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Camera Carry-On

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Bill Evelyn
Camera Carry-On
on May 24, 2010 at 2:01:01 am

Hello,

I am flying commercial later this week, my first trip with a camera since before 9-11. Back in the day, I used to carry-on all my video cameras without any problem, checking the rest of my equipment. Can I still expect to carry-on my camera on a commercial airline? For this trip, I'm using the EX-3, which should simplify things.

Also, do I need to ask the folks to hand-check my camera cards, especially for the return trip? Zappin' them through the X-ray doesn't sit well with me.

Thanks, as always, for your help!


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Noah Kadner
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 24, 2010 at 2:28:33 am

Depends on the airline but in general as long as it's in a bag that is a carry-on you shouldn't have any problem. You can always ask for a hand check of your bag but X-Ray machines will have no effect on an EX3 or the SxS cards.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
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Richard Crowley
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 24, 2010 at 8:43:34 am

Be sure your camera case isn't too big for carry-on luggage.
Have a charged battery in the camera to demonstrate that it works (i.e. it isn't a bomb)
Millions of electronic items go through the scanners every month without affecting flash memory.


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Derek Reich
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 24, 2010 at 2:18:16 pm

Bill,
You should not have any problem whatsoever. I fly nearly every week with my EX3, and have no issues. I do not put it in a bag, I just carry it on the plane and stash it in the overhead (with a blanket or coat for a little padding). The X-rays will not harm a thing.... however you may have some X-ray machines with pretty low clearance for getting your camera through the opening, especially if you have a matte box or other accessories mounted on your camera. (I have been able to fit mine through with matte box, Bebob battery mount, but do have to take my shotgun off on some of them.
One potential issue with the EX3 is it's width because of the VF, and this is made worse if you are using something like the Bebob V-mount or A/B battery adapter. If you happen to be flying on a puddle-jumper, you may very well find that your camera will not fit in the overhead. Most airlines WILL let you belt it to an empty seat, assuming there is an empty seat. So be aware of that.... just last week I had 4 commuter flights, and my camera only fit in the overhead on two of them. I was very fortunate that there were empty seats on the two legs which it wouldn't fit, and the airline let me belt the camera to a seat. Ask at the ticket counter and if they have empty seats, they'll likely assign you to a seat next to an empty one to belt your camera. Sorry, no exit row for this arrangement though!

I have not once in the last couple of years had to turn my camera on to prove it works... I think as long as it's going through the X-ray, that's good enough for TSA.

If you are working for mainstream media, bring a press ID (some airlines like Delta require proof of media affiliation) and you can get a media rate on any equipment you check, like your lighting, tripod, etc. For most airlines that will tremendously reduce your excess baggage fees and increase your weight limit per bag. (example: on Delta excess baggage at the media rate is $50/case and you're allowed 70lbs per case instead of 50lbs, and Delta is pretty rigorous about checking the weight.... if you're over, it's $100 per case additional)

There has been some confusion about lithium ion batteries brought on board (either checked or carried on). Lithium ion batteries are allowed and you should not have an issue with them, although you should not have 'loose' lithium ion batteries in checked baggage. (you can have them packed as long as they are in their own little space individually in your case. Batteries mounted on the camera are fine.

Have a good shoot!


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Ron Pestes
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 24, 2010 at 5:43:53 pm

Porta Brace makes some very good carry on size bags that fit the -3. I have one and have taken it on several airlines including to Europe and never had a problem. I have had to take it out of the case at security to show it worked a time or two though. Good luck.

Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro


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Jim McNally
Re: Camera Carry-On
on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:48:25 pm

Ron which model of portabrace bag are you using with your EX3? I have one but it measures two inches longer than the airline specs so a little concerned.

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Ron Pestes
Re: Camera Carry-On
on Jul 24, 2010 at 11:02:39 pm

Hi Jim,
The model number is listed as CO-PCB. If you go to their web site and click on "cameras - video" on the left colume and then on "carry on" on the next page near the middle you will find it. I have used is many times on flights that include the Airbus A-330, A319, A320, Boeing 737 and had no problems. This included the following airlines; Northwest, Frontier, US Airways, Lufthansa and Southwest. Hope this helps.

Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro


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Jim McNally
Re: Camera Carry-On
on Jul 25, 2010 at 1:53:58 am

Hi Ron,

I have the CTC-1 which is very similar to your CO-PCB but about 4 inches wider. I felt it would be too big for carry on but maybe not then. It would sure save some luggage costs and peace of mind to have it on board.

Thanks for your response!



Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Ron Pestes
Re: Camera Carry-On
on Jul 25, 2010 at 4:23:45 am

Hi Jim,
Wow, if your bag is 4 in. wider I don't think it would work. My bag barely fits when laid on its side. I definately agree that it MUST be carried on board though. No option!

Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro


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Jim McNally
Re: Camera Carry-On
on Jul 25, 2010 at 5:10:49 am

Ya, some of those overheads are pretty tight and especially if there is something in there already. I have a metal Fuji lense case from years back that I might have to place the portabrace bag in. Still debating about hand carrying the camera or packing real well. I wish the EX-3 viewfinder came off because that is a weak point for any jostling I think.



Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Brent Critchfield
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 24, 2010 at 7:38:24 pm

I also fly regularly with my EX-3 in a Kata CC-197. I pull the camera out at security and put it in a bin for the xray, and have never had a problem with TSA. The guys usually see the camera and help you out a little - I've had them catch the bin on it's way down the conveyor and hold the camera for me so that it didn't get bumped. Usually toss a jacket in the bottom of the bin to pad it a little.

Another tip is you can often get pre-boarding. When the agent is calling to start the boarding process, walk up and politely ask if you can get a "courtesy pre-board for media", explain that you need overhead space for the camera. 90% of the time they're grateful that you ask so that they don't have to deal with shuffling bags later on. Don't ask the agent at the counter though - for some reason they're usually much more reluctant to do it than the agent that's actually boarding the plane. Just don't abuse the privilege - if you're flying Southwest with open seating, head to the back half of the plane and don't take the exit row. Nothing good about having the cabin crew mad at you before you take off.

Also, you never know when you're going to get a flight attendant at a bad time of her month. I'm always ready to pull the camera out of the bag and hand-carry it if they insist on checking the camera bag. Hasn't happened yet, but it's been close.


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Bill Evelyn
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 25, 2010 at 1:04:03 am

Thank you, everyone, for contributing. Your help is very much appreciated.

Derek, you've not had problems with getting lithium ion batteries on an airplane...everyone else had zero problems? My concern is the IDX lithium ion battery website, which is where the red flag went up about taking them. Does anyone ship their batteries instead? I really don't want to mess with that...but perhaps better safe than sorry.

http://www.idxtek.com/support/air_travel.html

Bill


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Derek Reich
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 25, 2010 at 1:49:36 pm

Bill-
No, I have never had a problem with any lithium ion battery to date on many hundreds of thousands of miles traveled. That said, no one has ever asked about how many I have checked, or what the lithium content of each is.
What I understand from the TSA website is this: the main concern is with primary lithium batteries, and not as much with lithium ion batteries. All the batteries available (as far as I know) for camcorders and most other portable electronic equipment are lithium ion. From what I have read, the concern is that primary lithium batteries cannot be extinguished in a fire while lithium ion batteries can. (both, however are extremely flammable)
My run bag which is checked with one or two spare batteries in it has routinely been inspected by TSA, as well as one of my cases with more spare batteries and chargers. There has never been an issue or question. All batteries are in individual compartments as specified by TSAs guidelines.


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Derek Reich
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 25, 2010 at 1:57:17 pm

Some additional information regarding primary lithium and lithium ion batteries and air travel:
http://safetravel.dot.gov/larger_batt.html



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Pat McGowan
Re: Camera Carry-On
on May 27, 2010 at 7:25:19 pm

on another note, try the KATA airbags when bringing your camera as carry on - they are amazing!!

Pat McGowan
President, inMotion DVS Inc.
Ottawa, Canada
Sony PMW350K, 2 Sony EX-3s, Sony EX-1
Final Cut Pro (6 seats), CS5 (4 seats), C4D
Small-Tree GraniteSTOR 32TB RAID


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Bill Evelyn
Re: Camera Carry-On
on Jun 11, 2010 at 8:55:04 pm

Hey, everybody

I had a successful trip with my EX-3. Carried on Delta a few times, and it stowed under the seat in front of me as it would not fit (with the after-market shoulder brace attached) in the overhead bin. No hassle with either carried-on or checked lithium ion V-mount batteries, and all my SxS cards..."zapped" at airport security...all play back beautifully.

I left behind a larger XDcam for the smaller EX-3, and I haven't regretted it. The images are beautiful, and my back is that much more appreciative of the lighter load!

Thanks for all your help with my many concerns posted here at the COW.

Bill


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