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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old April 12th, 2003, 07:33 PM   #1
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A strange and terrible experience

Can I share a strange and terrible experience I recently had with my excellent Xl1s?

I was travelling from Perth to Melbourne, Australia. After many assurances that my camera would be treated like a new born baby I allowed the airline to put the camera (in its case of course) in baggage. It had fragile written on it in big letters

When we landed in Melbourne, I looked out the window to see my camera come down the ramp, be picked up by the baggage handler and thrown through the air onto the rest of the luggage!

I was in Melbourne for a two day shoot but luckily all was well. I had secured everything in the case.


I have learned a very valuable lesson - always take your camera on board. Never accept the assurances of people who dont know how much you care about your camera.

I am immediately investing in a soft carry case.

Regards all,

Rob Castiglione
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Old April 12th, 2003, 09:11 PM   #2
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You should contact someone at the airport and REAM THEM OUT!
Treating stuff like that is BS and the a-hole throwing it (or anyones belongings) should get a kick in the grapes.
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Old April 13th, 2003, 12:40 AM   #3
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Yeah, well, I would always take my cams WITH ME ON THE PLANE (or on the train) - in a soft case or 2, slung around my shoulder. Then under the seat or up top.
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Old April 13th, 2003, 03:19 AM   #4
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I travel often and have to carry very fragile medical gear, I also carry one or two cameras with me most of the time.

Basically I carry my cameras and my medical gear on board unless it's a small commuter flight. I then go to the pilot if necessary and explain what I'm carrying(medical gear). They usually make room for my stuff inside.

Complaining won't do any good. I've actually shown an airline supervisor a handler abusing baggage and I just get a half baked excuse and a bored look.

I try and pack as much as possible in checked baggage and only carry the fragile stuff on board. If you show up looking like a pack mule, they'll just force you to check it.
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Old June 5th, 2003, 08:05 AM   #5
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Bryan, I fly a lot and NEVER let the airlines touch my Canon. I often sit by the plane window and watch them throw bags all over the place. It is almost like they enjoy pounding the heck out of them. Always carry it on and, I always remove the viewfinder! It takes 20 seconds to take the viewfinder off. Remember, that is the most sensitave part of the XL-1 or 1s. Bob Safay
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Old June 5th, 2003, 09:52 AM   #6
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Agreed. Take the viewfinder OFF!
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Old June 5th, 2003, 11:21 AM   #7
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I have to fly frequently with my XL1 or a DSR250 from work. Anyway: a cameraman NEVER leaves his camera alone or out of sight! When taking planes I do it like this, especially on the short trips I take mostly: pack all your luggage (clothes, ...) in a small roll-on case. Every brand (Samsonite, ...) has them. I also put all camera equipemnt other than the camera (batteries, mikes, charger, cables, ...) in the same case. The camera I carry with me without any other protection. In the plane I place it between my legs on the floor.

In my eyes this is the best way to go about it. This way I have no luggage to check in or pick up and wait for, nothing gets lost or damged, and I have allways my camera with me.
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Old June 5th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #8
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I think you get the point

Carry it on, carry it on, carry it on........
Even if you go on multi-camera shoots, have enough crew if possible on the same flight to have one in each members hands while boarding.

Dylan, I had to laugh....."kicked in the grapes" heheh
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Old June 5th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #9
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That's why I bought a good protective soft case for all my cam gear---which I can carry with me anywhere. Now the tripod is another matter, that old golf club case I found didn't pan out. I'll have to buy a new one, I think, one with wheels.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 01:29 AM   #10
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Marking a box "fragile" is an invitation to the handlers to chuck it harder. The reality is that those guys are working so fast, they never see that label. Camera stays with you onboard the airplane.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 05:23 AM   #11
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I started carrying my XL1 in a Kata bag (which I bought in NY). Enroute to NY I carried it on my lap. The XL1 has its sharp edges precisely placed to make contact with the softest parts of your lap.

The Kata bag fits nicely in the overhead. I just have to take the shotgun mic mount off, and I can leave the Lectrosonic receivers in place.

I've also packed a second camera in a locked Pelican case, surrounded by high quality foam. The XL1 (and other equipment) gets similar treatment when it's shipped via USPS, FedEx or UPS. So if you really need to pack gear as baggage, pack it with the same methods and materials as a regular shipment and you should be ok.

By the way, fragile means that the luggage is in the category of bags to be thrown less than 5 feet.

Dean Sensui
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Old June 6th, 2003, 07:07 AM   #12
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If you read the small print on airline tickets you will find that all baggage must be able to withstand a fall from 1m (3.3ft). I too always carry my camera onboard. If you explain it nicely to the check-in people you don't usually have a problem. One trip I was actually met by a flight attendant and she carefully stowed my camera bag with their gear in a special compartment. That was a NZ airline though.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 01:34 PM   #13
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I'm flying in a week or so, and have concerns about my gear. I'm going to carry on both XL1's with VF and lenses removed.

With carry on baggage, do they ask you to demonstrate that your electronics all work even if they are in your bag and go through the X-Ray machine? If so, we'll be there for a while.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 02:22 PM   #14
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Dylan, on Monday the check, on Tuesday they don't! I carry a battery and always hand carry my tapes. I have been stopped at Atlanta security and had to turn the camcorder on and other days I walk right through. I have been to Patagonia, Africa, the Amazon and never had a problem carrying the XL-1 with me. As I said, ALWAYS take the VF off as sometimes the stewardesses will try to cram that last peice of "carry on" into the overhead. I have a rigged camera case that I use for long trips. I completely disassemble the Canon, pack it in this case and use my soft travel case for my cloths. When I get to the destination I assemble the Canon and use the soft case on location. Takes a little extra time, but I have NEVER had anything broken or stolen. Bob
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Old June 10th, 2003, 05:02 AM   #15
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Also bring a copy of the purchase receipt. That way you can
always proof you bought it and you don't get into trouble with
"imported" goods.
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