BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Marilyn Micciche

Airport Security: Is It Safe for Digital Cameras?

Is a digital camera and its components/accessories safe going through X-ray/security devices at the airport? Is the compact flash card safe?

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6/1/2004 6:04:25 PM

Dave Cross   Hi Marilyn. Your camera and CF cards will be quite safe in any machine classified as "film safe". This means 99 percent of the ones used to examine hand-baggage. I don't recommend putting either in checked baggage for the same reasons that you should not put film there (aside from security). The machines lurking in the baggage handling system are FAR more powerful than anything found in the passenger security checks. Keep your photo gear with you and all will be fine.

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6/1/2004 6:52:37 PM

Armando    There are two approaches to this question:

1. Never ever put camera equipment in checked baggage; for the primary reason that you'll most likely end up losing it due to pilferage. If the TSA doesn't get to it on a random check, an airport worker looking for a five-fingered discount will.

2. Compact flash cards and other digital camera cards (SD, xD, Memory Stick, etc.) are safe in either checked baggage or hand-carry. No amount of X-rays currently used today could harm the card(s) or the information on them. However, don't put them in checked baggage - again, because of the pilferage factor.

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6/9/2004 4:41:21 PM

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