Starts at $5.95, pricing info can be found here. Diagnostics are free, you will need to register to the website though for the file upload form to be visible. If you share a download with me (Google Drive etc.) you do not need to register at all, simply email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the non password protected URL. Same requests apply though (see below under important).
You will always first receive a price quote from me after I have examined your corrupted photos! Note that these quotes do NOT include taxes (if applicable). To determine if taxes apply in your country simply check enter my quoted number of repair units here.
So summarizing: Deliver some of the corrupt photos to me > wait for my quote > if I can repair send me all files you want repaired > wait for me to repair > make payment > I will deliver repaired files. Depending on backlog, state and number of photos this may take from a few days to over a week.
Data Recovery from memory cards:
Although it is not a service I primarily offer, I occasionally agree to performing the actual photo or video recovery myself. In this case I need access to the disk image of the memory card via a file sharing service. In case of higher capacity cards this often impractical though. You can then opt to send me the actual memory card but note that I will not return the card. I will quote a price per card, not per photo. Card needs to properly ID itself, I do not offer physical repairs or chip-off recovery.
Failure to comply with the following requests means I will simply delete the file(s) from my server.
- Some types of damage I can only fix if I have a sample of an intact file. Please include a sample file, shot with the same camera using the same settings (resolution, quality, white balance, etc.). Usually the pictures taken right before or after the corrupt photo are shot with the same settings.
- Provide an explanation of the problem. Provide context. So for example explain if the files became corrupt after recovery, or after copying, or if they became corrupt without apparent reason. ‘Can not open’ or ‘photo is corrupt’ is NOT an explanation of a problem, it is stating the obvious.
- Upload a few photos only initially! I will diagnose those and we’ll take it from there. There is little use in uploading 100’s of photos that are beyond repair.
And with all that out of the way, I’d love to give it a try!
|Note: Upload supports drag and drop. You need to login or register for free (to avoid ‘drive-by-uploads’) .
JUST DROP FILES HERE
Following restrictions apply: Max file size 128 MB. Accepted file extensions: ZIP (preferred), JPG and JPEG. For added privacy and security you may want to use password protected ZIP files. To submit RAW photos (NEF, CR2 etc.), please ZIP them first as they tend to be quite large.
Include a sample/reference file, shot with same camera and settings (resolution, quality, white balance, etc.) please!
With regards to the sample / reference file:
- The image file must be undamaged.
- The image file must be created by the same device (camera or mobile phone).
- The picture must have the same resolution and should have been taken with the same settings.
- The picture should NOT be edited using a photo editing software as it will re-encode the photo and make corruption permanent.
Types of JPEG file corruption
JPEG is a standard, a specification. A standard that describes how data inside JPEGs is stored. A JPEG is typically a chain of ‘markers’. One marker points to the next, then the next, etc.. Each marker serves a different purpose. For example, a marker can contain a comment. Another contains EXIF data which can contain all kinds of information on the image file: data taken, geo info, camera model etc.
The most important marker I guess, contains the actual image data. Roughly 5% of a JPEG file is meta data, the rest, 95% is the actual image. The 5% meta data is found at the start of the file and is also called the header.
A typical symptom of a damaged header is that the file is not recognized as a JPEG file and that it can’t be opened at all. To fix this kind of damage I also need an intact JPEG file, shot with the same camera using the same settings. If only some data inside the header is corrupt, depending on the image viewer you may get a more relevant error message, like “invalid huffman table” (which is required to decompress image data).
Corrupt image data
When the image data itself is corrupt, the JPG will probably load, however the image will be distorted. If a portion of the image data is missing (truncated file), part of the image will show. The latter is quite common after using photo recovery or file recovery software.
Another type of damage is bit corruption: Data inside the image ‘stream’ is corrupt. This can result in the image shifting and color errors.
How do I do it?
I am using a number of tools that are constantly under development. I call my tools the JPEG Repair Toolkit. It consists of 3 utilities. Apart from that I use a 3rd party hex editor and several photo editors for post processing.
JPEG Repair Toolkit consists of:
- A utility that checks JPEG structures. It follows and checks the chain markers I described earlier.
- A tool that allows me to modify the image stream at the byte level, just like a hex editor. It has a built-in JPEG image decoder that allows me to directly view the effects of the modifications that I make. Thus I do not have to switch from a hex editor to an image viewer all the time. I can also step through the decoding process so I can see at what byte address corruption is introduced. This is a very labor intense process that requires the human eye.
- As I change the image stream by adding, subtracting and modifying bytes I introduce new anomalies. To camouflage those I created an inpaint tool.
An example of what my “inpainter” can do: In this case it removed the runner. When doing JPEG Repair I remove the grey boxes with it.