Updated: Apr 30, 2019
Ok, no matter how careful you are as a personal, how many backups you may possess, there's always a risk of losing your valuable data in the case of accident (or clumsiness).
One of the most daunting worries of any data-reliant person, whether your are a professional programmer, photographer, videographer or even just a regular family man or woman, the problem is that we have everything digitised these days. People rarely print their photos, record their videos on tapes or print out their codes on paper. In this review, we are looking at a software, produced by Stellar, a company that specialises in data recovery.
As you can imagine, there will be times that you may accidentally erase something. If you so happen to have a backup, then the problem can almost disappear. But imagine that if this is your memory card in the camera or a folder in your computer, hitting that erase or even format button by accident (or by someone who doesn't know what they are doing). What about your hard drive containing all those important memories and your kid or husband or wife accidentally trashed and emptied the bin, before a back up was made.
Well, the good news is that Stellar's latest Photo Recovery Software is one of the most popular options out there to help you.
As the name suggests, this is a software to recover photo files on any medium. I've used professional grade recovery software before and I can first tell you that Stellar Photo Recovery works like any of them, just with a much easier to learn and understand user interface. Most pro-level recovery software would command a hefty premium but Stellar is more reasonable, as they are aiming at a broader level of customers and not just professional data recoverers. For what it is and the result is pretty amazing.
Look, it's easy for me to say that it does a grand job because I am a professional photographer so all my memory cards are being formatted multiple times a week. To test the software, I erased the photos I took the day before (after I made a copy of course), then format the card, ready for my next shoot. But I took the cards to my computer and ran Stellar (sounds like a person right?). First thing I noticed when I open Stellar was how simple and clean the interface was. Unlike most pro-level software, often very cluttered and 'dated' looking. Stellar is modern and simplified. All it asked me is to confirm the type of files I want to recovery, that's it, or in most cases, I select all, which is the default option!
When I selected the memory card, the process was simple. The software will first scan the target you selected. There are two options for scanning, a simple one and a deep scan (don't do this unless you have time!). The scanning duration will depend on the size and speed of your card. It will take much longer if you have a larger and slower memory card. During scanning, you will be given a live feedback on what's been recovered.
Like many recovery software I used before, it will try t find anything that the software can interpret so the recovery also reveals some of my old files, the oldest one the software found in my memory card is four months old! So I got more than I was asking really. So a short answer is that it works! It does recognise both JPEGs and RAWs and videos too.
Unsurprisingly, there are some exceptional case, which will require a high end recovery expert to do, is that sometimes, certain videos or even the entire memory card cannot be recovered with Stellar Photo Recovery software. As a professional photographer, I use many different types of cameras from different brands, I noticed that Sony, in particular, if you format the card in the camera, it is almost certain that you won't be able to recover anything, even though I believe the files are still in the card. This isn't an isolated instant or happens to only Stellar's software, I used two other recovery softwares and none of them can retrieve any data from a 'reformatted' Sony memory card. For Canon and Olympus, I managed to recover images only after it's been 'formatted' in camera. Despite video can be read from Photo Recovery, the 'recovered' video file can never be played after, which is a shame.
So overall, it's an effective solution, certainly one of the most user-friendly softwares around. The latest version 9.x (at time of writing), has the most streamlined user interface I've seen so far. For any non-computer expert like myself, having an easy-to-use software can takes a lot of stress and hassles away. Apart from a few quirks (doesn't quite work with reformatted memory cards), it does a grant job in recovering deleted files on almost any medium whether it's your computer SSD, external hard drives or memory cards. It's as important as your back up solution for those 'just in case' moments!
Click Here To find out more about Stellar Photo Recovery Software