Stellar Photo Recovery Software Review – Some Peace Of Mind In A Stressful Situation
One of the worst things a professional photographer or videographer can see is the “corrupted file” notification when downloading files from their memory cards. Having experienced this myself, I can tell you it’s more than panic-inducing and gutwrenching, it can be downright terrifying, especially if it’s something like a wedding or a very high-end client. Doubling down, it’s even more traumatizing if the images lost are a backup of precious memories from long ago. Either way, we NEVER want to see that error message and have those files gone forever.
Data recovery services can be another level of stress and expense that no one wants to deal with, but thankfully, some apps out there have started to make high-quality data recovery at an affordable price at home! Enter Photo Recovery Software from Stellar Info, which has an incredible ability to restore deleted and lost files, even potentially from a formatted memory card! The software is available for both PC & Apple systems and claims to not only recover image files from deleted/formatted memory cards, but also your computers hard drives, SSD, and external USB drives. This also includes video and audio files as well.
Key Features Overview
- Recover Deleted Mac Photos, Videos & Audio Files
- Mac Photo Recovery from Encrypted Drives
- Disk Imaging for Quick Recovery
- Save Scan Information & Resume Recovery
- Deep Scan for Better Results
- Advanced Mac Photo Recovery
- Recovery of Unicode Files
- Select Specific File Type or Region for Recovery
- Retrieve detailed file information
- File Preview with Customized Recovery
Stellar also claims to be able to recover damaged and corrupted files, this however I wasn’t able to test but to be able to do this with the app you’ll need to pay for the Professional or Premium edition, which of course, unlocks more features as you go up.
[Related Reading: 6 Key Mistakes To Avoid When Handling SD Cards to Minimize Data Loss]
What’s Available In Each Version?
|Recovers Photo, Video & Audio Files||Recovers Photo, Video & Audio Files||Recovers Photo, Video & Audio Files|
|Supports All Storage Media||Supports All Storage Media||Supports All Storage Media|
|Supports Most Major Cameras||Supports Most Major Cameras||Supports Most Major Cameras|
|Repairs Corrupted Photos||Repairs Corrupted Photos|
|Displays Thumbnails of Severely Corrupt Photos||Displays Thumbnails of Severely Corrupt Photos|
|Repairs Corrupted Video Files|
|Repairs Multiple Video FIles in one pass|
|Supports Multiple Formats|
System Requirements – (Mac)
- Processor – Intel
- Operating System – macOS Catalina 10.15, macOS Mojave 10.14, High Sierra 10.13, 10.12, 10.11, 10.10, 10.9, 10.8 & 10.7
- Memory – 2 GB minimum (4 GB recommended)
- Hard Disk – 250 MB of free space
Technical Details and Specifications for Stellar Photo Recovery
As listed on the companies website, Stellar Photo Recovery for Mac recovers deleted photos, videos, and audio from several devices including— cameras, USB flash drives, SD Cards, Mini Disk, Zip Disk, Time Machine, and other Mac-based internal/ external drives. The software can also recover media files from encrypted and APFS, HFS+, FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS drives.
- Storage cards, SSD & HDD — SanDisk®, Kingston®, Seagate®, Samsung®, Fusion Drive®, etc.
- Popular camera brands — Nikon®, Canon®, Sony®, Kodak®, Olympus® etc.
- Action & Drone cameras — GoPro®, DJI®, Phantom®, Garmin®, etc.
- Large storage devices up to 5 TB
- Supports all photo formats — JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PSD, EPS etc.
- Recovers RAW camera files — CR2, ERF, RAF, K25, NEF, ORF, SR2, etc.
- Supports popular video formats — MP4, MOV, MXF, AVI, ASF, WMV, 3GP, etc.
- Recovers audio files — MP3, RPS, OGG, AT3, SND, AU, WAV, etc.
How It Works
Stellar works pretty similarly to most other data recovery programs out there, however with this application, the workflow is very simple and easy to follow since it’s so straightforward.
All you have to do is point it to the location/drive you want to run your scan on, and then start the recovery process!
It’s rather simplistic, showing you the drives and memory cards connected that are available to recover from, then you just choose the device and hit scan. For this review, I used a memory card recently deleted/formatted from testing a few different cameras out for the site here. As mentioned above, the scanning process can take a long time and chew through your resources, but when you’re trying to find precious lost files, it’s a small price to pay.
Once the scan is complete you are shown how many photo/video/audio files have been found and are available for recovery. You can even preview the files individually if you don’t want to have to restore everything and are only seeking a single file. (that is something I appreciate a lot). Then just press the recover button and watch as your files are restored.
Stellar Photo Recovery Pros & Cons
- Simple and straightforward to use
- Quite effective in data restores from my testing
- Compatible with a large variety of cards and cameras
- Can be slow and resource-heavy while scanning & recovering
- Does not (always) restore original file names or full metadata
- Currently on sale (ends June 4, 2020) but could be considered “pricey”
Nobody ever wants to face the corrupted or missing file warnings, and most would never wish that to happen to anyone either. But in those instances where everything does go wrong and you need help to recover those images or video files, Stellar Photo Recovery definitely gives you a fighting chance to not only get those files back, but do so in an affordable method as well. While this software can’t work miracles, (since it cannot restore data from a card that’s been formatted and completely written over), in most basic file loss/deletion/corruption cases, Stellar definitely has the potential and capability to rescue your images and video with surprising ease.
If you are currently in a dire file loss or just planning ahead for that rainy day when things go wrong, and the app fits in your budget, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try before you reach out to very expensive and time-consuming file recovery services. I was able to recover every image and video file from the cards I tested via manual deletion from my computer as well as in-camera formatting with ease.
Download Stellar Photo Recovery for Mac here