Lightroom Classic 2018 : Is it possible to recover the replaced files ?

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  • Updated 7 months ago
I recently shot a short film with my friend's camera. His camera's date and time were not correct. We shot the film for about three days. I dumped the footage during the night and formatted the card also reset the file number.First Day's footage was replaced when I imported the second day's footage through Lightroom. I want to recover the footage.Are there any possibilities to do this?
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Balaji

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Posted 11 months ago

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Edmund Gall

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Hi Balaji!

A few things to consider:

  1. When you import into Lightroom (LR) Classic, it automatically jumps to the Previous Import auto-collection in the Catalog Panel of the Library Module, and just displays whatever was just imported. If you're in that collection, it doesn't mean your previously imported files (i.e. Day 1's files) have been overwritten. So the first thing to check is if you're in the correct subfolder in the Folders Panel to which you imported the files from Day 1.
  2. What did you mean by you "dumped the footage during the night and formatted the card also reset the file number ..." - did you mean that you only deleted the video files from the card, or did you also delete them from your computer?
  3. When you import into LR, you're just importing certain aspects of an image/video file into the LR catalog. You are not actually copying the image/video file into the catalog. Thus, when you're setting up your backup software (separate from LR), you need to include both the catalog files created by LR *and* the original image/video files copied from your camera. As a result, though I cannot see how importing into LR will cause your Day 2 files to overwrite Day 1's (even if Day 1's files and Day 2's files were named the same), if Point #1 above doesn't solve the issue for you, then your only way to get back Day 1's files would be to restore from your separate backup created after the files were transferred to your computer.
Hope this helps...
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Balaji

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1. I'm in the correct subfolder. I don't find my first day's footage.
2. I imported the footage to my computer, formatted the card and then reset the file numbering.
3. There is no backup, this was the only copy I had.

Thanks for your help.
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Edmund Gall

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Sorry, Balaji, I can't think of anything further to help recovery. If the card wasn't re-used, you'd have had a chance using data recovery services. Maybe try disk recovery services on your Mac's disk that contained the overwritten files, but that would only work Day 2's files were written to a different area than Day 1's and you didn't overwrite Day 1's file space with further activity.

It is a tough lesson to learn the hard way, but I recommend deciding what you need to do going forward to prevent this from recurring:
  1. Don't reset numbering on the camera unless you have a very good reason to.
  2. Use LR's File Renaming feature to automatically add the date to the file names of raw images/video when importing.
  3. Implement a proper backup process. At the very least, use Apple's Time Machine software that comes included with every Mac, as that gives a near continuous backup.
  4. Don't reuse SD cards for the same shoot - the cost of a card is much less than the cost of lost images/videos.
  5. Only reformat SD cards after confirming the images/videos on them have been copied to at least 3 other places (which is what you would have with a proper backup process).
  6. Get additional training on how to use LR effectively and safely (especially to learn where it stores different bits of data, and what needs to be covered by the external backup software).
Sorry I can't help further...
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Balaji

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Thank you so much. 
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Just Shot Me

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Sorry to tell you but the first days footage is gone. The reason is you RESET the File Numbering on the camera. So the second days footage got the exact same File number as the first days footage.

Never Ever reset the file numbering on a camera.
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Balaji

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I wanted every day's footage to be named from first so I did that. But I didn't notice the date and time. It changes after 8 hours of realtime.

:( I know that I lost my footage. Is there any other way to recover them? 
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Kassia

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Hi,
Maybe you can use some recovery software to recover your footage if you tried all methods but still cannot find them. I have download a program named the Bitwar Data Recovery before and surprisingly found it good to use, so maybe you can also have a try.