Pros / It recognized and recovered almost every camera raw format in our tests.

Cons / It only recovered 75 percent of the JPGs during the lost file tests and 72 percent of the JPGs during the reformatted drive test.

 Verdict / PhotoRescue is below average at recovery of nearly every image type in all of the tests that we ran.

Developed by DataRescue, PhotoRescue is affordable photo recovery software designed specifically for small storage devices – SD cards, memory sticks, microSDs and flash cards. However, it can also recover photos from standard HDD and SSD drives. It can recover almost every camera raw format, which makes this software suitable for serious photographers trying to recoup raw files on memory cards.

We performed tests that simulated data loss from a lost file scenario, which is when you accidentally delete the photos, and a reformatted drive scenario. In each test, which we ran on an HDD, SSD and SD card, PhotoRescue recorded only two image recovery rates that were above average.

In the lost file test, PhotoRescue recovered 75 percent of the JPGs. Since JPGs are the most commonly used image format, it’s critical that this kind of software be able to recover this format with a high success rate. Most of the products we tested recovered JPGs at 100 percent, with few exceptions. In the same test, PhotoRescue recouped 53 percent of the other raster files – TIF, GIF, BMP and PNG. Again, this is well below average. The only recovery rate in this test that was above average was the production files, which are in-progress layered images that require Corel Painter or Adobe Photoshop to view.

In the reformatted drive scenario, PhotoRescue successfully recovered 72 percent of JPGs, which was about average; many of the image recovery software applications we tested struggled at this kind of recovery. PhotoRescue only recovered 29 percent of the other raster images. It failed to recover any vector or production files whatsoever. However, it recovered 24 percent of the camera raw images, which was slightly above average.

The most notable strength of PhotoRescue is its ability to recognize camera raw images. Since raw images are in proprietary formats used by specific digital camera brands, these are the most difficult image files to recover. In all of the tests that we ran, this software recognized all but two of these proprietary raw formats – those belonging to Epson and Samsung. This makes it a good option for serious photographers who shoot with DSLR cameras.

The software’s average scan speed on the HDD, SSD and SD card was 143GB, which makes it one of the faster recovery programs for scanning drives. For comparison, the average scan speed in our tests was 87.9GB per hour. If you were scanning a 1TB hard drive, PhotoRescue would complete the scan in roughly seven hours, while most other applications could take as much as 11 hours. However, PhotoRescue’s average recover speed was 47GB per hour, which is 24GB per hour slower than the average recover speed. The application with the fastest recover speed in our comparison is CardRecovery.

With PhotoRescue’s ability to recognize camera raw formats and the design’s focus on smaller storage devices common to digital cameras, it’s good photo recovery software for serious photographers. However, the subpar recovery rate for most image types, including JPGs, is one reason it’s not one of the best photo recovery software options overall.

  • Average Scan Speed
  • Average Recover Speed
  1. The higher numbers equal a faster speed.
    Higher is Better.
  2. 9  PhotoRescue
    143.0 GB
  3. 209.0 GB
  4. 17.0 GB
  5. 44.0 GB
  6. Category Average
    120.2 GB
PhotoRescue Visit Site

Specifications and Benchmarks

Ease of Use



Direct Support

Digital Camera Recovery

Nikon (NEF, NRW)
Canon (CGM, CR2, CRW)
Panasonic (RAW, RW2)
Sony (SR2, ARW)
Polaroid (X3F)
Samsung (SRW)
Olympus (ORF)
Kodak (DCR, KDC)
Epson (ERF)
Fuji (RAF)

Lost File & Reformatted Drive Recovery

Average Scan Speed (GB/hr)
143 GB/hr
Average Recover Speed (GB/hr)
47 GB/hr
JPEG Images
Other Raster Images
Vector Images