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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Help with flying with my equipment
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08/17/2005 12:18:28 AM · #1
I will be flying for an assignment for the first time this weekend and I need some advise. Is it safe to bring my cameras as cary ons were they go thrue the exray machines. Or will the exrays damage cameras. Thanks for your help, Kevin
08/17/2005 12:30:09 AM · #2
Shouldn't be a problem. You should always have your camera equipment as carry on.
08/17/2005 12:58:05 AM · #3
Bump
08/17/2005 01:05:04 AM · #4
yeah it should be fine
ive taken my stuff with me several times and no problems

08/17/2005 01:06:22 AM · #5
Thanks, I wasnt sure I just wanted to here that others had done it with no problems.
08/17/2005 01:23:08 AM · #6
i travel with mine 2 to 3 times a month and i haven't had any problems...always carry it on. you might have problems with high speed film if you are carrying any film with you have them hand search that instead of putting it through the x-ray machine...happy travels
08/17/2005 01:25:40 AM · #7
other thread

DO not ever put your gear in the checked luggage. It is just not a good idea.
08/17/2005 09:58:10 AM · #8
We just went on vacation and flew. The xrays didn't hurt my digital camera or my memory cards at all. They did fine. However, it did mess up my son's laptop computer. He had to re-do everything on it when we got back home. He said he was beginning to have some problems with it before that anyway, but after going through the xrays, it wiped out everything on his harddrive.
08/17/2005 10:00:30 AM · #9
They will make you check your tripod. It seem as it can be used as a weapon. I trust using a shipping service more than checking. I just ship my tripod to the hotel I'll be staying at.
08/17/2005 10:09:43 AM · #10
Originally posted by hyperfocal:

They will make you check your tripod. It seem as it can be used as a weapon. I trust using a shipping service more than checking. I just ship my tripod to the hotel I'll be staying at.


I have flown several times and taken my tripod as a carry-on with no problems. I've heard other stories where people have problems and just as many from those who have not, so it seems to me that the policy (if there is one) is inconsistent regarding tripods as carry ons.
08/17/2005 10:11:15 AM · #11
Originally posted by hyperfocal:

They will make you check your tripod. It seem as it can be used as a weapon. I trust using a shipping service more than checking. I just ship my tripod to the hotel I'll be staying at.


You can wrap your tripod in clothes and put in your luggage.

Also make sure your CF cards are in your camera case. The x-rays from the carry-on baggage inspection will not harm CF cards, but the walk through metal detector has strong electro-magnetic waves that can potentially currupt them.
08/17/2005 10:20:14 AM · #12
Originally posted by nsbca7:


You can wrap your tripod in clothes and put in your luggage.



That would be fine if your tripod will fit in your luggage, mine won't. Also I never check in any baggage unless absoultly nessessary. I sent too much time in strange places without any clothes except what is on my back.
08/17/2005 10:31:07 AM · #13
Originally posted by pianomom:

We just went on vacation and flew. The xrays didn't hurt my digital camera or my memory cards at all. They did fine. However, it did mess up my son's laptop computer. He had to re-do everything on it when we got back home. He said he was beginning to have some problems with it before that anyway, but after going through the xrays, it wiped out everything on his harddrive.


X-rays will not wipe out a hard drive. I take my laptop on all business travels and it gets x-rayed probably twice a month.
08/17/2005 10:38:01 AM · #14
Originally posted by Alienyst:

Originally posted by pianomom:

We just went on vacation and flew. The xrays didn't hurt my digital camera or my memory cards at all. They did fine. However, it did mess up my son's laptop computer. He had to re-do everything on it when we got back home. He said he was beginning to have some problems with it before that anyway, but after going through the xrays, it wiped out everything on his harddrive.


X-rays will not wipe out a hard drive. I take my laptop on all business travels and it gets x-rayed probably twice a month.


Yeh, I haven't had any gripe with x-rays since back in the film days.
08/17/2005 10:39:54 AM · #15
Maybe it was because he was already having some problems with it. I don't know. All I know is that it was working before and after he went through the xray it wasn't. I know they're not supposed to do anything to them. Who knows! Maybe it was just coincidence.
08/17/2005 11:18:21 AM · #16
Originally posted by pianomom:

Maybe it was just coincidence.


That's all it was.
08/17/2005 04:27:36 PM · #17
Originally posted by pianomom:

Maybe it was because he was already having some problems with it. I don't know. All I know is that it was working before and after he went through the xray it wasn't. I know they're not supposed to do anything to them. Who knows! Maybe it was just coincidence.


The last x-ray may have been "the straw that broke the camel's back".

X-Rays can erase flash (and EEPROM) memory. But it normally takes a lot more exposuer than you get in one trip through the airport X-Ray machine. To over-simplify, the data is stored as an analog value but read as a binary value. An analogy is to a cup of water, you fill it for a one, and empty it for a zero. When you read it, if its more than half-full, its a one, if its less than half full, its a zero. Each trip through the X-Ray machine will "spill a couple of drops". So one or two trips don't hurt.

However, the damage is cumulative, so multiple trips through the x-ray machine will erase some data. Also, the x-ray machines have several settings, if it can't see through something, it will increase the power. Also, some baggage gets x-rayed several times (ever seen the machine reverse the belt and re-check a bag?).

So your memory card is probably safe becasue you write it all the time and it doesn't get x-rayed enough to erase the bits (you can dump a lot out of the "full" glass).

Your computer has FLASH (or EEPROM) for its BIOS and the hard drive controller may have some sort of FLASH or EEPROM in it. If you haven't updated things, there may be a bit that is barely a 1 (think of a glass that is just barely over half full). The X-Ray machine degrades that bit just a hair, but it now reads as 0, and the computer doesn't work.

Note that the data is probably still on the hard drive, but the controller may be shot so you can't read the data. If the data is important enough to you, you can pay to have it restored.

Message edited by author 2005-08-17 16:30:49.
08/17/2005 04:42:51 PM · #18
My son said that he had almost everything on back up disks so he was ok. He just redid everything on it and it's fine now. (I'm not sure what all he had to do this time but luckily he knew what to do! lol) I had the feeling that, as you said, the xray machine was probably the "last straw", since it was already having some problems.

Message edited by author 2005-08-17 16:43:26.
08/18/2005 01:21:42 AM · #19
Thanks everyone for your help. I am encouraged greatly and ready to go now. Kevin
08/18/2005 02:00:56 AM · #20
Originally posted by hankk:

The last x-ray may have been "the straw that broke the camel's back".

X-Rays can erase flash (and EEPROM) memory. But it normally takes a lot more exposuer than you get in one trip through the airport X-Ray machine. To over-simplify,


I think you did a little more then over-simplify. It's an 0 or it's a 1. There is no "half full."
08/25/2005 12:15:43 PM · #21
Always carry-on. The X-ray machines doesn't damage your gear.

Two weeks ago I brought the following as carry-on in a LowePro Stealth Reporter 650AW without any problems at all;

EOS 1D MkII
EOS 1D MkI
EF 70-200/2.8L IS
EF 24-70/2.8L
EF 35/1.4L
EF 85/1.8
550EX
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