It’s the worst thing I can imagine happening!! I took a trip to Brazil with a group of friends and took my new Canon camera with me. I got home and hooked it up to my Mac to show my parents, except my young daughter somehow monkeyed with it and deleted all the pictures!!!! Is there any way to recover deleted pictures from the flash card (compact flash, if it matters) of my Canon digital camera?
Deep breath. And another one. Don’t panic.
There are indeed various ways to recover deleted photos or movies from a digital camera’s flash card and even if the card gets corrupted, you can often salvage the majority of its contents before you have to toss it into the circular file (or, better, reformat it and see if it’ll be okay).
Since you’re on a Mac, you can follow along when I did a similar task on my Mac, recovering accidentally deleted photographs and avi quicktime movies from the Sony Memory Stick from a Sony digital camera. Same basic concept, just a different camera and flash card.
First step was to download the terrific application CameraSalvage from the Mac-only development house SubRosaSoft. it’s $50 if you want to buy it but I actually used it in demo mode and that worked fine. It helped us recover over 400 photos and 50 AVI movies from our memory stick…
Start it up and you’ll find it has a unique and quite attractive interface. The first step is to identify the memory card from your camera (you’ll want it hooked up to your Mac and powered up so that the device appears on the Mac desktop):
By default it’ll show you your own hard disk. Probably not what you want. Instead, click on the pop-up menu and find your camera’s card on the list:
Here you can see that /dev/disk3 is the Sony DSC 3.76 GB memory stick, and so that’s what I have selected.
Click on “Explore” and it’ll slowly step through every block of the memory device trying to recover files that are sufficiently intact to be seen by the application:
Eventually it’ll finish up (the 4GB memory stick took about five minutes to scan) and you’ll see a display that gives you a head’s up on what’s been found:
Here you can see that it found 413 JPEG photographs and 21 QuickTime AVI Movies. You can also view individual photos and it’ll even show you a small preview:
At this point there’s a button labeled “Salvage”. Click on it and you’ll then be asked to select a folder within which all the saved photos and movies should be dumped. You can safely choose your Desktop, Documents or Photographs if you’d like: it’ll actually create a subfolder in the specified folder, within which all the recovered files will be stored.
Click “Save” and it’ll start actually recovering the files and copying them onto your hard disk:
This also takes rather a few minutes, but it’s saving stuff, so it’s cool!!
Eventually you’ll be able to find the recovered photos and movies in the specified folder, as shown here in the Finder:
That’s all ya need. Now you can go through the tedious task of renaming files, but at least you’ve recovered them and don’t need to go back to Brazil for another photo expedition.
If you’re looking for PC software with the equivalent functionality, I suggest you go to Download.com and search for “recovery” or “camera recovery” or similar. You should find at least a half-dozen choices.