Stellar Photo Recovery Shotkit

Stellar Photo Recovery Review: Tool To Recover Deleted Photos

If you've ever accidentally deleted photos from a memory card or files from your hard drive, you need a data recovery tool like Stellar. Here's how it performs.

By Jeff Collier

Have you ever lost or accidentally deleted cherished photos or videos? If you have, you’re certainly not alone.

Although many of us back up precious photos and videos, accidents happen, and files can get deleted or damaged.

Stellar Photo Recovery
Stellar Photo Recovery

Essential tool to recover accidentally deleted images, videos and audio files in a wide range of formats.

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Thankfully, some smart companies have now developed photo recovery apps.

In this article, we’ll review Stellar Photo Recovery, all its amazing features, and some potential drawbacks.

What does Stellar Photo Recovery do?

 

Pros

  • Recovers lost photos & media files
  • Easy-to-use layout
  • Restores various motion & audio formats
  • Supports multiple camera brands
  • Various viewing options for flexibility
  • SMART analysis to prevent future losses
  • Works on Windows & Mac

Cons

  • Subscription-based software
  • Recovery can take a while

Deleting or losing valuable photos or media can feel tragic — saying goodbye to captures of special trips, memories, and events forever is an awful feeling!

Luckily, recovery software is available that can help you regain images and videos you thought were gone for good. One of the most popular kinds of software on the market today is Stellar Photo Recovery.

This data recovery tool has an intuitive layout that’s easy to use for beginners while also catering to the more specific needs of professionals by helping them recover files of various sizes and media types.

This means you can make a swift recovery when you’ve lost photos from corruption, deletion, viruses, damaged storage and more.

Stellar’s three-step method allows you to select the location, preview the file and recover it. And because it’s designed to recover data of nearly all formats, you can easily salvage photos from a variety of formats, including JPEG, GIF, raw files and more. 

  • Why is photo recovery software so useful for photographers and videographers?

If you’re a professional photographer or videographer, your clients are spending loads of money to achieve the perfect images or video.

And while you may have a nearly foolproof system centered on digital memory cards or your camera’s storage, it’s not impossible for memory cards to malfunction due to damage, improper storage, and even unknown reasons.

Because of this terrifying possibility, investing in solid photo recovery software is monumentally important. Thankfully, there are several kinds of recovery software to choose from that can quickly come to the rescue when you’ve lost or deleted images.

And if you’ve already been through the headache of trying to recover photos, you know how painfully complex it can sometimes be. Luckily, most recovery software is designed to deliver a thorough scan and recover files with ease.  

  • Is Stellar Photo Recovery safe?

Yes. Because Stellar Photo Recovery really only engages with your file system while scanning storage media, it doesn’t have the ability to delete files or taint your system.

You have to give it permission to access folders on your hard drive so you’re in total control.

Stellar Photo Recovery Key Features

  • Easy to use

stellar-photo-recovery

As soon as you connect a storage device it appears on the screen,

Although both pros and beginners can benefit from Stellar Photo Recovery, it has an intuitive layout that’s straightforward enough for even the most inexperienced user to master.

The three-step method is fairly easy to nail, allowing you to choose the location, preview and recover.

The interface is simple and free from clutter, so you won’t need to explore an array of menus to uncover hidden options or a manual to get through the photo recovery process. 

Once you connect an external hard drive or memory card via a card reader, Stellar recognises it immediately and asks if you want to start the scan.

  • Restoration of various formats

Scanning stellar recovery

Scanning is fast and thorough.

The best feature of Stellar Photo Recovery is its ability to recover audio, video and photo files. This means you can retrieve deleted photos from memory cards and hard drives.

For those who rely heavily upon memory cards, such as professional photographers and videographers, this software can be a game changer.

You can also recover encrypted files with this standard version of Stellar Photo Recovery, allowing you to retrieve files with greater peace of mind.  

Specifically, Stellar restores:

  • deleted photos – JPEG, JPG, TIFF, HEIC, BMP, GIF, PNG, PSD, Adobe EPS and more.
  • lost camera RAW image files – CR2, ERF, RAF, K25, NEF, ORF, SR2, and more.
  • video clips & movies – MOV, MXF, AVI, ASF, WMV, MP4, 3GP, etc.

In testing, I deleted 267 RAW files taken with a Sony a7III mirrorless camera, then formatted the card, and then shot more photos on top of it.

Previously, when you format a memory card, everything is lost. However, with Stellar Photo Recovery, I was able to recover every single one the RAW files!

  • Multiple view options

Carousel view option is most useful.

Carousel view option is the most useful for previewing recoverable images..

Another useful feature of Stellar Photo Recovery is the ability to view recoverable photos and files via various ‘views’ – there are icons, details, list and my favorite, carousel.

 This allows you to see actual image previews of the files you’re trying to recover, meaning you can select the right ones much easier than if you were looking at a bunch of file names,

  • Free trial

Although you can’t get the full line of Stellar Photo Recovery features for free, you do have access to a free download and scan before committing to a purchase, which allows for a preview of what’s found.

Once your files are ready for recovery, you’ll receive a pop-up message prompting you to register to receive the key. So, while you can’t actually recover photos with the free trial, you can see what data has been lost and recovered.

(For Windows, you can recover 10 media files, each up to 100 MB of data, absolutely free.) 

And one important point to consider is that many software programs that are entirely free tend to have subpar performance or fail to recover your photos properly. 

Overall Performance

As noted earlier, the basic scan can be speedy and conducted in under 10 minutes, depending on the device you select.

And again, if nothing is discovered during that initial scan, a deeper, comprehensive scan will be required, which can take more time but ensures swift, accurate recovery.

This means there’s an obvious connection between performance and device, with performance being directly tied to the size of the storage media at hand.

Although some users had issues downloading and noted customer service could be more responsive, I was more than happy with the software’s overall performance and classify Stellar Photo Recovery as a lifesaver when it comes to deleted photos of memorable occasions and/or deceased relatives.

And while the software may not be capable of recovering damaged photos, you can easily restore images from camera memory cards in a case where a very basic delete function needs to be counteracted. 

How Much Does Stellar Photo Recovery Cost?

While Stellar Photo Recovery does charge for recovery, you can’t ignore its significant benefits.

Although the price may change each year, Stellar Photo Recovery offers annual-based pricing that allows you to pay a single sum each year — you can get the basic version for about $40, a professional version for under $50 and a premium version for around $70.

All of this adds up to a very reasonable price and a lot of bang for your buck. It’s also cheaper than Disk Drill, an alternative photo recovery app for Mac.

However, we do recommend thoroughly reviewing the refund policy on Stellar’s website before purchasing to ensure the product fits your needs.

Stellar Photo Recovery Review | Final Words

Stellar Photo Recovery’s ability to recover files of various formats makes it a top performer in the world of recovery software.

Additionally, all the features you get for the annual subscription make it a great value for the price, with some recovery software costing more than $1,000.

Whether you’re an industry professional or someone who deleted precious photos from a birthday party, Stellar Photo Recovery can help you retrieve the items that you thought you lost forever.

jeffcollier
Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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