Photographer’s Fear #121 — There were no photos on the memory card that should be there. This happens for various reasons — it may be a breakdown of the card, it may be a banal absent-mindedness when a person forgot to upload a photo to a computer and formatted the card. What to do in such a situation, we understand in this article.
You can no longer shoot on the card if the photo is gone
Programs for recovering deleted photos
One terrible rookie mistake that can’t be fixed
How to protect yourself from possible loss of captured photos
The first thing to do if you notice that important pictures have disappeared from the card is to stop using it immediately. The fact is that the efficiency of recovering missing files is directly related to the number of card overwrites. If, after the pictures were gone, something was taken over them, the chances of recovery go down sharply.
Next, you should insert the card into the computer and carefully look through all the folders. If, for example, you noticed the loss while viewing pictures from the camera, it is possible that the photos have not disappeared anywhere. But for some reason the camera simply stopped recognizing and displaying them. Such mistakes do happen.
If there are still no pictures on the card, you will have to get acquainted with the software for recovering lost data.
If the card has not been overwritten, the chances of recovering accidentally deleted photos are quite high. This will require special software.
Recuva. One of the most popular programs for recovering lost files. She has a crack, there is a free version.
The program allows you to scan a flash drive and shows what files can be found there. Recuva also shows their status. You can restore those files, the state of which the program considers excellent or good. You can then choose which files to restore.
Phoenix. Another popular Russian-language application. It also searches for files and allows you to choose what to recover. Well suited for all cases of file loss, except for media damage.
Disk Drill. This app has both Windows and Mac versions. There is a free version within which you can recover files up to 500 MB. The pro version costs about 8 thousand rubles.
Ease US Data Recovery. Powerful file recovery tool. Often copes when the same Recuva says that she has paws. For example, when photos are not just accidentally deleted, but the disk is damaged. But there are several disadvantages: there is no crack and a long time of work. Scanning and searching for files may take several hours. However, if the missing photos are really important, you should be patient and let the program work out. Distributed for free.
Puran File Recovery. Free and Russified. There are several scanning options: fast, deep and full. The program has a good interface, works well with flash drives, suitable for Windows.
I must say that it will be possible or not to recover files with a particular program, this is largely a matter of luck. If it’s really important to get back the missing photos from the card, you need to be ready to install and try out several different applications.
Most likely, if the card was simply accidentally formatted, it will be possible to restore the photo. If the card just gave an error or broke, everything becomes a little more complicated. You can try to drive it through the reducers, but be prepared for the fact that this will not work. In this case, you can try to give the card to the service. Sometimes professionals manage to get data even from damaged cards.
There is one situation that a completely novice photographer may encounter: “shooting” with a camera that does not have a card. The fact is that many camera models, when there is no card in them, start shooting in test mode. From the outside, it looks like this: a person presses a button, a picture appears on the screen. It is not saved anywhere, it exists only in the internal memory of the camera. And with the next press of the shutter button, the picture is reset. The person continues to “take pictures”, but in fact, no photographs are recorded anywhere.
This error cannot be corrected in any way, since the photos simply were not recorded anywhere. You can only prevent: once every few minutes, look into the viewing menu and check if there is a photo there. Nothing is stored in the internal memory of the camera; without a card, the camera takes a picture only so that the owner can make sure that it works at all.
It may seem that only a completely stupid person or a green newbie can get into such a situation — well, who will go to shoot without a card at all. Then imagine this turn of events: a person is filming, for example, a wedding ceremony, at some point the card gives some kind of error. And the newlyweds at this moment change rings. He quickly reboots the camera, the camera seems to continue to shoot further. And after registration, it turns out that at the moment when the card showed an error, it broke. And everything that was filmed after the reboot was no longer recorded. Although physically the card was inside the camera.
Shoot two cards at once. If the camera supports two cards, be sure to use this function. As a rule, RAW is recorded on one, JPEG on the other. And even if one card is damaged or carelessly formatted, the second one will remain and the shooting will not be lost. Yes, you can extract less from JPEG than from RAW, but something is better than nothing at all. You can set up full duplication for both cards, but this already smells a bit of paranoia and waste of resources.
Always carry a spare card with you on all shoots. And if the card shows any problems or misfires during operation, immediately change it. Do not risk the fact that later the pictures from the buggy card will completely or partially disappear.
Don’t skimp on memory cards. A more expensive and more secure card will work better and faster, and in which case it will survive swimming in the water (especially true for drones) and other extreme conditions.
Copy finished photos. After filming is completed, immediately dump the footage to a computer, hard drive or cloud. Thus, the chances of losing a photo are reduced. When the pictures are copied, you can not be afraid that the card will deteriorate, you will lose it or accidentally format it, forgetting about everything before the next responsible shooting.
By the way, this life hack should be used in both directions: do not clear the cards before you have at least looked at the photos you have taken. Ideally, you should format the card after the photos are completely ready and given to the client, if this was a commerce. Hard drives can also deteriorate, laptops can break. Cloud storage in this regard is somewhat more reliable, but anything can happen.
In addition, cameras of some systems (for example, Fujifilm) lay out every thousand shots in a separate folder. Therefore, there is always a chance that in distraction you can copy photos from only one folder and lose part of the shooting.