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How to Repair Corrupt RAW Photos?

Manisha Rawat
Manisha Rawat Published On - 06 Oct 2020

“I am a travel photographer, visiting lands and clicking pics is all I do as a hobby and for a living. I have been doing this for more than a year now, but never had a situation where I am afraid of losing all my data. Many of the pics from the collection are not opening, some of them are grey, while some of them have only a half body. They are clicked from my professional digital camera and are in RAW format files. I don’t know what has happened to them, looks like they have been corrupted. I am quite inexperienced in it and don’t know what should be done in such a case. I don’t want to do anything that can worsen the situation for me. These images are very important to me, and I want to recover them with their original quality. Can anyone please suggest me the best way to repair and recover these images? As I have already explained what I do and how important these images are to me, please suggest me the most efficient and the quickest way possible to do it, as I have to deliver these images as soon as possible to my client. I am open to free and paid solutions and services. Please Help!”

If you are a photography enthusiast, then you might be very well familiar with RAW file format. As the popularity and usage of Digital Cameras are also increasing, not just professional photographers but also some photography enthusiasts are using these cameras for unbeatable picture quality. RAW is one of the formats of these digital cameras to save their images. RAW files are much more crucial, as the images in this format is less processed than any other image format.

The images that RAW file contains uncompressed photos with the best image quality. These types of images are also the best choice for editing and enhancements. Either you can make some corrections in the images with a good photo editing tool, or you can apply your creativity to enhance the photograph in a very professional and attractive manner.
All of this is good until you do not face any unfortunate situation with your precious images. One such unfortunate thing is corruption in the images. Corruption is that threat to the images that can haunt you really badly. But there are effective ways with which you can fix corruption in your image files. In this blog, we are going to discuss how one can fix the corruption in the RAW images.

Reasons for Corruption in RAW Files

Before you proceed to know the solutions to fix RAW files, you first must know the reasons for its occurrence. There can be many reasons why you might be facing corruption in your RAW files. Here we are going to mention a few of them, and they are:

  • Virus in storage drive
  • Improper SD card ejection practices
  • Interruption in the transfer process of RAW files
  • Unrecognized and undetectable SD cards.
  • Clicking images while your camera’s battery is low.
  • Clicking images while the storage space in your SD card is almost full.
  • Interruption while downloading the image files.
  • System crashes while your SD card is still mounted.

Similarly, there are more unknown reasons that might lead to corruption in RAW files. Now, when we know how RAW files may get corrupted, let’s proceed towards its solution.

How to Fix Corruption in RAW Images?

There are many free methods to repair corrupt JPEG files. But when it comes to RAW files, solutions are a little complicated. However, let’s now discuss the ways with which you can fix the corruption in the images.

  • Fix Corrupt Images with Kernel Photo Repair
  • The first and foremost way we would like to suggest, in this case, is an automated tool. The best way to fix corrupt images is by fixing it with a reliable third-party tool that can repair and recover images with original quality. Such a reliable and renowned tool is Kernel Photo Repair. This tool can recover a wide variety of image formats like RAW, JPEG, JPG, BMP, GIF, RIFF, RAF, TIF, PNG, NEF, MRW, etc.
    There is no limitation to the file size and the number of files you can fix with this tool. Be it any sort of corruption, minor or severe, you can trust this tool. The tool provides customization options with which one can easily personalize their experience. Apart from this, the tool has a very few and easy steps by following which one can fix any sort of corruption in the images. Let’s check how this tool works with the help of the step by step screenshots of the tool:

    1. First, you will need to download and install the tool on your system. You need to do it from the company’s website.
    2. Once the tool is installed, click on the add (+) icon on the home screen of the tool, to add the image(s) you want to repair.
    3. In this step, select the image(s) you want to proceed with for the repair process.
    4. Once selected the images, you will be taken to the next step, where you can see all your images listed on the screen. There, you can click on the add and remove icon to add more files or to remove the selected ones, respectively. Click on the bin icon to remove all of them at once.
    5. 5.Now, provide a destination to the repaired file on your system. Go to the location, select the folder, and click on OK.
    6. As you provide a destination, the repair process will take place. You will get the live report on your screen if the repair is in progress or it is successful. Wait for the process to finish and as it gets over, click on the Close button to finish the process.

    Note: You can also click on the Save report to CSV to get a detailed CSV report.

  • Open Image with Another Photo Editor Software
  • If you think that the issue with your image file is not corruption but compatibility, try another photo editor software. RAW is not a typical usual image file format like JPEG, PNG, etc. So, it is not supported by many photo editors. So, the reason you might not be able to open your file is that it is not supported by your current software.
    In such a case, you can try opening your RAW files with Adobe Photoshop. Many of us are aware of Adobe Photoshop and know that it has so many features that other software don’t have. With it, you can open and edit the images in high quality without any issue.

  • Try Converting the Image to Another File Format
  • If you are unable to open an image of a particular format, you can try converting those images to another format. Converting corrupt images to another format works in many situations. There are many ways you can convert one particular image file format to another. One such method is using online image conversion tools. There are many online websites that can convert images to any file format very easily. Mostly online conversion platforms work similarly in terms of steps involved. Go to the website, look for a browse option to add the file. While proceeding, select a format you want to convert your file to. Once converted, download the file.

  • Try Reducing Noise
  • Reducing noise from the images can help fix their corruption, and so is the case with RAW files. Here we are going to mention two ways to do so:

    • Try Photo Editing Software
    • There are many photo editing tools that can help reduce the noise in the RAW images. These photo editing tools are Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. You can try to repair and restore damaged photos using Photoshop or Lightroom. You can fix grains, spots, patches, and color-related issues. If you are not proficient, take the help of a professional.

    • Try Noise Reduction Plugins
    • RAW files can also be fixed with the help of noise reduction plugins. For this, you will need to take help from a professional, as this can’t be done by someone who is not proficient. The plugins you can use for this purpose are Photo Ninja, Noise Reducer Pro, Neat Image, etc.

For Mac Users

  • Try Apple Photo Repair
  • If you are a Mac user and you are facing this error, it might be due to the Mac’s Photo Library issue. In such a scenario, you can use Apple’s Photo Repair tool to fix the photo library. This tool, once run, can detect and fix the issues in the photo app. This tool can repair the corrupt RAW files automatically in a few steps. Let’s learn these steps:

    1. Start with clicking on the Photos and then click on the Quit Photos option.
    2. In this step, click on the Option-Command.
    3. As you proceed, click on the Photos thumbnails you want to repair.
    4. Once selected all, click on the click on the Repair option to proceed with fixing images.

    Once all the steps are done successfully, the user needs to wait for the repair process to finish. Once the repair process is done, check the files. If they are fixed, good enough. If not, try the next one.

How to Avoid Corruption in RAW files?

There is a solution available for every problem, but why put ourselves in such situations? There are many easy practices you can follow to avoid corruption from happening. Check the list below to learn how to avoid corruption in RAW files:

  • Never shoot or click pictures while your camera’s battery is low.
  • Always keep enough space in your SD card when you are shooting or clicking images.
  • Always use an SD card from the best available brand.
  • It’s better if you use a Class 10 memory card.
  • Always ensure a proper power supply while transferring or downloading RAW images.
  • Never use one SD Card on multiple devices.
  • Always keep the practice of ejecting SD cards safely and properly.

These are some of the good practices you can follow to ensure that your RAW files do not get corrupt while you work on it.

Conclusion:

The easiest way to fix corruption in RAW files is by using a third-party tool to do so. We used Kernel Photo Repair for the same because it is the best way to fix corruption without losing the original quality of the images. We used a couple of fixes to repair and recover the corrupt RAW files, but none of them ensures guaranteed results. Moreover, those sources don’t even guarantee to maintain the original quality of the images. Hope this blog helped you fix the corruption in your RAW files. For any other queries and feedback, you can leave comments in the below section.

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