Tapeless video is great and has many benefits, until some sort of error causes the card to become corrupt and you can't access your footage/photos.
There are a number of things that can go wrong with your media storage, and I found one of them while traveling in China last fall.
I just wanted to share some of my experience of recovering files so you can
- avoid it in the future
- save some money
- and save some time
if you find yourself in a similar situation...
The thing I found that can mess up the media storage on your camera, in my case an SD card, is recording to the end of the card. I thought I'd get one more shot to fill my new 16GB card to capacity with memories of my first trip to China. I knew the card was getting full but when I saw it record to the last second it kept recording and I thought, "oh it must know what it's doing
," but when I tried to stop recording the camera froze - everything froze and I had to remove the battery of my camera. When I turned it back on there was only 1 file showing up on my card in play mode - that's not good. I didn't totally panic because I knew data recovery is often an option...
When I returned home I tried all the programs I knew of to try and view the files from the card on my computer, no luck. Both the camera and SD card were recently purchased from Best Buy, and they said it needed data recovery, which sadly was not part of the warranty... Their recovery services started at $250 which I was not too excited about so I looked into it on my own. After much research and time I ended up spending about $200, I needed two steps that I'll descrbe, and I'm not sure if the second step my files needed would have made Best Buy's quote go up or not.
After googling data recovery I came up with a couple options. The programs I was looking at are about $50 and offer a deep scan
of drives. I have a Mac computer and ended up going with MediaRecover (Wondershare is another option, and in my searches I think I saw there are some programs for Windows that are free). After running a deep scan of my card it showed all the photo and video files - hooray! I copied all the recovered files and was content to see the photos, but when I tried to play the videos they often just showed one frame and the sound stopped working after a couple seconds - dang.
Depending on what happens to the SD card, doing this deep scan could be enough to get your files back for anying from $0-$50. The video files I had were useless in the state they were in (would not play in any player-VLC, mpeg Streamclip, etc.), but more research led me to believe these recovered files could be repaired
. The video footage was what I really wanted from the card anyway, and I found a couple options that let you test out their product before buying it to make sure it works for your problem. Both were about $150, I went with HD Video repair, another is Aeroquartet. It really is amazing how these programs can match up the audio to the video, and repair them so all the frames are in order with no skipping. Batch repair was a nice feature that worked great to fix my hundreds of files all at once.
Corrupt SD cards are no fun - It is better to avoid filling your card to capacity, dropping it, getting it wet, etc. - but there is some piece of mind knowing that there are options to recover and even repair corrupt files