A photographer’s worst nightmare is accidental photo loss. And recovering the deleted photos could be a daunting task. I found myself in the same situation a year ago when I lost my all-time favorite photos and movies to a similar instance. I used to take photos through my personal Nikon D70. I lost all those once-in-a-lifetime shots after accidentally swiping my CF card (used in the camera) clean. I scrambled to get hold of those pictures again. Thankfully, I was able to find a way out of this mess. This was Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery software. This tool was able to able to get my deleted files back with no loss in quality, and I was out of my distress.
Deletion on Camera Cards (or Hard Drives)
It is a widely accepted myth that files are permanently gone after deletion from the Trash bin. The truth lies in the fact that you do not actually lose them, but only a reference to them. When you delete a file on your Mac hard drive, Mac OS removes an entry that points to this file in your system. The contents of the file will be overwritten if you happen to save something new on this drive. Fortunately, Mac OS Extended (HFS+) file system is equipped to avoid using recently-freed space. So, these files won’t be affected for months or even years.
Likewise, when you perform deletion on camera cards, a reference to the deleted files is lost so you cannot access them. Until your files are overwritten, there is a good chance of recovering them successfully using the right recovery program. This is what I did with Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery. It flawlessly recovered hundreds of pictures deleted a month or two back.
Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery: A Closer Look at User Interface
When I started Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery Mac, the user interface that came up was clear and concise. It provided three options on the main screen: ‘Recover Photo, Audio, and Video’, ‘Create Image’, and ‘Resume Recovery’. A tool tip was given at the bottom that helped me how to get started with the tool. The interface looked easy to use and learn as opposed to those large enterprise apps.
I quickly started browsing through the options, and it looked all familiar. The definitions provided for each option saved considerable time and effort. It is easy even for an average Mac user like me to navigate this kind of interface and understand its basic functionality.
NOTE: Since I am a Mac user, I am using the Mac version of this softwares. The windows version of this program is also available, and the interface is the same.
Testing the Photo Recovery Software
It was time to put Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery to work. I tested the software by running it against the CF card of my Nikon D70. The card had plenty of photos that I accidentally deleted in a frenzy to reclaim some free space. I inserted the card into a card reader and connected this card reader to my Mac machine where the software was pre-installed. Ran the tool and selected ‘Recover Photo, Audio, and Video’ option.
The next screen allowed me to select the card from the list of drives in the main interface. Soon, I started scanning my 4 GB card by clicking the ‘Scan Now’ button. It took 1 hour for the card to complete the scan. And this time varies depending on the size and speed of the card. This was quite expected as the card had 500+ pictures. Luckily, the software showed up every picture that was missing on the camera card. I was happy to see those pictures, intact without any sign of corruption, even though they were deleted a couple of months back.
My second test involved an external hard drive that was attached to my Mac. This drive contained a few files that I rarely used. I had already backed up the data to my MacBook’s internal hard drive. I ran Disk Utility to wipe this drive using the Gutmann algorithm (i.e. 35-pass erase option). This time the software couldn’t get the job done. This, I believe, was much to my expectation as wiping would have overwritten the drive several times. Overall, the tool worked just fine to get back all of my photos from the memory card.
The tool also features two useful options: ‘Create Image’ and ‘Resume Recovery’. The former can be used to create an identical image of any attached storage media device while the latter enables you to restart recovery using the saved image of your media.
- Excellent preview feature after scanning
- Lucid user interface looks more familiar
- Add-on features like ‘Create Image’ and ‘Resume Recovery’
- Seems a bit Pricey
- Scanning may take long for large storage devices
The software worked a treat by allowing me quickly recover all my precious photos from my CF card. I am certain that this fabulous little program will be the best bet for users of all skill levels because of its straightforward and easy-to-learn interface. The tool is great for everyday scenarios involving photo loss, such as accidental deletion of photos, formatting of camera cards, and more.
You can download the trial version or buy this software: Download Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery (Mac)
About the Author
Vishal Chaudhary is an emerging blogger and a hobbyist photographer who contributes on behalf of Stellarinfo.com.
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