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How to Retrieve Lost Photos from Your Sony Camera’s SD Card

How to Retrieve Lost Photos from Your Sony Camera's SD Card

Have you ever experienced that heart-sinking moment when you’ve accidentally deleted precious memories captured on your Sony camera’s SD card? Whether it was a mispressed button or a technical glitch, the result is the same: your photos seem to be gone for good. But, don’t panic just yet! There are ways to retrieve those lost moments. In this article, we’ll explore how to recover deleted photos from a Sony camera’s SD card using Disk Drill, a powerful and user-friendly data recovery software. It’s important to note that when it comes to expert-rated SD card recovery tools, Disk Drill stands out for its efficiency and simplicity in restoring lost data. Keep reading to learn about the step-by-step process I’ve personally used to successfully recover images, giving you the best chance to get your memories back.


Common Scenarios:

Accidental Deletion 🗑

  • Human error is a common cause of data loss. Perhaps while viewing photos on your Sony camera, you accidentally selected ‘Delete All’ instead of ‘Delete One’.
  • Intending to delete just one bad shot, you might have pressed the wrong button, leading to the loss of a whole set of pictures.

Formatting Mishap 🔧

  • Formatting the SD card without backing up the photos often happens when you’re in a rush or not fully attentive to the camera’s prompts.
  • Mistakenly selecting the ‘Format’ option in your Sony camera’s settings can result in a complete wipe of the SD card’s contents.

Technical Glitches ⚙

  • Corruption of the SD card file system might occur, preventing you from accessing any files at all, including photos.
  • Software or hardware malfunctions can also lead to data being inexplicably deleted or lost.

Step-by-Step Guide. Recover Deleted Photos From A Sony Camera:

Method 1: Download and Install Disk Drill 📥

  • Go to the CleverFiles official website and download Disk Drill for Windows or macOS.
  • Install Disk Drill by following the on-screen instructions, ensuring you do not install it on the SD card where the lost photos were stored to prevent overwriting data.

Note: Choose the free version if you’re recovering less than 500MB of data or the Pro version for larger recoveries and advanced features.

Conclusion: Once Disk Drill is installed, you’re set up to begin the recovery process.

Method 2: Connect Your SD Card 🖇

  • Insert your Sony camera’s SD card into the card reader slot on your computer. If your computer doesn’t have a built-in SD card slot, use an external card reader.
  • Once connected, make sure that your computer recognizes the SD card. It should appear as a removable drive under ‘My Computer’ on Windows or on the Desktop for macOS.

Note: Refrain from adding new data to the SD card to avoid overwriting the deleted photos you aim to recover.

Conclusion: With the SD card connected to your computer, it’s now ready for Disk Drill to perform its magic.

Method 3: Initiate Disk Drill’s Recovery Tool 🔍

  • Open Disk Drill and locate the SD card under the ‘Devices’ section of the app.
  • Click on the ‘Recover’ button next to your SD card’s name to start scanning for lost data. Disk Drill will begin analyzing the card for recoverable files.

Note: A ‘Quick Scan’ may suffice for recently deleted files, but a ‘Deep Scan’ is recommended for more thorough results.

Conclusion: The scan can take several minutes or longer depending on the size of your SD card and the amount of data being retrieved.

Method 4: Review and Select Photos for Recovery ✅

  • Once Disk Drill completes the scan, review the found files. You can use the filters to view only image files, making it easier to find your deleted photos.
  • Select the photos you wish to recover by checking the boxes next to each file name.

Note: You can preview photos before recovering to ensure they’re the correct files and that they’re intact.

Conclusion: After selecting the desired photos, you’re one step closer to getting them back.

Method 5: Recover and Save Your Photos 📸

  • Prompt the recovery by clicking on the ‘Recover’ button after selecting the photos.
  • Choose a safe location on your computer’s hard drive to save the recovered photos. Do not save them back onto the SD card immediately.

Note: It’s best practice to save the recovered files to a different location than their original one to prevent data corruption.

Conclusion: Congratulations, your photos should now be restored to your chosen location!

Method 6: Backup Your Photos After Recovery 🛡

  • Now that you have recovered your photos, consider backing them up to an external hard drive, cloud storage, or another secure location.
  • Regular backups can prevent the stress and urgency of data recovery in the future.

Note: Perform regular backups after important photo sessions or events to minimize data loss risks.

Conclusion: With your photos safely backed up, you’ll have peace of mind.


Youtube video to watch


Precautions and Tips:

Safety Measures 🛑

  • Avoid using the SD card for new data to prevent overwriting deleted files.
  • Implement a regular backup strategy, including storing photos in multiple locations.
  • Consider investing in high-quality SD cards and keeping them in protective cases to mitigate physical damage.

Additional Recovery Options 💡

  • Explore other data recovery software if Disk Drill doesn’t yield the results you need. It’s always good to have a plan B in place.
  • Seek assistance from professional data recovery services if the data is critical, especially when faced with physical SD card damage.

Further Protection

Protecting your photos goes beyond the recovery process. It’s crucial to understand why data loss occurs to better shield yourself from potential issues in the future. File corruption, physical damage, and camera malfunctions can also lead to lost data. Learn the signs of a failing SD card, such as slow performance or error messages, and replace it before it leads to data loss.

Prioritize software updates for your Sony camera and any associated devices that interface with your SD card. Regularly updating can fix bugs and improve overall performance. Educate yourself with resources available online on sites like Digital Trends or photography forums for maintaining digital asset management and best practices in data protection.

Don’t forget to explore features on your Sony camera that can prevent accidental deletions, such as ‘write-protect’ options and customizing button functions to avoid mishaps. Your camera manual or support forums are great places to start. For further reading on SD card care, visit the SD Association website.


In conclusion, recovering deleted photos from a Sony camera’s SD card may feel daunting, but with tools like Disk Drill and the right approach, it’s often a solvable problem. Remember to remain calm and act quickly—refrain from using the SD card further to prevent overwriting data. By following the steps outlined in this article, you maximize your chances of a successful recovery. Embrace these methods, safeguard with backups, and you’ll enjoy your photography with a new peace of mind. Always explore additional information on Tom’s Guide and similar reputable resources for more tips on data recovery and avoid requiring recovery services in the future.


Yes, it's typically possible to recover deleted photos if they haven't been overwritten by new data on the camera's memory card.

Stop using the camera or memory card immediately to avoid overwriting the deleted files, increasing the chance of successful recovery.

No, you generally need data recovery software to scan and restore deleted files from your camera’s memory card.

Yes, Recuva and PhotoRec are popular software options for photo recovery. Always ensure you're downloading from the official sources.

No, Sony cameras do not have built-in recovery tools, but you can use compatible third-party recovery software.

Yes, photos can often still be recovered from formatted memory cards unless they have been overwritten by new data.

Be cautious with online services; always prioritize reputable, secure software applications to protect your data privacy.

The duration depends on the memory card’s capacity and the amount of data, ranging from a few minutes to several hours.

Regularly back up your photos to other storage devices or cloud services, and invest in quality memory cards.

Trusted sources like the official Recuva website and PhotoRec homepage are good starting points for downloading recovery tools.