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Old October 11th, 2002, 09:41 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Taking my camera across the pond...

Hey all,
I'm going on a trip to Europe, (strictly leisure), and would like to take my Xl1 along for the ride. As this will be my first flight post 9/11, I was just wondering if anyone has taken their camera overseas lately, and whether there were any issues. Can I stow the camera in the cabin, or will it have to be put into luggage hold. Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.
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Old October 11th, 2002, 10:35 AM   #2
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I wouldn't dream of having my XL-1 in the cargo bay, not even in a steel container! Have you ever watched luggage being unloaded from a plane? It should fit in a reasonable size bag of you take off the lens and viewfinder/mike assembly (very fragile when on the camera).
Film & TV locations & production Spain
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Old October 12th, 2002, 12:42 AM   #3
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Hi Daniel,

I got special written permission from the airline beforehand which allowed me to take it on as hand baggage. There are other stowage points in the cabin other than the overhead lockers. Just make sure that it is in a hard case as they may still stack small lighter things on top. Also get yourself one of those "wheelie" things that strap to the bottom of luggage and have a handle and wheels to facilitate pulling. It is very tiring lugging awkward packages as you won't always have the use of trollies.

In South Africa it is important to log all your serial numbers so that you are able to complete and get a customs declaration before you leave. This avoids you being detained on the way back with questions like, where did you buy this? and them asking for duty payments. This may not be pertinent to the US though.

Lastly I have taken my XL-1 overseas and wished for a small backpack to put the XL-1 into when walking. This stops fatigue and allows the carrying of extra film, batteries and softdrinks etc. I got to "hate" my XL-1 at some points without it. I also don't like to "advertise" and expensive camcorder when sightseeing.

Don't put it in the hold. Ask Keith Loh (a pilot on these forums) but I think you get seriously low temperatures in the hold which may not be good for the XL-1.

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Old October 14th, 2002, 09:16 AM   #4
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I recently went oversees and had no problems taking my XL1 right onto the plane. There have actually been a few post on this exact topic. I will suggest as Andrew a backpack bag. I use a LowePro bag. It fits the camera and all my other stuff in one bag. Even casual shooting carring that camera around can get in the way.

Check out the other post on this topic in the search menu on the site. I traveled from the states to London to Africa and back and had no problems.
Marcus Farrar
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Old October 14th, 2002, 12:17 PM   #5
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The last time I flew to Japan I called U.S. customs and asked them what I needed to prove to other countries as well as for returning to the U.S., to prove that all the equipment was mine BEFORE I left the U.S.
Here's what they told me to do:

with at least a 1" boarder on all sides type:
1.) in the center top your name as it appears on your passport
address " " " "
Phone number
skip 2 lines

2.) the make , model, seriel # of everything you will bring with you, list EVERY accessory, filter, wire, case, cassette, etc. ( don't leave anything off the list).

Bring the list (I brought 5 copies) and ALL the equipment you intend to bring over seas. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH CUSTOMS.

Here's what they do:

Compare list to actual items, than they take a ruler and score all the blank space
around the list and stamp it with a seal and sign and date it.
If you are taking 3 cases, list contents by case.
/////////////////////Bruce XXXXXX///////////////////
//////////////////////12 Maple Rd.////////////////////
////////////////////Glendale, AZ, zip code///////////
////////////Canon XL-I, ser# 123456//////////////
////////////Canon Lens 14x, ser#4231654///////
////////////Pelican case #1620//////////////////////
/////////////canon Ma-100///////////////////////////
( When they score it like above, it prevents you from adding anything)
Have them do this to all 5 originals ( you carry 1 on your person, 1 in your luggage, 1 in each case)

1.) you keep your originals at home.
2,) if your bags are opened, you create credibility with customs
3.) use your personal information, not business ( if you are one) you avoid the following complications.

Some counties will require permits, licensees, fees, etc for pro equipment.
REMEMBER you are just a tourist.
This is just a hobby
You'll need these forms for getting back in the U.S. more then entering other countries.

Now, most of the people who read this post are going to say " I didn't do that and I didn't have any problem" this can be a very true statemnt But if you want to avoid any problems and go though customs that much faster, the paperwork with the customs seal certainly expedites matters and shows that you are not hiding anything.

OR if you want to, you can bring all your purchase (ownership) paperwork with you and if you if you lose it, you'll be in deep Kimchee.


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Old October 14th, 2002, 02:08 PM   #6
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One thing I heard on the radio and I don't know if it is still true, but after 9/11 the security was asking people to turn on their camcorders to prove they worked - otherwise they wouldn't allow them to be taken on the plane as carry-on luggage. You might want to make sure you have a charged battery handy just in case...
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Old October 14th, 2002, 03:52 PM   #7
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Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
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I've never flown with an XL1, but I've flown with other camcorders, including a number of international flights post 9/11. I've never had any trouble.

Also, I've probably been on 40 or 50 flights domestically since 9/11, and I've never once been asked to turn on my camera (or my computer or any of the other electronics that I take with me).

As long as your gear is packed in a bag that complies with the size restrictions for carryon, you'll have no trouble at all.

I'll be taking my VX2000 with me to Hong Kong and then on to India later this year. I don't anticipate any problems at all.

NEVER, EVER, EVER place cameras, or any other valuables, in checked luggage. NEVER. EVER.
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Old October 14th, 2002, 11:19 PM   #8
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its kinda sad that they don't check actually, i would rather have 2 minutes of somebody asking me about my camera, than it not be a camera.

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Old October 15th, 2002, 06:52 PM   #9
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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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thanks so much for the replies everybody. I think I'll take your advice, and call the airline prior to flying to see if thay have any suggestions as well. I'm also gonna purchase a bag/backpack that's being offered from porta brace that looks as though it will suit my needs just dandy! Thanks again all.
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Old October 26th, 2002, 07:17 AM   #10
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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I travel A LOT on planes with my XL-1 (and now with the XL-!s). A few ideas for you. I fly out of Atlanta. Yes, I have had to turn on my camcorder for security, also my cell phone and palm pilot. Not always, but often enough. NEVER NEVER check it as luggage!!! When sitting in airports I take a minute to run the shoulder strap of the camcorder bag through the arm of the chair. Also, when driving in cars I run the strap through the head rest of the seat. It really prevents grap and run (I enjoy driving with the windows down). When going over seas list all equipment and also notify your insurance company. Sometimes, depending on where I am going, and for how long, I have taken the XL-1 apart and packed it in a medium sized rigid Tamrac case (not metal) and use my soft case as a carry on for clothing. Get to the hotel, unpack and put the XL-1 in the soft case for working in the field. Also, overseas I always take a couple of VERY, VERY cheap electrical items, ie. small hair drier. I use these to "test" the voltage in hotels. Even with international adapters I have blown hair driers (The Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi). MUCH better to burn out one of these then your charger. When traveling overseas I yake all my old T-shirts. They are great for padding, wearing, and then trading or giving away. Also, carry a car charger. And, Starbucks coffee lids make great, free lens caps and could also be used to white balance. I carry several. Hope these help. Bob
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