How to Recover RAW Files from a CF Card

Summary: You cannot afford to lose your precious photos, especially if they are high-resolution RAW files. This post shares how to efficiently recover RAW files from CF cards used in various high-end cameras without hampering their quality. You can also use secure software solution to recover photos from all sizes and brands of compact flash cards, be it Kingston, SanDisk, Sony, Transcend, or Komputer Bay.

How to Recover RAW Files from a CF Card How to Recover RAW Files from a CF Card

Whether it’s the latest CFexpress card or the older CF card, photographers consider them a safe bet to store high-resolution large-sized RAW photos. Used in modern cameras, they are expensive, fast, and durable. Nonetheless, if not handled with care, you can lose camera RAW files from CF cards. Camera compact flash cards can become unreadable, develop bad sectors, get corrupted, and damaged. All this can eventually lead to loss of stored photos on it. Here, you will learn how to recover RAW files from CF cards, be it Kingston, Lexar, SanDisk, or others.

Why you lose RAW photos from compact flash cards?

Camera compact flash cards are vulnerable. Like any other storage media, you can lose RAW files on it due to accidental deletion, formatting, virus infection, physical damage, etc. Your CF card can also get corrupt if used in multiple devices or connected to a computer that doesn’t have antivirus installed.

Further, if you keep taking pictures, even when the CF card is full, it will not save the photos and result in the loss of the existing ones.

You can also lose photos due to improper transferring or copying of RAW files to computers or other devices. Besides, photo loss may also happen due to accidental formatting and deletion without taking backup or saving the data on another drive.

How to Recover RAW Photos from CF Card?

Backup is the best way to recover lost RAW files of CF cards. But if you don’t find your photos in the backup, trust a professional photo recovery software. It supports RAW files recovery from all kinds of compact flash cards. A CF card data recovery software can scan and find the deleted or missing RAW files in various data loss situations.

Just make sure you don’t use the CF card further to prevent overwriting. If you continue to use your camera card after data loss, it will permanently erase the deleted RAW files from it.  Even an advanced photo recovery tool won’t be of help.

Best Way to Recover RAW files from CF card

Method 1: Recover RAW photos from your backup drive

Check and recover your lost photos from the backup folder you might have created on the computer, external drive, or cloud storage.

Backups can protect you from terrible photos loss situations. Nevertheless, if you don’t have a backup, trust the CF card recovery software to restore RAW files from digital cameras.

Method 2: Use the best RAW photo recovery software for CF card

RAW files are uncompressed files of large size. For photographers, it’s crucial to recover them in their original state. Hence, always choose a professional RAW files recovery solution. It ensures you recover deleted photos securely from any camera CF card.

Here we recommend Stellar Photo Recovery software — a capable tool for CR2, CR3, SR2, DNG, ERF, RAF, NEF, K25, ORF, and other RAW file formats recovery from CF cards of all capacities.

The software is quick, efficient, and user-friendly. It can recover your lost RAW files from Fuji, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony, or any other digital camera. In addition, you can quickly scan and retrieve photos from formatted, virus-infected, and corrupt CF cards of SanDisk, Transcend, Toshiba, Sony, etc.

Moreover, the software displays the recovered RAW photos with actual file name and timestamp. This is quite helpful in organizing the huge number of files after recovery. Further, you can choose the RAW file format to restore only the required file types and avoid recovery of unnecessary photos.

You need to simply download the CF card recovery tool on your Windows or Mac computer. Scan the camera CF card, preview, and save the found RAW photos. The software also has a professional version of Stellar Photo Recovery that can repair damaged JPEG, RAW, and other files from DSLR, camcorders, etc.

Steps to Recover Deleted RAW photos from CF Card 

  1. Download Stellar Photo Recovery on computer.
  2. Connect the CF card to your computer.
  3. Launch the software, select the CF card drive letter, and click Scan.
Select drive location to scan
Figure: Select drive location to scan

Navigate to Advanced Settings icon on top to select your camera RAW file format to recover only the required RAW pictures.

4. Preview the found images files and click Recover.

RAW files recovery in Stellar Photo recovery software
Figure: RAW files recovery in Stellar Photo recovery software

Don’ts to protect RAW photos from loss

  • Don’t remove CF card from camera when in use.
  • Don’t save the photos on the CF card when it’s full.
  • Don’t connect the camera CF card to a computer that has no antivirus.
  • Don’t forget to take multiple backups of your camera photos.


RAW photo loss from CF cards is common. Get a professional CF card RAW files recovery software like Stellar Photo Recovery. It can recoup your high-quality pictures shot in RAW format from all types of cameras. The popularly used software has proved to be a savior for millions of users on the verge of losing their camera RAW photos from CF cards.

You can take the free trial of the software anytime to check its effectiveness in your CF card photo loss situation.

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