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What Does GB Mean in Photography? Tech Guide to GB Storage, Conversion

If you’ve seen GB on specs for your computer or phone, you might be wondering “What does GB mean?” What is GB on phones and laptops? And how are they used?

GB is an abbreviation for gigabyte. The term gigabyte is often used in photography, phones, and computers. A gigabyte is a unit of measurement that refers to 1000 megabytes of storage space or data. A GB of storage can hold between 30 and 600 photos. And between 2 and 4 minutes of video per GB.

what does gb mean

Here’s more about how many photos and videos can be stored per GB.

What are Gigabytes?

A gigabyte is a unit of measure for storage devices.

A gigabyte is equivalent to the following units of measure:

  • 1,000 megabytes (decimal) or 1,024 megabytes (binary)
  • 1,000,000 kilobytes (decimal) or 1,048,576 kilobytes (binary)
  • 1,000,000,000 bytes (decimal) or 1,073,741,824 bytes (binary)
  • 8,000,000,000 bits (decimal) or 8,589,934,592 bits (binary)

You’ll notice that the number of megabytes in a gigabyte differs by numeration (decimal vs binary). While they are close, there is a notable difference. Here’s more about the difference between binary and decimal numeration.

How Many Bytes in a Gigabyte?

A gigabyte is a unit of measurement that refers to 1,000,000,000 bytes or 1,073,741,824 bytes. A gigabyte is equal to 1024 MB (megabytes).  

How Many Bits in a Gigabyte?

One byte equals 8 bits. A gigabyte contains 8,000,000,000 bits (decimal) or 8,589,934,592 bits (binary).

Why are there two values of a gigabyte? The value and capacity of a gigabyte depend on the numeration of decimal (Base 10) or binary (Base 2).

Base 10: GB Size and Definition (Decimal)

Decimal numeration is base 10.

  • 1 GB = 1 000 000 000 bytes (= 10003 B = 109 B)

Base 2: GiB Size and Definition (Binary)

Binary numeration is base 2.

  • 1 GiB = 1 073 741 824 bytes (= 10243 B = 230 B).

What is GiB?

GiB denotes a gibibyte. A gibibyte is 230 bytes.

Often the abbreviation GB is used interchangeably for both GB and GiB.

what is a gb

What Does 4GB Mean?

4GB means four gigabytes. It refers to the storage capacity of a device or SD card. The number refers to how many gigabytes of data can be stored on the device.

Similar expressions include 32GB, 128GB, 256GB. They also refer to the number of gigabytes that can be stored on the device.

You might see these capacity specs on flash drives, SD cards, external hard drives, phones, and computers.

What Are GB on Phones?

GB on a phone measures the data storage capacity. GB is a common specification on cell phones.

For example, the new iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with the following storage capacity: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB.

My phone is the iPhone 12 Pro Max and it has 256GB.

In photography, GB refers to the memory on a camera’s memory card for storing footage and photos.

What is GB on a Laptop Computer?

GB on a laptop and hard drive refers to either the storage capacity of a hard drive or the RAM memory for the device. Video cards and RAM sticks are measured in GB.

Many computers now measure storage capacity in terabytes (TB).

My desktop computer has the following specs.

  • Physical Memory (RAM): 64GB
  • SSD Hard drive: 1TB (930GB)
  • HDD Hard drive: 8TB (7.28TB)
  • HDD Hard drive: 4TB (3.64TB)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti: 12GB GDDR6X graphics memory

I use the SSD hard drive for programs and the operating system. The two HDD drives are for data.

Gigabyte Abbreviation

The most common abbreviation for gigabyte is GB.

Gigabyte is also abbreviated as gig. As in, “How many gigs does your new MacBook Pro have?”

In technology, GB stands for gigabyte.

What does GB Mean in Text?

The most common meaning for GB is gigabyte. But it can have many other meanings in text.

In texting, GB can also mean Good-Bye, Great Britain, God Bless, Gravity Bong (cannabis), and Going Bananas.

what does gb mean in text

Learn more with our GoPro SD Card Guide

8 Metric Multiple-Byte Units

There are 8 multiple-byte units of measurement.

Other multiple-byte units include:

  • Kilobyte (kB): 1000 bytes
  • Megabyte (MB): 10002 bytes
  • Gigabyte (GB): 10003 bytes
  • Terabyte (TB): 10004 bytes
  • Petabyte (PB): 10005 bytes
  • Exabyte (EB): 10006 bytes
  • Zettabyte (ZB): 10007 bytes
  • Yottabyte (YB): 10008 bytes

The other unit of measure is Legacy, base 2.

However, since most computer hardware and applications work on base 2 numeration, these metric base 10 numbers don’t correspond exactly. The relative deviation grows by 2.4% for every three orders of magnitude.

Understanding the size and nuances of a gigabyte is helpful when planning your SD memory card and the best camera resolution.

what does gb stand for

Keep reading: How Many KB in a GB? Guide to All File Sizes

Your Turn

Have a question about the GB unit of measurement? Have an additional fact or details to share? Join me in the comments.