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Jarek Apr 5, 2003 3:31 PM

Metal detector screening
I recently bought the "Canon PowerShot G3".

I would like to ask the users for a professional opinion though. I am planning to travel overseas and take the camera with me. My friend told me that last month he took his camera on the plane and while going through metal detectors at the airports the main chip inside the camera was permanently damaged by the X-rays in the tunnel. Now the images from this camera are tilted to one side.

Please tell me if such a damage of the camera chip is possible. Is it really safe to take the camera on the plane and go through the numerous metal detector testings at the airports?

Thanks in advance for your help. :?

Wildman Apr 5, 2003 4:14 PM

I took my Canon Pro90 on a flight to the east coast of the US and back with no problems. Recommend you don't check the camera through... keep it in your carry-on baggage.

sjms Apr 5, 2003 5:59 PM


"Digital: Digital cameras and memory cards are completely unaffected by X-Rays, either at security screenings when boarding or that given to checked bags. The same is true of laptop computers and hard disks."-- 1995-2003 Michael Reichmann

i work at Newark Liberty Intl Airport (EWR). i go through these devices every day. i do travel often and my D7Hi goes with me almost all the time along with 4 different CF type cards. i have yet to discover any issues with my camera and/or media since 9/11.

the issue seems more related to alignment then a X ray machine trying to toast the chips.

eric s Apr 6, 2003 10:25 AM

I agree with sjms here.

I don't have experience traveling with a digital, but I also read the dpreview's forums and lots of people there do. I learned two things I'll add here:

x-ray machines should not effect digital equipment. Especially in the way you describe. Sounds to me like the CCD is now tilted slighty.

Another point along a similar vein. Someone asked about the newer equipment used at airports (magnetic based sensing devices.) In a reply to a question like this one someone answered that they work with repairing MRI and catscan machines. MRI machines out or orders of magnitude stronger magnetic fields than anything you will ever encounter at the air port. Their camera worked just fine in that environment, and after leaving it.

Lots of people at dpreview stated that they fly all the time and have had no problems.

NHL Apr 6, 2003 10:58 AM

Mailing flash card is more detrimental than x-ray @ airport:


While e-beam irradiation systems for the mail will damage CompactFlash cards, the x-ray scanners at airports will not. As has always been the case, passing CompactFlash cards through the carry-on or check-in baggage x-ray systems used at airports has no effect on CompactFlash cards.

sjms Apr 6, 2003 11:17 AM

the new envision machines are basically rotating xrays that allow the operator to inspect the bag from all axis without a rip them open bag search. of course if you have a nail file your going to have to give it up if it's a carry on bag.

when the bag first enters the machine it does the standard overhead scan. the second larger part is the rotating or drum scanner which allows a closer 360 deg scan. it paints a pretty picture on the crt.

as far as the metal detector equip they are very weak fields. not an issue.

voxmagna Apr 6, 2003 4:58 PM


Someone asked about the newer equipment used at airports (magnetic based sensing devices.)
X-rays aren't likely to affect anything in a digicam or it's memory, unlike film.

But I'm not so sure about when they wave their metal detector loop over a Microdrive. There doesn't seem to be much screening over them. Is anybody prepared to test theirs or leave it on top of a TV before switching it on? All replies on the results to this Forum please!

kschewe Apr 6, 2003 11:27 PM

when they waved a metal detector wand over me my watch stopped, it started again a day later, but no negative effects on my dig camera

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