Stellar Photo Recovery Premium Version

      Photo Review 8.8

      In summary

      Stellar Photo Recovery Premium Version is a very powerful file recovery tool that has a clean and logical user interface.

      The latest version provides some worthwhile improvements. The scanning process is slow but it’s extremely thorough.

      We recommend this software application to anyone who needs to recover files lost through accidental deletion or over-writing, disk crashes or memory card corruption and failure.

      Stellar Photo Recovery for Windows
      Stellar Photo Recovery for Mac
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      Full review

      The first time we looked at file recovery software was in May 2020, when we published a review of version of Stellar Photo Recovery. At the time, the software was offered in three versions, Standard, Professional and Premium, with a demo version so potential purchasers can try before they buy. The latest version of the software, Version has Premium (as reviewed), Technician, Standard, and Professional versions.

      The user interface has barely changed since the previous version.

      The Premium version in the latest edition is designed for everyday users, while the Technician version which is targeted at professional photographers, video and photo editors and photo agencies. They differ in several ways, with the premium version being restricted to a single installation, while the Technician version can be installed on up to three systems. It also adds ability to recover data from Windows partitions and create disk images.

      The demo version will scan the selected drive and display the recovered files. But you can’t save them unless you’ve paid to activate the software. Note the data in the red box, which shows how long it can take to scan large quantities of data.

      Both versions can be used on storage drives and memory cards in all popular camera brands as well as drones, smartphones, dash cams and also damaged optical disks. The demo version shows previews of the recovered and repaired files available to download but you need to activate (i.e. pay for) the software to access the recovered files and get full functionality.

      Unfortunately, we found the software is still extremely slow, which makes it frustrating to use on individual storage drives. It’s best used for recovering deleted or damaged files from individual memory cards with smaller storage capacities.

      What’s New?
      The latest version of Stellar Photo Recovery adds the ability to recover video files and also improves the ability of the application to repair corrupted images and videos and restore them in original form. A new Deep Scan feature improves on the regular Quick Scan by performing in-depth, sector-wise scanning to locate lost or missing files.

      Deep scanning can recover files that may have been missed in an initial scan.

      The user interface is updated to allow users to initiate the recovery process with just three clicks: Select, Scan and Recover. Users can also select new options within the interface, including Live File Preview, Full-Screen Video Preview, Well-ordered and Sortable Scan Results, Scan Now-Recover Later and Multiple File Saving Options to make it easier to tailor the software to different requirements. This is important since scanning large data files and folders still takes a lot of time.

      Live file previews let you see what’s being recovered and track progress as a folder is scanned. Note: they can slow the scanning speed as it takes additional time to display each thumbnail.

      All of the files found in a scan are sorted into folders labelled with their file type, with image, video and audio files grouped separately. The folders are listed in a hierarchical arrangement or ‘Tree View’. You can also opt to see a Deleted List that shows the files and folders deleted from the drive.

      Clicking on a folder in the left pane displays a list of files of that folder in the bottom right pane. Double-clicking the folder lets you move deeper into the folder.

      Recovering files from a scanned drive.

      After the scanning process is completed, all the files are listed and you’re given the opportunity to save the recovered files to a destination you choose. The default setting is to select all files for saving, although you can disable this selection and choose individual files for saving in either a single folder or separate folders you specify.

      To save individual files, click the folder in the left pane to view files stored in it and select the individual file by right-clicking on it. (This is where the Preview function is handy.) Then select Recover.

      You can also recover all files in a specific category by selecting the folder(s) containing the types of files you’re interested in. Individual files can also be selected from a specific folder.

      If you need to stop scanning or recovery at any point – and, given the speed of both processes this is highly likely – you can save the scan information as a DAT file and resume at your own convenience.

      Saving scan data so you can resume scanning later is safe and easy if you need to stop a scan.

      If you can’t locate a particular type of file on the initial scan, there’s an Advanced option that will display a list of file types that can be recovered.

      The Advanced Settings list shows file types that can be recovered.

      The latest version can also scan drives with BitLocker encryption. In that case, you will be prompted to either enter the Bitlocker password/Recovery Key or Select a Bitlocker Startup Key (.BEK file) to initiate the scan process.

      Accessing drives with Bitlocker encryption.

      We found the software to be capable of recovering files from an old CompactFlash card that we had previously discarded as unusable, largely because when we checked it out via a card reader our computer showed the directories to be empty.

      The software identified four separate folders on the card, which are outlined in red.

      The screen grabs below show some of the images and video files that were recovered by the latest version of Stellar Photo Recovery.

      A mixture of PDF, image, raw image and video files.

      Files recovered from a directory labelled as ‘Broken’.

      Selective recovery of CR2.RAW files. from the same CompactFlash card as those above.


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      Stellar Photo Recovery Windows Buy Page
      Stellar Photo Recovery Mac Buy Page
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      Build: Version
      : Intel compatible (x86, x64) processor
      Systems compatibility
      : Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7 and MacOS Monterey 12, Big Sur 11, Catalina 10.15, 10.14, 10.13, 10.12, 10.11; Recovers data from desktop and laptop hard drives, external hard drives and pen drives, memory cards, SSD drives, SD cards
      Disk space requirement: 250 MB for installation files
      Minimum RAM:  4 GB minimum (8 GB recommended)
      File System Support: Windows – NTFS, FAT, FAT16, FAT32, and exFAT; Macintosh – Macintosh; Linux – EXT2, EXT3, and EXT4; CD/DVD file systems – CDFS, UDF, and HFS+; Video formats – MP4, 3GP, AVI, MPEG, MKV, AVCHD, DIVX, MOI, VOB, OGM, 3G2, ASX, MTS, AJP, F4V, VID, TOD, HDMOV, MQV, MXF, SVI; Audio formats – WAV, WMA, MIDI, M4A, Mp3, NRA, OGG, AIFF, AU, SND, RM, ACD, AT3, AMR, CAF, RPS, RA, DSS;
      Raw Recovery Support
      : Recovers data from volumes and hard drives using search data based on signatures; supported formats include: CR2 /CRW, ERF, RAF, K25 /KDC /DCR, MRW, MOS/ MEF, NEF/NRW, ORF, RW2, PEF, SR2/ARW/SRF, X3F
      Features: Deleted file recovery, Recovers data from unallocated, uninitialised, unidentified and RAW partitions on a hard disk, Deep scanning, Specific file search, Image creation for hard disk and volumes recovery, Preview support, Save and resume recovery session, BitLocker support, Supports scanning of multiple file systems simultaneously, Thumbnail recovery, Metadata recovery
      Delivery method: Electronic (Internet connection required)
      Trial version available
      : Yes (limited)
      RRP: Premium version – AU$229 (AU$105); Technician version – AU$299 (AU$215) for permanent use of the software. Standard and Professional versions also available.
      Distributor: Stellar Information Technology Private Limited

      Stellar Photo Recovery Windows Buy Page
      Stellar Photo Recovery Mac Buy Page
      (Photo Review Affiliate links)



      RRP: Premium version – AU$229 (AU$105); Technician version – AU$299 (AU$215) for permanent use of the software

      • Features: 8.8
      • Ease of Use: 8.8
      • Speed: 8.0
      • Versatility: 9.0
      • Performance: 8.9



      Stellar Photo Recovery Windows Buy Page

      Stellar Photo Recovery Mac Buy Page

      (Photo Review Affiliate links)