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Stellar Phoenix Mac Photo Recovery Software Review

The “click of death!”

I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point or other, a drive dies *click bzzt click bzzt click*  or a memory card stops working for some unknown, and entirely frustrating reason. I’ve used pretty much every memory card and hard disk on the market at some point or another, and have lost images to the “corruption demons” with a couple of them… Here’s how to get those files back!

Photo recovery software to the rescue!

simon pollock photography gtvone

It’s not always the fault of the card or the drive – a premature ejection like pulling the drive out of your computer / usb / firewire or indeed grabbing a card out of your camera while it’s writing a file – most of the time the file system (like a set of drawers on the card or drive) manages to put the data away before stopping, but sometimes, like my office floor, things are left everywhere and that’s when you encounter data corruption (very basically).

Stellar Phoenix Mac Photo Recovery 6 Mac

stellar phoenix photo recovery software review

What they say

Stellar Phoenix Mac photo recovery is a utility that recovers deleted, formatted, lost photos, pictures, songs, movies, and other multimedia files from Mac systems.

  • Recovers from Mac – Systems, External Drives, USB Drives, iPod and Digital Cameras
  • Supports a wide range of image, audio, and video file formats
  • Supports hard drives with capacities over 2 TB
  • Efficient Scan Engine scans the storage media faster
  • Also recovers Thumbnails of the corresponding image files
  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 up to the Latest OS X Mavericks

What we say

After recovering from all kinds of old drives, CF cards (a 16mb one from a LONG time ago) including a 2TB disk, I am very happy with Stellar Phoenix Mac Photo recovery! It’s dead easy to use – you start it up, choose your drive and click recover… Sure, you can head into the advanced tab and recover only single file types if you wish, for example if you were after a set of CR2 files (Canon RAW) from a CF card, you could narrow your search down to just those files. Once scanned you can save the scan / found files information if you wish to restore the files at a later date.


I started this review a long time ago and, with the first version of the software, I had some minor issues – it called a CR2 a DNG and so on, which in the big scheme of things wasn’t a total fail, but could be very confusing… I was able to give this feedback to the creators, and with the new version there are no issues, and none of the previous bugs.

There are two versions of the software, one that simply recovers any of your media files and another slightly more expensive ($39 vs $49.99) version that also repairs corrupt jpeg files. I am using the regular version and I did encounter a couple of corrupt images, I hope to run through the same tests with the platinum version soon.

Recovery time was about average based on my previous experience (Yes, the photo at the top is me and yes, we’d just lost a 9TB storage array… long story) with a CF card of 16GB taking a bit over an hour and a 2TB drive via USB taking about a day and a half. In both cases I was able to successfully recover the data I needed.

Data recovery isn’t always guaranteed, I’m not going to lie – sometimes the pretty photographs just don’t want to come back. ever. I was able to recover everything I set out to recover using Stellar Phoenix Mac Photo software in this case.

Conclusion… Based on my time in I.T. and my previous experience with recovery software, I’m happy to recommend this software if you find yourself in a spot of digital bother.

For more on image recovery and back up see:

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Stellar Phoenix Mac photo recovery software
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(aka #gtvone) is the customer support manager for dPS, and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He’s a Melbourne based photographer, www.gtvone.com and please feel free to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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