rule of thumb

We get so many questions about types of storage devices, formats, and capacities that we figured that they are worthy of one comprehensive blog post.  Delivery devices are what you actually receive from us!   We’ll add some of the actual questions to our FAQ section, but for now, let’s dive in.  These are common questions we get from customers every day.


Q:  I have X number of photos.  How many will fit on Y device?

Rule of Thumb:  A picture scanned at 300 dpi averages about 500KB, while a 600dpi file averages about 1.5MB.

Translation:  We can fit about 9,000 of your pictures on a single DVD (300dpi) and even at higher 600dpi resolution, we can fit over 3,000 pictures on one DVD.  Our smallest USB flash drive holds 8GB of data, which translates to over 15,000 images at 300dpi and over 5,000 images at 600dpi.


Q:  I have X number of 35mm slides/negatives.  How many will fit on Y device?

Rule of Thumb:Our average slide file is around 6MB, with a normal range of 4-8MB depending on the images.  Since all of our slides are scanned at over 4,000 dpi, the file sizes are larger than for photos.

Translation:  We can get 700-800 images from slides or negatives on a single DVD.  And about 1,300 images on our smallest flash drive.


Q:  I have X number of videotapes?  How many will fit on Y device?

Rule of Thumb:  (and we are assuming all these tapes are full tapes) VHS tapes recorded in SP mode take up roughly 4GB of space.  Smaller camcorder tapes of various formats take slightly less space, about 2-3 GB.

Translation:  We generally put one movie on 1 single DVD, regardless of the size, so you usually get 1 DVD for each videotape.  We make exceptions for very short videos, or tapes that are not very full.  Regarding USB flash drives, we try to put as many movie files as possible on one flash drive to save you money.  30 VHS tapes will average about 120GB of total storage, which will just fit onto a 128GB flash drive.  The largest flash drive we provide to customers is a 256GB drive, which will hold about 50 movies on VHS.  Above 50 tapes, we will definitely steer you towards the external hard drive and away from DVDs and flash drives.


Q:  What are the actual capacities for each device?

DVD (standard):  4.7GB

DVD (dual-layer): 8.5GB

Flash drives:  8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64 GB, 128GB, 256GB

External hard drive: 1TB


Q:  What about special formats, like RAW and TIFF?

We do deliver RAW and TIFF files to customers who want them; these files are usually huge, in the 25-40MB range for a single image.  Professional photographers and editors tend to gravitate towards these formats, but the vast majority of our customer base (99%) do not need them.


Q:  Have you ever had an order come in that was too large for your devices?


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