3 Steps to Recover Files from an Olympus Device

If you are a fan of Olympus like me (I own an Olympus camera and a voice recorder), you’ve probably experienced once, if not several times, that you couldn’t find the data you want.

This may happen when you accidentally deleted some precious pictures of a family reunion or your child’s ballet recital, or the xD picture card got formatted or corrupted – leaving all your videos or recordings inaccessible.

I actually suffered from that. One day, I was downloading the photos of my bird-watching vacation in Texas when I hit the wrong command and all of my precious vacation snapshots suddenly disappeared without a trace.

Fortunately, after I got over the shock, I was able to recover the pics myself without sending the camera to the local shop. And all of my photos of Altamira orioles, Buff-bellied hummingbirds, and hook-billed kites re-appeared as if by magic.

Today, I’m going to share with you what I learned in this Olympus digital photo recovery tutorial, with the help of a software program.

Olympus Data Recovery: Myths or Realities?

  • All the photos are permanently gone after hitting Delete ALL button. — Wrong: It’s very possible to undelete if there is no additional operation of the device.
  • The data will be removed instantly after formatting an Olympus XD memory card. — Wrong: For the same reason as above.
  • When the card insides Olympus device becomes inaccessible due to certain errors, it means the card is bad. — Not exactly: Card errors can be caused by many reasons, including human error.
  • There is no way to restore items from an Olympus device if the card has suffered physical damage. — it’s right most of the time: there are many data recovery centers committed to rescuing data for this critical case, but it’s super expensive.

Things You’ll Need

Here is a quick checklist of the items you may need.

  • A laptop or desktop computer (running Windows or macOS).
  • A USB cable or a memory card reader for connecting your Olympus device to the computer.
  • A Wi-Fi or Internet connection (to download the recovery program I recommend).

How to Recover Photos (Videos, Audio) from an Olympus Device

Once you are ready, follow the tips and step-by-step tutorial outlined below. Please note: the screenshots you see below may be a bit different, depending on the Olympus device or computer you use.

First things first: your Olympus digital device is usually equipped with a media card (xD or SD). The moment you find some of your files are lost or inaccessible, it’s highly recommended that you immediately stop using the device and the card. Do not take new photographs or record additional video or audio clips. Also, don’t save new items or transfer data to the card as all these actions can decrease your chances of recovering the stuff you want.

Step 1. Download and install Stellar Photo Recovery on your computer. The trial is totally free. Be sure you get the right version for your computer. Follow the prompts on your computer to install the application. Note: I used the software and was quite happy with the results I got. It was easy to install on my Lenovo laptop with Windows 10 (they also have a version for Macs). There are several other options out there, check out these photo recovery tools.

Step 2. Scan your Olympus device’s card for recoverable items. Connect your Olympus camera’s (camcorder, voice recorder) card to your computer’s USB port, open the software, and click the “Recover Photo, Video & Audio” button to continue. After that, highlight the right drive to start scanning.

(screenshot of the PC version, Mac version looks slightly different)

Pro tip: If you’ve already opened the software before connecting the card to your computer, just hit the refresh drive button in the lower-left corner to commence scanning.

Step 3. Preview and recover your files. Your first scan can take quite some time, but after it is finished a list of deleted items will appear. The software will mine your memory card to find several types of files, including pictures, music, and videos. You can view them one-by-one by clicking on each item in a list, or you can view all the items in thumbnail list or a slideshow.

Your last step is to select which you want to restore and click “Recover” to save them. Note: you’ll be prompted to purchase a license, which is quite affordable compared to the value of your lost items.

I hope you found this Olympus media recovery tutorial useful. If you have any questions or some pro tips of your own, feel free to leave a comment.

Update: the tips above can be used to retrieve lost images (including ORF raw), videos, audio files from all types of Olympus devices (as long as they use flashcard to store data) including, but limited to, a digital camera, (whether it is an interchangeable lens camera OM-D, PEN, AIR, etc; Or a point and shoot camera TG, SH, Stylus, etc.) and an LS-20M HD Video/Audio Recorder. Most of the time those lost pics, videos, and audio files can be recovered, provided that your Olympus card is in good shape.

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