And the winner is...

Image repair tools can be alarmingly expensive, but if you're on a strict budget then Office Recovery may be a good place to start.

Its repair tools weren't up to the standard of the rest, and it's relatively awkward to use, but the service can still repair simple corruption issues for free.

And for sheer ease of use and an excellent trial version, JPEG Recovery Pro has to be worth a look. Image repair rates were reasonable, and unlike some of the competition, the trial build doesn't obscure recovered images with a massive watermark, which makes it much easier to confirm that it's worked.

Ultimately, there are three programs which stood out from the rest, though.

In third place was Picture Doctor. It's likeable, easy to use and has the best recovery rate here, but a high price and annoying watermark were issues.

Photo recovery: how to repair corrupt images
Third place goes to Picture Doctor

PixRecovery was our runner-up, thanks to its wide image format support and general configurability.

Photo recovery: how to repair corrupt images
In second place, PixRecovery

But first place has to go to Stellar Phoenix JPEG Repair. It almost matched Picture Doctor's recovery rate for less than half the price, with a far less intrusive watermark, and some useful extras, and this sheer all-round excellence makes it a worthy winner.

Photo recovery: how to repair corrupt images
Our winner, Stellar Phoenix JPEG Repair