Stellar Phoenix Mac Photo Recovery Software Review

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:

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

  • Monsoonking

    “I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point or other, a drive dies *click bzzt click bzzt click*”

    I’m guessing this doesn’t help if there are mechanical problems with the hard drive?

  • gtvone

    If there are serious (i.e. the bzzt click click is final and not intermittent) drive issues – stuck head (I’ve fixed with a light screwdriver tap on the side – don’t try that at home, kids) dead pcb / motor, you’re largely up the proverbial creek… if you have an environment you can swap out a platter in, great, but at that point, weigh up what’s on the disk vs (in most cases) $1000+ recovery specialists that will swap the hardware out into something that works — Sime

  • Erin

    Thank you!! I’m going to give this a go. Last year I lost a lot of photos due to a hard drive fail (and an unbelievable chain of events leading to my backup drive being wiped only 12 hours before). The files were recovered but quite a few folders of jpgs and NEFS are corrupt. None of my professional work, it just affected the sector where my personal photos were stored – every photo I took of my children for a year (AKA the most important ones!) 🙁 I’ve been holding onto this data in the hope that I would find something that may be able to bring them back at some stage in the future. I’m willing to spend the money to give it a go, fingers crossed…

  • alester wade

    some real rubbish, so it’s a treat to read something useful. Thanks buddy..Kindly go through this software Remo Recover because it has a lot of additional stuffs

  • Nelsoncolar

    Thanks for the review, it’s useful for me. I used to recover my deleted photos with this mac data recovery, works well too, share it here as an alternative.
    Hope this

  • depends if the data is still in tact

  • Diwan Pujari

    nyce nyce thanks for cooll reviews of usefull applications Recently i lost my app photos they all got thumbnail like i cant sent those pice to frnds or or other social sites ..will try this hope all riight

  • parvane

    is sensor size the same? is 70d fullframe? or have to go to the 7d?
    didnt you say in anohter article that too many megapixels on a smaller
    sensor = more noise? is there significant more noise on either or both
    in low light- than a full frame?
    ????? ????

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  • helen

    Dan, I definitely agree that it is a great feature of the 6D. Unfortunately neither my 5D Mark II or 1Dx have that feature.

    ?? ?????? ?????????? ?????????? ???? ??????? ????????????????? ???????? ???? ????? ?? ??????????? ?????????? ??????? ??????? ???? ????????

  • anny

    u can also try with amrev software

  • pounda

    I mostly want it over the Sony, because at least based on looks . ??? ?????????? ??? ???????

  • johnphlip96

    Recover deleted data from digital camera, you can use Kernel for Digital Media Recovery Tool. This software easily recover all lost deleted photos.

  • helen christopher

    I have used Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery latest version. I recovered 410 files, even though the scan showed 345 files….

  • Ashley Moritz

    Do NOT use this product. Ask you to buy one thing then inform you to use
    another which costs more money. There is literally no Customer Service
    to talk to. Everything could take up to 3 weeks to hear anything back
    and that is a week from the deadline to receive a refund. I have emailed
    numerous times and sat on hold for an hour and NO ANSWER.

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