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Picture Doctor Review - Photo Recovery Tool

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 11/30/2009

Picture Doctor 1.7 is a lightweight application, developed by SoftOrbits, that can be used to recover damaged digital photographs. In this review, we'll test the product to see how well it works.

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    Overview of Picture Doctor

    Picture Doctor Box Shot There are a number of ways that digital photos can become damaged or corrupted. For instance, if you have accidentally deleted a photo, a good recovery product like Undelete may be able to get your file back – but that recovered image may still have enough damage to make it unusable without some additional help.

    Picture Doctor is a photo recovery tool that claims to be able to restore corrupted JPEG and PSD (Photoshop) files, saving the recovered images in BMP format. Does it work? Let's find out.

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    Ease of Use

    Rating Average

    Picture Doctor User Interface In terms of usability, it would be tough to find a program more friendly than Picture Doctor. The simple user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. All you have to do is click the Add File button to browse for damaged files in your computer's directory system. Picture Doctor does support batch processing, so you can add several files to your processing list before actually attempting to recover any data.

    After the files have been added, clicking the Start rescue button will begin the recovery process. The length of time this takes depends on the size and complexity of the file in question. Before starting the rescue process, all of the images will be designated as having a Ready state. After the utility has been run, files will show as Bad or Recovered, depending on if the software think the process worked or not.

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    Rating Average

    Recovery Process in Picture Doctor While Picture Doctor may be extremely to use, the results obtained are inconsistent, at best. Although I did have a little success in recovering a slightly better version of photos that had been previously deleted, there were also many cases when the restored version was actually in worse condition than the original. Additionally, Picture Doctor often marked photos as Recovered when, in reality, the only change was converting the image to BMP format. Another oddity that cropped up was that undamaged files were deemed unrecoverable and marked as Bad by the software even though they were perfectly fine before the restoration attempt.

    Also, it should be noted that when Picture Doctor recovers PSD files, it actually attempts to restore each layer of the file as a separate BMP image. In my tests with the software, sometimes this worked and sometimes it didn't – the most common situation was that some of the layers with relatively simple adjustments were converted to BMP images while other more complex layers came back with a lot of problems. So, if you're only interested in getting the final merged image from a PSD file, you may have some luck, but it's a real hit-or-miss situation for individual layers.

    Just as an example, the screenshot below shows an image that Picture Doctor claims to have restored.

    Damaged Photo 

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    Price to Value

    Rating Average

    Picture Doctor can be purchased for $99.50. While that may sound like a lot, the software would be worth the price if it was able to restore even one "priceless" image that would otherwise be completely lost. The problem is that the inconsistent results of the application make it hard to say if Picture Doctor really is able to save any such photographs. In my experience with the software, I was unable to find hardly any situations where Picture Doctor performed that much better than standard recovery tools that come with a much smaller price tag – some of them even free.

    On the plus side, SoftOrbits does offer a free trial for Picture Doctor. So, if you currently have a corrupted image file, you may want to download the trial to see if it is able to salvage your photo. Then, if it is, you might want to make the purchase.

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    Overall Rating

    Rating Average

    Picture Doctor may be able to help restore certain types of corrupted and truncated files, but it's not really an application that you can count on for long-term reliability. In my opinion, you're much better off checking out other standard recovery options like Diskeeper Undelete or Recuva first.