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Old December 7th, 2003, 02:24 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Springfield MO
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Taking camera through airport?

I am on my way to shoot a wedding in vegas in about a month and was wondering how security is on cameras now. I usally drive everywhere since I take a lot of things with me, but this time I just need my camera, so I am flying... are they going to take my hardcase and take everything out etc... and if they run it through the x-ray machine will it damage anything? Thanks
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Old December 7th, 2003, 02:47 PM   #2
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Peter Utz wrote an article on this. It's probably on his website. His website can be found here: www.dvfreak.com/links.htm
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Old December 7th, 2003, 04:09 PM   #3
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Last summer I went to Hawaii for a 10 day gig. I carried my hardcase with most everything in there and a softcase with a laptop. Going from Chiacgo to Maui and Back the only thing anyone was interested in was the laptop.

In the hardcase was a PD150, WA lens,filters, wireless receiver, transmitter and lav mic, 2 handheld mics, 14 mini tapes, 3 batteries, a small on cam light and a set of Sony headphones. They didn't even open it.
In my laptop case was the laptop, a FWHDD, connecting cables, electrical hookups for the laptop and the HDD, addiitional audio cables, 14 more mini tapes.
Those were my carry on bags. In my wifes carryon was a case with a small 1 chip camera, charger for that,2 batteries and 14 more tapes. I used that as my deck and she used it as her vacation cam. They never looked at that either.

I had my tripod and other battery chargers in my checked bag.

Things may have tightened up but I wouldn't worry too much as long as the case fits in the overhead you should be OK BUT check with your airline as to the max size of carryon.

Good Luck,
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Old December 8th, 2003, 08:40 AM   #4
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The X-ray used for the carry on baggage will not damage your camera.
(Not sure about DV tape)

You can ask the security to check your camera equipment manually without using the X-ray.
They are supposed to do that if you ask (USA and Europe)

Be aware that the X-ray machine used for the checked in baggage is much more powerful, and might hurt your camera.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 10:12 AM   #5
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The Xray at most airports will not damage dv tape. I took over 40 tapes thru airport security the last summer, both unused and ised, and had zero problems with the tapes.
HOWEVER, do not pack tapes into your checked baggage as it is my understanding that the machinery used to check the bag puts out a stronger ray of power and MIGHT damage tapes.

Search the board for info about this as there was quite a thread about this previously.

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Old December 8th, 2003, 10:26 AM   #6
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I've taken my VX2000 (and the consumer camcorder that it replaced) though dozens of airports worldwide, multiple times. TSA is used to seeing camcorders (my current VX2000 kit, which travels in a Lowepro backpack, includes extra mikes, lenses, batteries, chargers, an MD recorder, etc.). I've never once had to open the backpack to show TSA anything. However, security lines at airports are variable, particularly in Las Vegas. Make sure you allow plenty of time to clear security (that way you can sit in the bar airside and enjoy a drink before your flight. ;) ).

X-ray will not harm cameras or miniDV tape. The only concern is that, in some really backward 3rd-world airports, the motors which drive the conveyor belt on the scanner may generate enough of a magnetic field to interfere with the tapes. I've never had it happen, but I've heard stories of people who lost floppy disks (which shows you how long ago this was a problem).

As long as your hard case fits into the overhead, or under the seat in front of you, you'll have no trouble from a domestic US airline (non-US airlines have stricter weight limits for carryon).

Never, ever, EVER put your camera equipment in checked bags, nor allow the FAs to do a "gate check" if there is insufficient overhead space for your gear. Checked bags may be opened at the whim of TSA, and security for the contents is non-existent.
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