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Airport X-Ray Surveillance; Film Wreckage

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  • Airport X-Ray Surveillance; Film Wreckage

    Hey everyone,
    I'm going to the Bahamas and want to take both land and snorkling shots. I'll be using a Canon Powershot A620 for land pics. For underwater, I'll probably go with the Fuji QuickSnap Waterproof. It has a film speed of 800.

    Just wondering what the chances are the x-ray machine will wreck my film if it goes through. Can I have the security people manually inspect it, or just keep it in my hand?

    I'd consider buying my camera there and developing the photos there, but we're going to St. Andros (the biggest island with the least inhabitants - 8,200!) and I'm not sure if they'd have the model I want or a place to develop them.

    Please give me your thoughts and suggestions!

  • #2
    You can request a manual inspection. If they tell you that film is safe to go thru, don't believe them as ISO800 will likely fog.
    Regards, Murray


    • #3
      order from some place like and have them ship it to your hotel or something.

      and as said above, demand an inspection, i would never trust film to go through an xray, it seems that the slightest variation in the xray can kill your film.


      • #4
        Be prepared no matter what camera you purchase to have everything inspected thoroughly. Also be prepared to have your camera travel in the belly of the plane even if you have a carry on case. That is where I found my camera and lenses on a recent trip just in the United States. Thankfully everything was well protected and there was no damage.



        • #5
          Hi Jen.

          With the new airport restrictions on bags, you should be prepared for your films having to go in a suitcase. The suitcase X-Rays machine is often stronger than the hand luggage X-Rays so you should protect your films. There are special bags available to protect films from X-Rays.

          They should be available from all good camera shops.

          Have a nice Holiday.



          • #6
            As Cameraken said, there are lead bags available at most camera stores that you can pack your film in. I use to pack my film in them in my checked luggage. If your checked baggage gets x-rayed it will protect the film, but may trigger an alerat and cause your checked bag to be opened for inspection. The inspectors will check the lead bag and see nothing but film and pass it on through (after the dogs sniff it...LOL)


            • #7
              Thanks, everyone - do lead bags work with disposable cameras, or just film canisters?

              Also, is it okay for a digital camera to go through the x-ray surveillance machine? Will it wreck the card or camera?



              • #8
                Should work fine with disposable cameras.

                The camera should be fine, but I would take the flash card out and put it in my carry on.


                • #9
                  Hi Jen.

                  All the films should go into Lead bags. The film in a disposable camera is not removable so the whole camera should go in the bag.

                  To be Ultra-safe you could buy two bags and put one bag inside the other.

                  X-rays will not damage digital cameras or memory cards. There is no need to remove the cards



                  • #10
                    Thanks Swampy and Ken.

                    I decided not to buy a disposible camera afterall, and will get an underwater case for my Canon Powershot. That gives me better flexibility to take better photos/videos in different modes, preview what I took, and it assures me a developing center won't wreck/lose my pictures.


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