Have you lost photos from a Nikon Camera? There’s no need to panic. Losing photos and videos are pretty common. Fortunately, getting these files back is a simple process, and there are several solutions available to help you get back your precious digital memories.
Your essential photos or videos can often disappear due to accidental deletion, formatting, etc. This article will give you a comprehensive view of using professional recovery software to perform successful photo recovery.
Want to skip the introduction part and jump straight to the recovery guide? Click here.
Can I Recover Data from a Nikon Camera?
Yes, it is absolutely possible to recover photos from any DSLR camera like the Nikon.
Nikon photo recovery can seem challenging if you don’t have the proper information regarding the exact cause of data loss or your camera’s specifications. To help ease this process, we’ve assembled a list of probable causes, popular camera models, and SD card types that could guide you through recovering photos from your camera.
Common Data Loss Scenarios Related to Nikon Cameras
Losing data on your Nikon cameras is common, and it can occur for multiple reasons. Here’s a list of some of these reasons and their solutions:
|Data Loss Reason||Description||Solution|
If you delete your photos or videos by accident
You can check the recently deleted folder recover deleted files from an SD Card.
Error with file transfer
When the data transfer is interrupted in between
You can Retry the operation. If it still shows an error, backup the SD card data and restore your files.
Formatting the camera or SD card by mistake
Accidentally formatting the SD card or the camera settings
You can attempt to recover photos using available methods to recover data from formatted SD cards.
Virus or Malware Attack
If you connect the camera to an infected device
You can retrieve your files using data recovery software, then format the device.
Nikon firmware corruption
Firmware corruption while updating your Nikon camera
Use data recovery software to restore your data, then back it up, then try to fix the issue.
SD card isn’t showing up on File Explorer, becomes RAW, etc.
If your SD card has become corrupted or isn't recognized by the computer
You can turn to data recovery software if your SD card becomes RAW. If File Explorer cannot access the SD card data, you can try to fix it by: - Chkdsk (Command Prompt) - Attrib (Command Prompt) - Windows Error-checking tool
Damage to the camera or SD card
You should use a professional data recovery service to attempt the restoration.
Popular Models of Nikon Cameras
A trustworthy data recovery solution can help restore lost photos or videos from a range of Nikon cameras. Some of the popular models used by professional photographers and videographers alike are:
- Nikon Z5
- Nikon ZfC
- Nikon Z50
- Nikon Z6 II
- Nikon Z9
- Nikon D5300
- Nikon D3500
- Nikon D3500
- Nikon D7500
- Nikon D780
- Nikon D850
- Coolpix B500
- Coolpix P1000
- Coolpix B700
Types of Cards that Work with Nikon Cameras
Memory cards store all your videos and photos in digital cameras. Since Nikon is one of the major players in the market today, the brand’s cameras are compatible with a majority of memory cards. You can use the methods listed in this article to recover disappeared files from your SD card.
Some standard memory cards used with Nikon digital cameras, DSLR cameras, and mirrorless cameras are listed below:
|Card Type||Storage Size|
SD (Secure Digital)
~ 2 GB
SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity)
2 GB ~ 32 GB
SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity)
32 GB ~ 2 TB
SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity)
2 TB ~ 128 TB
2 TB ~ 128 TB
CF (Compact Flash)
~ 2 TB
All the above SD card variants are typically used with DSLR, mirrorless, and older digital cameras. Some exceptions include the micro SD card which is a favorite for mobile devices. Additionally, the CFast is the ideal choice for older DSLR cameras.
How to Recover Deleted Photos from a Nikon Camera
We believe that the best way to recover files from a Nikon camera is to use reliable data recovery software. Sometimes, you might be able to restore your precious photos from the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder or other in-computer methods.
However, that won’t always be possible. In situations like these, you can trust professional data recovery software to retrieve files from your SD card.
Caution! In an unexpected data loss situation, remember to stop using your SD card immediately. If you keep using the SD card without attempting data recovery, your chances of getting the data back will reduce drastically.
We’ll demonstrate the data recovery process using Disk Drill and Recuva for this article. These tools are quite well-known and can work well for Nikon photo recovery.
Option A: Disk Drill
Disk Drill is industry-leading recovery software that can restore your data effectively. It supports Windows and macOS and comes loaded with premium features like data protection, byte-level backups, etc.
Disk Drill is an easy-to-use software, but we realize that data recovery with professional software can seem challenging to amateurs. So, follow these steps for a detailed guide on Nikon deleted photo recovery:
- Download and Install Disk Drill from the official website.
- Safely eject the SD card from your Nikon camera.
- Now, connect your SD card to the computer. You can either use a USB cable with the camera or an SD card reader.
- Launch Disk Drill. Now, select the SD card from the list of drives. You can choose your recovery method – Quick Scan or Deep Scan.
- Click Search for Lost Data. The advanced algorithm will scan through the data. It recognizes more than 400 different file types!
- Once the scan is complete, click Review Found Files.
- Preview the files you wish to recover. You can do so by hovering over the eye button to the right of the file name. It will also indicate the success rate for recovery – low, average, or high.
- Select the files you wish to recover from the SD card and select the Recover button.
- Enter the recovery location and ensure that you’re restoring your photos to a different device or drive. Finally, click OK.
Insight – You can pause, save or resume the scan whenever you want. Disk Drill even allows users to save search results for later.
🔎Pro Tip: Disk Drill also allows you to filter search results by file type. You can sort results by typing .nef or .nrw into the search bar.
You can go through our full Disk Drill review to learn more about Disk Drill and its many fascinating features.
Option B: Recuva
Recuva is another trustworthy data recovery solution that has been around for years. Developed by Piriform, it is a fast, lightweight tool that can help with Nikon photo recovery. It is available for free download on Windows. While the unpaid version accommodates most additional features packed with Recuva, its Professional version is quite affordable.
You can follow these steps to perform Nikon deleted photo recovery from your SD card using Recuva:
- Download and Install Recuva, then launch it on your computer.
- Now, click Next from the initial window that’ll open. Here, you can select the specific type that you wish to recover. For example, if you choose pictures, Recuva will search for deleted photos on your memory card. You can also select All Files for a more exhaustive search.
- In the next window, select the location from which you wish to discover. Then click Next again.
- Tick the box beside Enable Deep Scan and hit Start.
- You can preview the files you wish to recover by clicking on them in the left window. Tick the checkboxes to select these files, then click Recover. Now, select a location where you wish to save the recovered files. Then, click OK.
For a detailed breakdown of Recuva and all its features, take a look at our comprehensive review of file recovery with the Recuva software.
Can I Restore Data from a Nikon Camera Directly?
No, you cannot restore data from a Nikon camera directly.
Earlier, the USB mass storage system presented a camera’s storage to the computer as a removable drive. This meant that users had free access to the file system and could inadvertently re-format the filesystem while copying and transferring data. Such unrestricted access could have unpredictable consequences.
Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) is a new transfer protocol developed by Microsoft to connect portable devices. Most new cameras are only compatible with the MTP mode, so third-party data recovery software won’t be able to access the data in the camera’s file system.
Thus, we recommend that you use a memory card to restore data. Since they are flash storage devices, you can use an SD card to recover lost or deleted photos from your Nikon camera without any hassles.
Several things can cause damage to your precious data. To prevent severe data loss in such situations, always remember to back up your data regularly and follow best practices while handling your camera and SD cards.
However, if nothing else seems to be working and you’ve lost critical data from your Nikon camera, you can turn to the methods mentioned in this article and use professional data recovery software to get back deleted or lost photos.
Joshua is a content curator for Handy Recovery. His expertise involves taking intricate IT concepts and breaking them down into super easy to understand chunks. He’s been wielding the writing sword for quite some time now - 3 years to be precise. Digital marketing, data recovery, and anything “techy” are Joshua’s niches.
Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team.