How to recover deleted photos/videos from digital camera memory card on Mac? (free and feasible)

Look for a way to undelete a bunch of pictures from your Canon/Nikon/Sony cameras on Mac? Formatted your camera's internal memory or can't read a memory card? Free download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery to recover deleted files, photos and video from digital cameras in several easy steps.

By Katrina | Updated to Mac Data Recovery, on July 16th, 2019 |

Digital cameras have changed our lives!

With them, you can capture still photographs or videos of your kid's game-winning RBI, your favorite band belting out a tune in concert, or incredible rainbow arcing over your neighborhood.

Then these precious moments will be stored on the attached SD card memory card. Generally speaking, you can keep all your photos and videos forever unless you delete them.

However, photos can be easily removed or deleted from your digital camera for different reasons like accidental deletion, virus infection and improper removal of memory card.

How to solve this issue? This post will introduce you some free digital camera data recovery software and guide you to recover deleted photos from camera SD memory cards on Mac.

Table of contents:
1. What is a digital camera?
2. Can deleted pictures on a digital camera be recovered?
3. What should you know before recovering deleted photos from digital cameras on Mac?
4. Top free digital camera data recovery software
5. How to recover deleted photos from digital cameras on Mac?
6. How to fix corrupted camera memory cards on Mac?
7. Tips to prevent data loss on digital cameras
8. Conclusion

What is a digital camera?

A digital camera or digicam is a tool that use an electronic image sensor to create still photographs and record videos.

Nowadays, digital cameras have equipped amateur and professional photographers with multiple automated control functions. They can not only take pictures but also record sound and videos. Compare with traditional film cameras, digital cameras have the main three advantages:

What is a digital camera

Firstly, digital cameras take pictures and store the image as data on a memory card. Secondly, any current digital cameras have an LCD so that they can display images on a screen immediately after being recorded, store and delete images from memory. Thirdly, they use a lens with a variable diaphragm to record color images as intensities of red, green and blue. Finally, these stored images can be uploaded to a computer, or even Facebook or Flicker wirelessly.

As you can see, digital cameras bring a new level of enjoyment to picture taking and have numerous advantage.

But sometimes your careless attitude or accidental pressing of the deletion button of the digital camera may cause loss of our valuable photos. You may wonder that "Can I recover deleted photos or videos from a digital camera?" "Where is the recently deleted photo or album from my digital camera?" Let's move forward!

Can deleted pictures on a digital camera be recovered?

Of course, you can get all deleted photos and videos back as long as they are not overwritten.

When you deleted pictures or any files from a memory card or USB memory device in a digital camera, you can't find or access any of them.

But actually, the data itself isn't deleted, just the file system pointers that say where the data for those files is located. The area where the deleted photos data was stored is also now marked as free space, so it is available to the system for any new files to be written there instead.

Can deleted pictures on a camera be recovered

Fortunately, you have great chances to recover deleted photos or videos from digital cameras. Sounds great, Aha? However, these deleted files are prone to data overwriting. How to avoid? Let's have a look!

What should you know before recovering deleted photos from digital cameras on Mac?

In order to avoid permanent data loss, here are some tips you should know before recovering deleted photos or videos from digital cameras:

  1. Turn off your digital camera and remove the SD memory card immediately. If you continue to use the camera after deleting photos from the digital camera, such as saving new photos in it, this will partially or completely overwrite the files you want back. Once these deleted photos are overwritten, it's impossible to get them back.
  2. Perform photo recovery as soon as possible. A professional SD card data recovery can scan for the deleted or lost files with read-only mode. Then it will easily restore deleted photos and videos from digital cameras.

Top free digital camera data recovery software

Losing your precious photos and videos can be frustrating, but the good news is that data recovery tools can effectively help you get data back. There are tons of free deleted photo recovery software, which one is the best? Check out the following list:

NO.1. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is on the top of the free digital camera data recovery software list, may not come as a surprise. This data recovery software enables you to recover deleted files from digital cameras, memory cards, SD cards, hard drives, external hard drives, USB drives, and other storage devices, even if you have emptied the Mac Trash. It can recognize more than 200 different file types, such as documents, photos, videos, emails, music, etc., this program can restore all of them with no hassle.

Best free digital camera data recovery software

In addition to deleted file recovery, iBoysoft data recovery can also recover lost data from formatted hard drive, recover data from unmountable hard drive, unreadable hard drive, inaccessible external hard drive, lost partition, etc.

Moreover, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery employs a suite of powerful scanning options, including default Quick scan and Deep Scan. Quick scan performs a fast scan on the selected existing volumes for deleted files in seconds. If you don't find your data with this Quick scan mode, then you can directly switch to Deep scan mode. This mode will thoroughly scan your entire drive, helping you find even more files buried on your hard drive or removable drive. It will take longer but it's worth it.

Last but not least, this tool comes with many filtering settings that you can use it to quickly target the right content from a massive result.


  • Different scanning modes are available
  • Over 300 file types are supported
  • Support different storage devices, from both Mac internal hard drive and external hard storage media.
  • Recover deleted files from APFS, HFS+, HFSX, HFS, FAT32, exFAT drives
  • Works on macOS 10.14/10.13/10.12/10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7
  • Preview recoverable files before recovery
  • Simple and straightforward user interface


  • The free version can only recover data up to 1 GB

NO.2. Photorec

Photorec is an open-source data recovery software tools designed to recover deleted photos from digital cameras and SD memory cards. Don't be fooled by its name, Photorec can also recover other file formats including ZIP, Office, PDF, MP3, MOV, etc. It is completely free and works on multiple platforms including macOS, Windows, Linux.

Photorec for Mac


  • Completely free
  • Support recovering various types of files from both Mac hard drive and external storage devices.
  • Preview files before recovering data on Mac.


  • Command-line interface. Photorec doesn’t have a user-friendly interface, which can be difficult to use for non-geeks.
  • Don't support the latest macOS.

NO.3. Exif Untrasher

Another great SD card data recovery software for Mac is Exif Untrasher. It is able to locate deleted photos (JPG format only) on any external storage media such as SD/CF cards, memory sticks, USB drives, external hard drives, etc. Whether you deleted photos due to accidental deletion or disk formatting, this tool can retrieve all of them with no fuss.

Exif Untrasher for Mac


  • It's free.
  • Easy to set up, and the app interface is intuitive.


  • Don't support scanning internal Mac hard drive.
  • Only JPEG format is supported, no camera RAW images or other video formats.
  • The scanning speed is slow.

To conclude, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is the best free Mac photo recovery software.

How to recover deleted photos from digital cameras with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery?

After downloading and installing iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, only 4 steps are needed for us to recover deleted/lost photos from digital camera on Mac.

Best free digital camera SD card data recovery - iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

  • Supported file formats: JPG, PNG, Exif, TIFF, GIF, BMP, PPM, PGM, WebP, SVG, RAW, etc.
  • Recover deleted photos from SD cards of any makers: SanDisk, Lexar, Kingston, Samsung, Polaroid, PNY, Transcend, etc.
  • Recover files from formatted, RAW, inaccessible SD cards
  • Supported file system: APFS, APFS encrypted, HFS+, HFSX, HFS, exFAT and FAT32
  • macOS Catalina supported

Read-only & risk-free

Steps to recover deleted photos or videos from digital camera on Mac

You can also watch this video to learn how to recover deleted photos/videos from digital cameras on Mac:

Step 1: Connect the digital camera to our Mac.

Tips: For better result, please power off the digital camera and take out its memory card, then connect the memory card to Mac with a card reader.

Step 2: Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Step 3: Choose the digital camera memory card and click "Next" to scan all deleted/lost photos.

Recover deleted photos from digital cameras with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 4: Preview the photos in scanning results and choose photos we want to recover, click "Recover" to get those important photos back.

Recover deleted photos from digital cameras with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

SD card repair: how to fix corrupted camera memory cards on Mac?

It can be quite annoying when an SD memory card stops working. With the card attached to your digital camera, phone, tablet, or computer, suddenly you find the SD card is not recognized or showing up on the device.

Perhaps, the SD card is not mounting on your Mac computer or an error message prompts out: "The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer".

If you are fed up with these issues, you can deem your SD card is corrupted. Please try the following four solutions in sequence to repair and fix corrupted SD memory cards.

How to fix corrupted SD memory cards

Solution 1: Remove and reinsert the SD card

Perhaps you think that this is nonsense, but it is definitely not! Often, an improperly or partially inserted SD card may also present problems that can be fixed by removing the card and reinserting it.

Power down your device. Wait for a few seconds after the power is off. Then remove the SD card. Start your device. Wait until it has completed the full startup. Finally, reinsert the SD card.

Solution 2: Connect SD card to another device

At times, the SD card not readable issue can be caused by incompatibility or driver-related issues. In such a situation, you should try to connect your SD card to a PC to see if it works.

Solution 3: Run First Aid to repair corrupted SD memory cards

If the SD memory card has some logical errors, you can run the built-in procedure – First Aid to check and repair the card.

  1. Step 1: Open Disk Utility from your /Applications/Utilities folder.
  2. Step 2: Select the corrupted SD card in the left sidebar.
  3. Step 3: Select the "First Aid" tab. Click "Run".

Repair corrupted SD memory card via First Aid

Solution 4: Format the SD card on Mac

If First Aid is not able to repair the corrupted SD card, the last and most effective solution is to format the unreadable or corrupted SD memory card on Mac. But this process will erase all data stored on the SD card, if you have important files, please make sure you have backed up important data with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

  1. Step 1: Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. Step 2: After launching Disk Utility, choose "View" from the upper right menu bar. From the drop-down menu, select "Show All Devices".
  3. Step 3: Select the corrupted SD card in the left sidebar.
  4. Step 4: Click on the "Erase" tab on the top of the window.
  5. Step 5: Enter the related info and then click "Erase".

Tips to prevent data loss on digital cameras

Here is a list of five mistakes to avoid when handling memory cards for digital cameras:

  • Make regular backups. Backup, Backup, Backup, always backup your pictures to your computer or an external hard drive regularly and frequently.
  • Be sure to safely eject the memory card from your computer or digital camera.
  • Don't remove a memory card when your camera is on.
  • Store your digital camera in a safe environment. To prevent a memory card from being stolen or corrupted physically, you should avoid using or placing the memory card in high temperature and high humidity environment.
  • Don't remove the SD card or shut down the system while the read/write operation is in progress.
  • Run anti-virus software to protect your SD card from malware attacks.


You use digital cameras to capture memories that you want to remember. Each photo is so unique that you cannot be created again.

Whereas, you may lose and delete your precious photos in digital cameras for different reasons, such as accidental deletion or the corrupted SD memory card inside.

Don't panic. This final guide has uncovered everything about digital camera data recovery, including a detailed tutorial to recover data from SD cards, tips to prevent data loss on digital cameras and more.

What deserves to mention is that you can effectively recover deleted photos from digital cameras with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery. No matter how you deleted or lost your files, this free Mac photo recovery software can recover them.

Hope this works for you. If you have any question or suggestion about digital camera photo recovery, please don't hesitate to let us know.


Katrina is a data recovery expert @iBoysoft who loves to help readers solve various data recovery problems.

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