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Can airport X-ray machines damage your digital camera memory?


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2012-04-02 14:56:58
2012-04-02 14:56:58

Many travelers worry that airport x-ray machines will damage their camera's memory or the memory cards. So far, there is little proof that airport x-ray screening machines can damage your camera's memory cards and images. The airlines often warn about damage to film from x-ray machines - not digital media.

Rather than being worried about x-ray exposure, some believe that digital equipment is affected more by magnetic exposure, particularly to the magnetic hand-held wands and metal detectors. Some also believe that you should avoid the drive motors of conveyor belts by placing your camera far away from the beginning of the belt.

If you are still worried about losing your images or damage to your camera, you can do the following for some peace of mind:

  • Backup your images on compact disk before you head to the airport.
  • Take out your memory card and put it in your pocket. Make sure the memory card is put in a protective sleeve to protect against static.
  • Ask the screeners to inspect your camera equipment without the use of x-ray equipment. Call ahead to see if your airline offers this service.
  • Invest in a good camera bag that offers small compartments for your digital camera media and camera. While it may not totally protect your camera from magnetic or x-ray exposure, it can limit any damage caused by any potential rough handling.

While the jury is still out on the amount of damage airport screenings can cause to your digital camera, having some common sense for protecting your digital camera and safekeeping your images is an important step any photographer should take.

Related Questions

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Airport XRAY machines do not damage digital camcorders. You may want to consider making a backup copy of the information on the hard drive first though.

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No, X-Rays can only damage some types of camera film, which do not exist in digital cameras. There should be a warning sign before you scan anything in an X-ray.

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No, it will damage the components.

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they are very sensitive and in case dropped would damage them alot

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not normally nowadays. The higher the film asa/iso(same thing)the greater the risk. You can usually ask to have film examined separately.


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