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Old January 8th, 2004, 08:45 PM   #1
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airport

I'm going on a school trip to greece/italy in march. I've been worried that sending my camera through the baggage checker could have some harmful effects. Is this true or am i just being paranoid?
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Old January 8th, 2004, 09:35 PM   #2
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I would be paranoid because since 911, xray strength at many airports have increased up to 10X, and magnetic scans have also been added. A while back, Dr. Peter Utz wrote an excellent article about how airport security may or may not damage your gear/media.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 09:36 PM   #3
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no harmful effects from the xrays.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 09:41 PM   #4
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Maybe you could just carry it on with you. Not sure if that is possible but I would try it.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 10:25 PM   #5
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I've posted on this a few time before and frankly I would not check a camera. Get a good hardcase and put the camera,batteries,tapes,and accessories in that. My last trip to Hawaii they never even looked at it, they were far more concerned with my laptop.

If you search the forum for aiplanes, traveling,travel etc, you'll find a number of threads about this subject.

Have fun on your trip.
Don
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Old January 8th, 2004, 11:31 PM   #6
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Carry it on with you. I've had too many broken things in checked baggage to trust anything valuable to those guys.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 11:38 PM   #7
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I travel internationally with my camera quite often. Never, ever, ever put camera gear in checked bags, particularly if your flight originates in the US. It's simply an invitation to baggage theft (and, in the US, TSA may open your bag, whether or not it is locked, and you can't rely on them to seal it).

I've travelled throughout Asia, Europe and parts of Africa with my cameras and I've never had any problems whatsoever with carry-on bag scanners, even when my cameras and tapes were x-rayed multiple times. X-rays in carry-on scanners will not harm digital video (film is another story).

Note that in some airports, you may be required to turn on your camera as part of the security inspection, so make sure that your batteries are charged. This happened most recently to me on a return from Spain via Munich. Not only did I have to turn on my camcorder, but I had to uncap the lens and show the security inspector an image (this was a first). After scoping my camcorder, I had to take a picture with my digital still camera.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 11:42 PM   #8
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paul is exactly right.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 01:42 AM   #9
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I think Mr Utz should get out more. I travel extensively and i take one of cameras often with no ill effects. I've had no problems with 35mm film either. The screeners were more concerned with my mini rover than my camera. Apparently the mini rover can be used to thump people.

Now that security is under federal control in Canada and the US, things are getting smoother. They seem to have better people and those they do have are being properly paid, which does make a biiiiiiig difference.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 07:49 AM   #10
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um - better paid? maybe. more qualified - let's not even START this thread.

At least in the US, the federal government promised to provide better training and more qualified workers when the TSA took over airport security. well - turns out that they couldn't make the deadline for staffing the airports with these new wunder-employees, so they grandfathered in a lot of previous employees.

instead of new training - all they got was a new uniform.

security at airports - at least for passengers that go thru the mags, is window dressing.

oh, man...and i promised not to start this thread....
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Old January 9th, 2004, 08:29 AM   #11
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I've travelled quite a bit also- some overseas. If you are checking a camera, make sure it's in a large metal camera case which is duct taped and secured. We use those plastic tie-wraps for wire bundles. We did hand carry for a long time, and had at least one stand-off with an overbearing security guard in New York. I won (made noise like Eddie Murphy in a "Beverly Hills " cop scene).

Haven't had any trouble with tapes getting zapped. You could always Fed Ex them back home ahead of time.

If it's a smaller camcorder- they are prime targets for theft and I'd hand carry it if possible.

Good luck to you! Italy is terrific!
(watch out for "flicker prob's" with the lights there. different power/Hertz rate-50Hz. Use a shutter of about 1/100 and eat the 1 stop or so loss!).

Jeff Patnaude
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Old January 11th, 2004, 10:32 AM   #12
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well i have been on three different plane trips in the last week (boy am i getting tired of hotels/eating out) and just keep your camera and your most important gear as your carry-on.

also, do NOT check your tapes that have been shot.

they even warn you about this over the PA announcements at the airport.

apparently the machines to check the checked baggage are much stronger than the carry-on x-ray.

matthew
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Old January 11th, 2004, 10:46 AM   #13
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I returned yesterday after a week of very little skiing at Whistler (extremely cold some days, minus 50 Celsius including wind chill factor the day I arrived and raining by the end of the week); TSA at LAX checked my GL2 in my carry on Kata bag very thorougly. Going back through Vancouver Canadian security did not. Somewhere between LAX and YVR I did lose personal items in a ziplock bag from a checked piece of luggage (the zipper of which was torn from its track when I retrieved the luggage in YVR). The only thing which held the contents in the bag was an identifying strap I buckle on all my luggage.
Moral of the story: as another poster said, carry on everthing important you can.
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