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How Do I Recover CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW Photos from Camera? [Complete Guide]

Did you accidentally delete or format your Camera SD card and lost important photos in CR2, CRW, NEF, or RAW formats? On this page, you'll get a complete guide to restoring CR2, CRW, NEF, and RAW photos from your camera SD card. To execute a non-destructive recovery of all your RAW photos, try EaseUS photo recovery software.

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Table of Contents

On this page, you'll get a complete guide to find the reasons why did your RAW photos on cameras get lost, how to recover CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW, etc., photos with ease, and tips to protect your photos safely.

Let's start!

What Is CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW Photo

All brands of cameras all have their own RAW digital photography file format, which aims to provide high image quality for users. Due to different graphic technology and copyright issue, most camera companies developed their RAW photography formats.

Recover CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW photos

Here are some basic information about CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW photo formats:

Developer: Canon Developer: Canon Developer: Nikon Developer: Panasonic, Leica
Supported Applications: Picasa, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe photoshop lightroom, etc. Supported Applications: Picasa, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe photoshop lightroom, etc. Supported Applications: Able RAWer, Adobe Photoshop, IrfanView, GIMP, AfterShot Pro Supported Applications: Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Corel AfterShot Pro, Capture One, DxO PhotoLab, Hasselblad's Phocus, Photo Ninja, Silkypix Developer Studio

According to most photographers, CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW image formats are the most widely used around the world. And most of them have met photo lost errors due to multiple types of errors.

What Causes CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW Photos Lost

Here are the main reasons that you may get your CR2, CRW, NEF, or RAW image photos deleted or lost:

  • Deleting by mistake
  • Virus or malware infection
  • Formating or format operation error
  • "You need to connect the disk" error
  • Mishandling the memory card or damaged the file system
  • Power failure while transferring photos from camera to computer

So what to do when you lost RAW photos in CR2, CRW, NEF, or RAW formats?

Something You Need to Know About RAW Photo Recovery

Here in this part, we have collected the two most concerning questions that you may also want to know answers.

Let's see:

#1. Can I recover deleted RAW images or RAW photos

About 99% of the deleted RAW photos on cameras are recoverable. When the RAW photos get formatted or missing, you can also have a chance to bring them back!

#2. What to do when you deleted, lost or formatted CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW photos

  • 1st, stop using your camera and the camera SD card.
  • 2nd, don't take or save new photos into your camera and the SD card.
  • 3rd, turn to professional RAW photo recovery software for help.

Complete Guide: How to Recover to Recover CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW Photos

Now, we are here to show you the whole process of how to recover deleted, formatted, missing, or even inaccessible RAW photos from camera or camera SD cards.

Guide 1: Free Download RAW Photo Recovery Software

Note that cameras don't have a recycle folder, which means when you lost or deleted photos on cameras or the camera SD card, you can't directly restore them like recovering deleted files from Recycle Bin.

In this case, you need to turn to professional RAW photo recovery software for help. Here, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard with its powerful photo recovery and repair feature can help.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover deleted CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW photos.
  • Repair corrupted photos like JPG/JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.
  • Fix corrupted videos taken by cameras, CCTV, or dash cams.
  • Recover deleted, formatted, missing, hidden, and even virus-infected photos.
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Guide 2: Step by step guide to recover CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW Photos

First, you need to take the SD card out of your camera and connect the SD card to your computer. Then, you may follow the video guide or below steps to bring back your RAW photos:

Step 1. Open EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Find your SD card, camera, or hard drive partition where you deleted or lost pictures, then click "Scan".

select a location and scan for lost pictures

Step 2. After the scanning finishes, choose "Pictures" in the left panel to quickly filter photos. 

filter the lost photos

Step 3. You can preview the pictures you want to recover. Then, click "Recover" and choose another location to save the recovered data.

Recover lost photos

Note: Remember to save the recovered photos into a secure location to avoid further photo loss.

How to Protect and Prevent CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW Photos on Your Camera

Congratulations! After following the above guidelines, you've got all photos retrieved. And you may stop here.

Or, you can follow the tips here to create a better plan of protecting all your fancy photos on your cameras:

  1. 1. Back up photos from the camera to another device regularly.
  2. 2. Connect & unplug the camera SD card correctly.
  3. 3. Run antivirus to clear viruses, malware regularly.
  4. 4. Set the right format for your camera SD card.
  5. 5. Operate the camera properly.

Your Lost CR2, CRW, NEF, or RAW Photos Are Recoverable, Get Them Back Now

On this page, we explained what is RAW images, and what caused your photos lost in cameras.

Note that, your deleted or formatted photos in CR2, CRW, NEF, RAW, or other formats are recoverable.

As long as you stop using the camera and camera SD card, and turn to professional RAW photo recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, you can rescue these photos on your own.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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