Photo Recovery for Canon Rebel T2i/EOS 550D

The File system of the Canon Rebel

Known for its professional features at amateur prices, the Canon Rebel series (Rebel T2i / EOS 550D, T1i/ 500D and XSi /450D) has received commendable feedback from both amateur and professional photographers alike. The Canon Rebel series has three storage options, as it accepts Secure Digital memory cards in the form of:

  • SD cards (up to 4G)
  • SDHC cards (High Capacity 4G to 32G)
  • SDXC cards (eXtended Capacity up to 2TG).

Why Data Corruption Happens

The high capacity memory cards, especially the new SDXC cards, have greatly improved their data retention abilities, and its becoming less and less common to lose photos from mechanical error. Now, the most common cause for mysteriously deleted or formatted photos is interruption during the data processing. This includes dropping the camera, or running out of batteries while the camera is writing to the disk. So it’s important to make sure you always keep your camera attached to your body physically, and also change your batteries as soon as the camera shows low battery life. Another good tip is to use multiple memory cards during a single photo shoot, so that if one card does get corrupted, you still have more photos on another card.

Unfortunately, if you are reading this, then (like me) your photos are already gone, and you want them back. You must be certain not to use the corrupt camera’s memory card after an error message appears, because using it will risk overwriting the previously stored files which are now corrupt. Once overwritten, the pictures really are gone forever and even the most powerful data recovery software won’t be able to help. In most of the cases, however, you should be able to retrieve most of the photos depending on how corrupt the data is. Your first option should be to try some photo recovery software to see if that can recover the lost photos, if that fails, then you may need to see a data recovery professional. I’ll take you through both options right now.

The Solution

The Canon Rebel series has the ability to store photos in JPEG and RAW formats, so you will need a software that can recover RAW as well as from SDXC and SDHC cards (if you were using them). Most professional recovery services will try this first, and will probably run Stellar Photo Recovery because they constantly update their software for compatibility with the latest camera technology. There is a PC and Mac version, to suit all users, and even though it is not a free software for the full version, you can use the free version to see how damaged your drive is. I recommend downloading the software and letting it scan your system. If Stellar has the ability to recover your photos, it will show you a thumbnail preview of the images, and then you can decide to purchase the full version. I’m aware that there are some “free” photo recovery software programs out there, but I can not recommend them because of Virus and Malware issues. If you do decide to use another software, please be cautious, as some may contain a virus.

Two other good and trustworthy programs are Odboso Photo Retrieval or wGXe Photo Recovery – try these if Stellar won’t work. Both have been tested and are highly recommended even by expert photographers.

Lastly, if none of the software solutions work, then you need to see a data recovery professional. Go to the website for Disk Doctors Data Recovery Services and follow the directions on sending in your drive for professional recovery. They may use head swap techniques or other physical solutions that should not be tried at home. And most of all, good luck and get those pictures back!

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