Digicam through Airport Security

Old Apr 14th, 2006, 05:30 PM
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Digicam through Airport Security

For our upcoming trip to France I am bringing a small digicam.
In the past, I have always taken great precaution going through airport security with 35mm film and its camera.
Are there similar concerns with a digicam? Could the Li-ion Battery Pack (3.7 V, 1,150 mAh)or 2gb SD memory card get damaged?
Bonjour_Voyageurs is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 07:32 PM
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No. But some airport security people may want you to turn it on to show them it's a working, "real" camera. So, have working batteries in them.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 03:28 AM
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Rkkwan is correct in my experience. Unfortunately, turning on a device, phone, laptop, camera, etc., tells absolutely nothing about what could be concealed inside it.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 05:30 AM
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In theory, very intense ionizing radiation could erase memory cards. However, even the relatively aggressive x-ray systems now being put into service in the world's airports do not reach this threshold, as far as I know, and so digital cameras and their storage media should be quite safe when going through airport security.

Film, on the other hand, is not safe. It's best not to take film through airport security unless it has already been exposed and developed (developed film is immune to x rays).
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 01:33 PM
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I just found this info on the TSA website: www.tsa.gov
"Transporting Film

WARNING: Equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage your undeveloped film.

Traveling with Film

Never place undeveloped film in your checked baggage.
Place film in your carry-on baggage* or request a hand inspection.

* Carry-on screening equipment might also damage certain film if the film passes through more than 5 times.

None of the screening equipment - neither the machines used for checked baggage nor those used for carry-on baggage - will affect digital camera images or film that has already been processed, slides, videos, photo compact discs, or picture discs.

General use film **

You should remove all film from your checked baggage and place it in your carry-on baggage. The X-ray machine that screens your carry-on baggage at the passenger security checkpoint will not affect undeveloped film under ASA/ISO 800.

If the same roll of film is exposed to X-ray inspections more than 5 times before it is developed, however, damage may occur. Protect your film by requesting a hand-inspection for your film if it has already passed through the carry-on baggage screening equipment (X-ray) more than 5 times.

Specialty film **

Specialty film is defined as film with an ASA/ISO 800 or higher and typically used by professionals.

At the passenger security checkpoint, you should remove the following types of film from your carry-on baggage and ask for a hand inspection:

Film with an ASA/ISO 800 or higher
Highly sensitive X-ray or scientific films
Film of any speed which is subjected to X-ray surveillance more than 5 times (the effect of X-ray screening is cumulative)
Film that is or will be underexposed
Film that you intend to 'push process'
Sheet film
Large format film
Medical film
Scientific film
Motion picture film
Professional grade film

Other Tips and Precautions:

If you plan to request a hand inspection of your film, you should consider carrying your film in clear canisters, or taking the film out of solid colored canisters and putting it into clear plastic bags, to expedite the screening process.
If you are going to be traveling through multiple X-ray examinations with the same rolls of undeveloped film, you may want to request a hand-inspection of your film. However, non-U.S. airports may not honor this request.
If you plan to hand-carry undeveloped film on an airplane at an international airport, contact the airport security office at that airport to request a manual inspection.
Consider having your exposed film processed locally before passing through airport security on your return trip.
We recommend that you do not place your film in lead-lined bags since the lead bag will have to be hand-inspected. If you have concerns about the impact of the X-ray machine on your undeveloped film, you can request a hand inspection.
You may still consider bringing a lead-lined bag if you are traveling through airports in other countries as their policies may vary. Check with your airline or travel agent for more information on foreign airports."

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