why the library is bigger. From the first graph, in 2001 I added 286 pictures, and in 2011 I added 1,413 pictures.
Let’s do some math here:
Yes, in 2011 I added 494% more photos than in 2001. But in terms of disk space, I added 2,262% more photos. What’s going on?
The answer, of course, is quality. Remember from earlier how expensive flash was in 2000 compared to 2014. Also note that from a technology perspective, digital photography was still in its infancy in 2000, so the number of pixels available to use were much lower, (and I lowered them still by shooting at even lower quality than the camera could do). Over time, the quality of cameras has improved. In 2001, I was shooting mostly 640×480 images, which translates to 0.3 megapixel (MP) images. What does that mean? Let’s do some math (don’t worry, you won’t be tested on it)
640 dots per line, with 480 lines gives a total pixel count of 640 * 480 = 307,200 pixels
To get megapixels from that, you divide that number by 1 million (mega = million).
307,200 / 1,000,000 = 0.307 megapixels.
Now, let’s fast forward in time to 2011. In 2011, my iPhone 4 was shooting 5MP images (2592 × 1936). Going forward still, to 2014, my iPhone 5s was shooting 8MP images (2448 × 3264), and the DSLR was shooting 24mp images (6000 x 4000). Think about that. I’m taking pictures now that have roughly 78 times more information in the same picture!
(Back to Part 3)