If you’ve found that your pictures disappeared from your SD card, you’re not alone. This guide is here to show you how to retrieve deleted photos from your Sony camera and memory card. So, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and let’s together explore what it takes to make your favorite memories reappear like a rabbit out of a hat!

Is It Possible to Recover Data from a Sony Camera?

If you’re a proud owner of a Sony camera like the A7R V, A7 III, A9 Mark II, A1, A7 IV, A7R Mark IVA, A7C, ZV-1, ZV-E10, A6400, A6100, or A6000 and have recently lost important photos, then we have good news for you: their recovery is not only possible, but it’s also quite achievable with the right approach and tools.

However, it’s impossible to know how long the window will remain open if you keep writing new data to the storage device where your deleted photos were located. That’s why it’s extremely important to stop using your camera and the memory card right away.

Common Causes of Data Loss from a Sony Camera

When someone needs to retrieve deleted photos from a Sony camera, it’s usually because they’ve encountered one of the following common causes of data loss:

Cases Description How to Fix
Accidental deletion or formatting Sometimes, we accidentally delete the wrong photos or format the wrong memory card, leading to data loss. Follow the steps provided in the section below to recover lost photos from a Sony camera or memory card using data recovery software.
Interrupted data transfer process Data loss may occur when the camera or the device the camera is connected to is suddenly turned off or loses power. If data corruption has occurred, you should fix it before you attempt to recover lost files by following the instructions provided later in this article.
Improper ejection of the camera or memory card Ejecting the camera or memory card from the computer without following the proper procedure may cause data loss or corruption.     Fix any corruption that has occurred and follow the recovery steps in our guide below.
Sony camera firmware corruption A faulty firmware may cause all kinds of strange behavior, including photos going missing or becoming impossible to open. Update the camera’s firmware to the latest version and use recovery software to retrieve lost files.
Virus or malware infection Viruses or malware are known to corrupt or even delete files. Use antivirus software to scan and remove any infection from your camera, memory card, or computer and use the recovery software recommended below to recover virus-infected files.
Physical damage to the camera or memory card Damage to the camera or memory card, such as from dropping or water exposure, may destroy the storage chip inside your Sony camera or memory card. Seek professional assistance to recover data from a damaged SD card or camera.
Memory card corruption Logical corruption can cause files to disappear from the card, the file system to become raw, or the memory card to now appear in File Explorer. Use memory card repair tools to fix the corruption and, as explained below, use recovery software to recover files from a corrupted SD card.

How to Restore Deleted Photos using Sony Photo Recovery Software

With the right photo recovery software, you can easily recover your precious memories. But how do you choose the right software when there are so many options available? That’s what the next section of this article is all about.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Data Recovery Software

When choosing the best data recovery software for this guide, we focused on the following factors:

  • 💁‍♂️ Ease-of-use: We looked for software that’s user-friendly and easy to navigate even for complete beginners who have never recovered any lost data before.
  • ⚙️ System compatibility: We made sure the data recovery software supports the most commonly used operating systems, file systems, and storage devices (SD cards, CFexpress cards, etc.) used by Sony camera owners.
  • 🖼️ Recovery capabilities: We checked whether the software supports all necessary file formats, including JPEG, HEIF, RAW, and Sony ARW, to guarantee the successful recovery of your lost photos.
  • 💰 Affordable price: We sought out software that offers effective recovery features at a reasonable price, doing our best to find the right balance between cost and performance.

If you decide to do your own research for the best software to recover deleted pictures from a Sony camera, then we recommend you consider the same factors as we did.

How to Recover Deleted Pictures from a Sony Camera

After thorough research and considering the factors mentioned above, we’ve found that Disk Drill is an ideal solution to recover deleted photos from your Sony camera. Here’s why:

  • Disk Drill supports a wide range of image formats, including JPEG, HEIF, and Sony ARW. It can also perform RAW storage device recovery.
  • The application is compatible with various memory card types (SD, CFexpress, and so on) that you may encounter during a Sony camera data recovery. That’s also why we recommend Disk Drill as an SD card recovery tool.
  • There is no other solution that’s as easy-to-use and capable of delivering such great results as Disk Drill.

Now that you know why Disk Drill is the right tool for this important job, it’s time for us to provide a step-by-step guide on how to use it to recover deleted pictures from your Sony camera:

  1. Download Disk Drill from the official website and install it on your computer. The free version of Disk Drill for Windows can recover up to 500 MB of photos from your Sony camera, and it can preview an unlimited number of files, allowing you to verify their recoverability.
  2. Connect your Sony camera or memory card to your computer. If your Sony camera appears as a removable storage device when connected using a USB cable, then you should be able to recover your photos from it without any issues. The memory card from your camera can be recovered by inserting it into a compatible card reader.memory card reader
  3. Launch Disk Drill and scan the connected Sony camera or memory card. Once you have Disk Drill running on your Windows computer, you should see your Sony camera or memory card displayed in the list of available drives. Select it and click the Search for lost data button.search for lost data sony card
  4. Preview and select the photos you want to recover. Once the scanning process is complete, Disk Drill will display a list of recoverable files. Browse through the list and preview the photos to ensure they’re the ones you want to recover. You can use the file format filter to quickly locate the specific file types used by your Sony camera.select sony photos disk drill
  5. Recover deleted photos from your Sony camera. Finally, click on the Recover button, and tell Disk Drill where it should place the recovered photos.disk drill recover sony card

That’s all it takes to perform a Sony photo recovery using Disk Drill for Windows!

Tips for Maximizing Recovery Success from a Sony Camera

The Sony photo recovery method described above can usually yield great results right on the first try, but there are several tips you should know about to maximize your recovery chances:

  • Stop using the Sony camera immediately: Stop taking new pictures or videos soon as you notice your photos are missing. This prevents the deleted files from being overwritten by new data, which would make them impossible to recover.
  • Perform recovery as soon as possible: Based on our experience, the sooner you start the recovery process, the higher your chance of success in retrieving your lost photos. Those who wait too long can accidentally overwrite the lost files or misplace the storage device.
  • 🚫 Do not save recovered files to the same memory card: When you recover your lost photos, don’t save them back to the same memory card they were deleted from. Instead, save them to a different storage device, like your computer’s internal or external hard drive. Again, this is to prevent overwriting.
  • 🛡️ Recover your data using a trusted recovery tool: Use reliable and reputable data recovery software to retrieve your deleted photos. When recovering a memory card, use a memory card reader that’s in good working condition so that it doesn’t fail on you in the middle of the recovery process.
  • ☎️ Contact a professional recovery service if you fear making a mistake: If you’re unsure about your ability to recover deleted photos on your own, don’t hesitate and contact one of the best professional data recovery services for help. While more expensive, data recovery experts have the knowledge and experience to maximize the chances of recovering your lost photos.



By following the guidelines and recommendations in this tutorial, you can quickly restore deleted photos from your Sony camera. To avoid future data loss disasters, it’s essential to develop good habits, such as regularly backing up your data, safely ejecting storage devices, and keeping your camera’s firmware up to date. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy a worry-free photography experience with your beloved Sony camera.

David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer specializing in the technology niche, covering a wide range of topics from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry applications. His passion for te...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.