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Thread: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

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    X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Hi, I would be interested to know if anyone has had problems with their cameras as a result of scanning at airports. I should have thought that X-Rays will damage memory cards, if not other components in cameras.
    I look forward to hear of your experiences.
    Rod.

  2. #2

    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Hi roderick,

    I have crossed several flight safety barriers with different equipment (memory sticks, CFs, usb pens, internal and external hard drives, laptops, digital cameras, etc...) and never had any problems with the Xray scans. With film, I have read some posts that the Xrays may cause fogging, depending on the film sensitivity to this type of radiation.

    Good luck!

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Hi RuiMelo, Thanks for your info. You appear to have had many occasions to prove that my fears of camera damage are groundless. This is good news. So far my trips abroad have been by sea or by road, and I have never had to put any equipment through scanners.
    Air travel has become a real pain nowadays and in my opinion should be avoided if at all possible.
    Roderick.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by roderick View Post
    Hi RuiMelo, Thanks for your info. You appear to have had many occasions to prove that my fears of camera damage are groundless. This is good news. So far my trips abroad have been by sea or by road, and I have never had to put any equipment through scanners.
    Air travel has become a real pain nowadays and in my opinion should be avoided if at all possible.
    Roderick.
    I agree with you about air travel being a pain, however it is the only way to fly.

    X-Rays would fog film if it was the older roll films (127, 120, 220, 620 etc.) which were just wrapped in paper, but film in a metal canister (35mm) was fine. Film in a camera was OK as long as it was metal bodied.
    I can't imagine how X-Rays would have any effect on a memory card or anything else in the camera. If it did there would be huge signs up warning you not to put your camera, phone, MP3 player, Laptop, Tablet, etc. through any scanner.
    There was a scare recently about Gamma Rays (or something) at high altitudes blasting the sensors in you camera and after a dozen flights you might as well throw it away. I doubt this has any foundation at all and it's probably just another scare-story.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by krispix View Post
    I agree with you about air travel being a pain, however it is the only way to fly.

    X-Rays would fog film if it was the older roll films (127, 120, 220, 620 etc.) which were just wrapped in paper, but film in a metal canister (35mm) was fine. Film in a camera was OK as long as it was metal bodied.
    I can't imagine how X-Rays would have any effect on a memory card or anything else in the camera. If it did there would be huge signs up warning you not to put your camera, phone, MP3 player, Laptop, Tablet, etc. through any scanner.
    There was a scare recently about Gamma Rays (or something) at high altitudes blasting the sensors in you camera and after a dozen flights you might as well throw it away. I doubt this has any foundation at all and it's probably just another scare-story.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Have just checked my user handbook.
    Panasonic state that their camera should be kept away from electromagnetic wave radiation such as TVs, video games, mobile phones, radio transmitters, high-voltage lines etc.
    No mention of X-Rays, but I would be very careful with expensive gear.
    Perhaps by wrapping cameras and memory cards in cooking foil might offer some protection.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by roderick View Post
    Have just checked my user handbook.
    Panasonic state that their camera should be kept away from electromagnetic wave radiation such as TVs, video games, mobile phones, radio transmitters, high-voltage lines etc.
    No mention of X-Rays, but I would be very careful with expensive gear.
    Perhaps by wrapping cameras and memory cards in cooking foil might offer some protection.
    Hmmmm!

    The higher end camera bodies are generally magnesium alloy and a piece of cooking foil, which is aluminum foil a few microns thick, would not offer any more protection from EMF. Even in plastic bodied cameras the memory card housing is metal. The base (and sides) of the sensor are metal and there's so much other metal in front of the sensor (lens mounts, mirror mounts etc.) that I think it's improbable TVs and the like would have any impact on the camera and its innards at all.
    It's probably Panasonic's global 'get out of jail free' card. They've only got to say you've been near a HV pylon, or your mobile phone etc. and you won't be able to prove you haven't.
    Far more dangerous are lasers. A friend thought it might be fun to 'paint' a picture with a laser pointer. It burnt his sensor which had to be replaced. We got it done cheap by pointing out that there was no warning in the manual about lasers.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Thanks for the info. You made some very interesting and valid points.
    My camera is a non-metalic type so all you said gave me some reassurance about the safety of scanners.
    I forgot to mention metal detectors. I read somewhere on the web that these can be more of a problem than scanners.
    Any comments?
    Rod.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    My manual states not to use the camera in the presence of a flammable gas. But I am surrounded by oxygen . Practically speaking, I fly regularly and never have had a problem with cameras or memory cards (or netbook hard drives).

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by roderick View Post
    Perhaps by wrapping cameras and memory cards in cooking foil might offer some protection.
    Up in the air on a plane you are already sitting in a tube of tin-foil. Even the most modern of aircraft skins (glare) consists of aluminium and carbon sandwiched layers.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    I think that if X-Ray equipment did harm camera equipment we'd have heard millions upon millions of complaints by now?

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Thanks to all your replies I feel a lot less worried about scanners!
    What do you say about metal detectors and the pulses they generate?
    I have heard that these pulses will damage memory cards.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    errrrm,just put them through the xray machine instead then

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by benm View Post
    My manual states not to use the camera in the presence of a flammable gas. But I am surrounded by oxygen .
    AAARRRGGHHHHHHHHHHHH, the old fallacy

    No, No, No, a thousand times No! Oxygen is NOT flammable. It is essential for combustion but it is not the oxygen that is burning.

    signed, an exasperated ex-chemistry teacher.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by roderick View Post
    Thanks to all your replies I feel a lot less worried about scanners!
    What do you say about metal detectors and the pulses they generate?
    I have heard that these pulses will damage memory cards.
    I've been watching a few episodes of a series of folks going through British customs -- frankly, the only thing I wouldn't be too keen on would be their full body X-Ray (if they suspected my of internal drug smuggling) (how someone could be so stupid as to smuggle drugs that way I'll never know, but that's another story!) ... I just don't like the idea of X-Rays passing through me unless there's a darn good medical reason for it.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    No, No, No, a thousand times No! Oxygen is NOT flammable. It is essential for combustion but it is not the oxygen that is burning.

    signed, an exasperated ex-chemistry teacher.
    But boy oh boy does it ever get that combustion going. During the mis-spent days of my youth (previous life) when I was a SCUBA diving medic I used to have 3 large oxygen cylinders ... one day I was having trouble getting a fire to start at home during winter (I think the wood was probably damp) - so I chucked a regulator on the tank - coaxed the plastic tube through a gap in the door - and viola *problem sorted* PDQ (although the end of the plastic tube was roaring like an oxyaccetalene torch when I'd finished).

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    errrrm,just put them through the xray machine instead then
    Thanks for the advice- but you don't always have the choice!

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I've been watching a few episodes of a series of folks going through British customs -- frankly, the only thing I wouldn't be too keen on would be their full body X-Ray (if they suspected my of internal drug smuggling) (how someone could be so stupid as to smuggle drugs that way I'll never know, but that's another story!) ... I just don't like the idea of X-Rays passing through me unless there's a darn good medical reason for it.
    Couldn't agree more. Just think of regular air passengers receiving this radiation perhaps many time a week.
    This radiation is cumulative and remains in the body, so just think how much will be stored in the body over several years. I really do feel that people comply too easily. Perhaps most don't realise the dangers.
    Cheers.

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    Re: X-Ray scanning of camera equipment at airports.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    But boy oh boy does it ever get that combustion going. During the mis-spent days of my youth ... (although the end of the plastic tube was roaring like an oxyaccetalene torch when I'd finished).
    You're not by any chance related to youth in a class I was teaching that decided it would be a good idea to use the oxygen cylinder to 'enhance' the combustion of something that he shouldn't have being trying to burn? All that happened was he set light to the end of the rubber tube attached to the cylinder. He then panicked and turned the value the wrong way so that the flow rate increased rather than being shut off. Guess who had to catch hold of the burning tube that was thrashing around like a demented snake and then shut off the valve and restore order

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    You're not by any chance related to youth in a class I was teaching that decided it would be a good idea to use the oxygen cylinder to 'enhance' the combustion of something that he shouldn't have being trying to burn? All that happened was he set light to the end of the rubber tube attached to the cylinder. He then panicked and turned the value the wrong way so that the flow rate increased rather than being shut off. Guess who had to catch hold of the burning tube that was thrashing around like a demented snake and then shut off the valve and restore order

    Ken
    No, not me not I

    I thing I can top that though - in the Air Force in the Air Data bay we had a corporal who hooked up a mercury manometer to the high pressure side of a nitrogen cylinder by mistake ... Last thing I remember was seeing a solid column of mercury heading for the ceiling at about 200 miles per hour! It went EVERYWHERE!

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