Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Airport x rays-digital camera ruined

Last response: in Digital Camera
Share
August 6, 2005 10:22:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi,

Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
(Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
heard of this

John
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 10:22:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"john" <salome1@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news:3e7Je.1509$Z87.224@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com...
> Hi,
>
> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his digital
> camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows and other
> strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it was because
> of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this? it does seem
> strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it would be happeing
> to lots of people , but this is the first I have heard of this

A coincidence?
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 10:37:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <3e7Je.1509$Z87.224@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>,
john <salome1@pacbell.net> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
> and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
> was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
> it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
> would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
> heard of this

Nonsense. I have had my digital camera and memory cards through what
seems like countless x-ray machines and I have never had a problem.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 10:43:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"john" <salome1@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news:3e7Je.1509$Z87.224@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com...
> Hi,
>
> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his digital
> camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows and other
> strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it was because
> of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this? it does seem
> strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it would be happeing
> to lots of people , but this is the first I have heard of this
>
> John
>

Something else happened; I've been to Asia, South America, and Europe
through multiple x-ray machines with both a 10D & D30 and have never had a
problem.

Mark
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 2:43:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 06 Aug 2005 18:22:55 GMT, john <salome1@pacbell.net> wrote:

>Hi,
>
>Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
>(Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
>digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
>and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
>was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
>it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
>would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
>heard of this
>
>John

Sounds weird... Xrays are just RF with short wavlengths, sort of like cell
phones or police radar but much smaller... normally RF damages a device by
inducing power into it, and the thing burns. Put a small wire into your
microwave and theres the thing... But Xrays are so short I can't see them
damaging a camera unless the power level was HUGE-MUNGUS!

It's always possible that there was a flaw in the sensor, and an xray pushed it
over the brink!

But I wouldn't worry too much about xray damage... hell it takes 5 xrays to fog
film!
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 2:50:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 06 Aug 2005 18:22:55 GMT, john <salome1@pacbell.net> wrote:

>Hi,
>
>Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
>(Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
>digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
>and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
>was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
>it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
>would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
>heard of this

Sounds more like the camera has suffered from water immersion.
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 4:29:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

john wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw
> rainbows and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and
> they said it was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard
> anything like this? it does seem strange to me, if it happened to
> him, then obviously it would be happeing to lots of people , but this
> is the first I have heard of this
>
> John

I'm with Old Bugger. I suspect moisture on the sensor. X-rays would
not cause that kind of damage. It would more more likely that the X-rays
would have make the card not readable or damaged the camera in a fashion
that it would not work at all.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 8:48:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

john wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
> and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
> was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
> it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
> would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have heard
> of this
>
> John
>
Sorry, but I don't buy this. You will get more radiation from flying at
35,000 feet for several hours than from the scanners at the airport.
That is, the ones for carry-on baggage. Now if he was dumb enough to
pack his camera in his checked baggage, then he probably deserves the
lesson he got.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 2:13:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

john wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
> and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
> was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
> it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
> would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have heard
> of this
>
> John
>
It theoretically CAN happen, but the exposure would be so high that it
would be presenting a serious safety hazard to anyone in the area.
Sufficient X-ray flux can damage semiconductors. But with the softer
X-rays used in those machines normally, it would take a very large dose.
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 2:18:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Robbie wrote:.
> Sounds weird... Xrays are just RF with short wavlengths, sort of like cell
> phones or police radar but much smaller... normally RF damages a device by
> inducing power into it, and the thing burns. Put a small wire into your
> microwave and theres the thing... But Xrays are so short I can't see them
> damaging a camera unless the power level was HUGE-MUNGUS!
>
X-rays have a different effect than normal RF heating. The problem is
that the energy per photon goes up as the wavelength gets shorter. With
UV and X-ray (and anything higher) the energy per photon is high enough
to ionize atoms (it is sometimes even called ionizing radiation). Such
ionization can damage semiconductor junctions. At lower levels the
ionization will flip memory cells in flash memory. At higher levels,
however, it can damage junctions. At high enough flux it does induce
heating just like microwaves.
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 3:16:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 06 Aug 2005 18:22:55 GMT, john <salome1@pacbell.net> wrote:

>Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
>(Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
>digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
>and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
>was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
>it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
>would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
>heard of this

There are two types of x-rays now in use. The scanners you see and put your
carry on luggage through. And new more powerful machines used on checked
luggage. Which was it?

And to all the people responding that they put their carry on camera
through with no problem, it is very possible your experience isn't relevant
to this incident.

Don <www.donwiss.com&gt; (e-mail link at home page bottom).
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 3:27:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tell your friend that his camera has been put under a spell and is now
a magic camera. A few years ago a guy dropped his digital camera in a
lake, and since then it has been taking very strange photographs. He
even put up a web page to display the results. Your friend could do
the same. He might even be able to sell his photographs, if they are
really strange.

On Sat, 06 Aug 2005 18:22:55 GMT, john <salome1@pacbell.net> wrote:

>Hi,
>
>Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
>(Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
>digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
>and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
>was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
>it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
>would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
>heard of this
>
>John
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 3:41:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 07 Aug 2005 10:18:55 -0500, Don Stauffer
<stauffer@usfamily.net> wrote:

>Robbie wrote:.
>> Sounds weird... Xrays are just RF with short wavlengths, sort of like cell
>> phones or police radar but much smaller... normally RF damages a device by
>> inducing power into it, and the thing burns. Put a small wire into your
>> microwave and theres the thing... But Xrays are so short I can't see them
>> damaging a camera unless the power level was HUGE-MUNGUS!
>>
>X-rays have a different effect than normal RF heating. The problem is
>that the energy per photon goes up as the wavelength gets shorter. With
>UV and X-ray (and anything higher) the energy per photon is high enough
>to ionize atoms (it is sometimes even called ionizing radiation). Such
>ionization can damage semiconductor junctions. At lower levels the
>ionization will flip memory cells in flash memory. At higher levels,
>however, it can damage junctions. At high enough flux it does induce
>heating just like microwaves.

I don't know what you mean by "lower levels", but security X-ray
devices won't flip bits in Flash Ram, which includes camera memory
cards.

--
Bill Funk
replace "g" with "a"
funktionality.blogspot.com
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 4:55:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <3e7Je.1509$Z87.224@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>, salome1
@pacbell.net says...
> Hi,
>
> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
> and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
> was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
> it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
> would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
> heard of this
>
> John
>
>
The X-rays are probably harmless, but some of these machines contain
large magnets. It possible that a strong magnetic field damaged
something in the camera. This might also happen if the bag was near
some sort of transport equipment during baggage handling. Big motors
and the like from conveyor belts. Perhaps it was just dropped...

--
Robert D Feinman
Landscapes, Cityscapes and Panoramic Photographs
http://robertdfeinman.com
mail: robert.feinman@gmail.com
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 4:55:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 7 Aug 2005 12:55:32 -0400, Robert Feinman
<robert.feinman@gmail.com> wrote:

>In article <3e7Je.1509$Z87.224@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>, salome1
>@pacbell.net says...
>> Hi,
>>
>> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
>> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
>> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
>> and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
>> was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
>> it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
>> would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
>> heard of this
>>
>> John
>>
>>
>The X-rays are probably harmless, but some of these machines contain
>large magnets. It possible that a strong magnetic field damaged
>something in the camera. This might also happen if the bag was near
>some sort of transport equipment during baggage handling. Big motors
>and the like from conveyor belts. Perhaps it was just dropped...

AFAIK, the only magnetic field close enough to affect any digital
devices would be in the motors that move the conveyer belt.
I've never heard of a verified instance of these hurting any consumer
digital device.
--
Bill Funk
replace "g" with "a"
funktionality.blogspot.com
August 7, 2005 5:15:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

john wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
> and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
> was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
> it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
> would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have heard
> of this
>
> John
>
Did he carry the camera onboard, or did he put it in checked luggage? The x-ray scanners
for carryons won't damage a camera, but the machines that inspect checked luggage can do
damage to electronic gear. Many airports have signs warning you noet to put a camera into
checked luggage. In any event, you should not leave anything valuable in checked
luggage. It may be missing when you get the bag back.
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 7:17:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Have had several digital cameras and had them X-Rayed at airports all over
the world. Such far away places as Tibet & the Ukraine. Never had any such
problem.
Anonymous
August 7, 2005 7:32:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 07 Aug 2005 11:41:31 -0700, Bill Funk wrote:

>> At lower levels the
>>ionization will flip memory cells in flash memory. At higher levels,
>>however, it can damage junctions. At high enough flux it does induce
>>heating just like microwaves.
>
> I don't know what you mean by "lower levels", but security X-ray
> devices won't flip bits in Flash Ram, which includes camera memory
> cards.

The security X-rays probably do flip bits, but they probably occur
so rarely as to go unnoticed most of the time. At much lower energy
levels you had alpha particles, which caused both soft (temporary)
errors and hard (permanent) memory errors. This was a big concern a
decade or two ago, and led to the widespread use of parity memory,
and to a lesser degree ECC memory. (Note: this refers to the
microcomputer field, not minis & mainframes, for which this was old
news.) A single flipped bit in the right location in a large
executable program could cripple it. Flip a bit in a large database
and the problem wouldn't be as severe, as long as it wasn't *your*
phone # or soc. sec. # that was altered. But I'm not aware that
flash RAM has any parity or ECC bits, so if radiation caused a
couple of bits to flip in a card, how would anyone ever know? There
may be a mechanism to detect errors or write failures as the "write"
is taking place, but bit errors cause by radiation from security
devices would occur when the camera is powered off.

So if such damage did occur, that probably amounts to something
like 1 out of 100 JPG (or RAW) files on the card having a flipped
bit. And if someone produced a "damaged" file and an undamaged
prior copy, I doubt that any differences could be detected with a
very thorough examination. (I'm not referring to a checksum/CRC/MD5
etc. type of comparison). This isn't like looking for a needle in a
haystack. It's more like having someone dump millions of needles in
a large bin, moving one slightly, and then asking "which one was
moved?"
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 12:02:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Bill Funk wrote:
> On Sun, 7 Aug 2005 12:55:32 -0400, Robert Feinman
> <robert.feinman@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> In article <3e7Je.1509$Z87.224@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>, salome1
>> @pacbell.net says...
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
>>> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
>>> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows
>>> and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and they said it
>>> was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard anything like this?
>>> it does seem strange to me, if it happened to him, then obviously it
>>> would be happeing to lots of people , but this is the first I have
>>> heard of this
>>>
>>> John
>>>
>>>
>> The X-rays are probably harmless, but some of these machines contain
>> large magnets. It possible that a strong magnetic field damaged
>> something in the camera. This might also happen if the bag was near
>> some sort of transport equipment during baggage handling. Big motors
>> and the like from conveyor belts. Perhaps it was just dropped...
>
> AFAIK, the only magnetic field close enough to affect any digital
> devices would be in the motors that move the conveyer belt.
> I've never heard of a verified instance of these hurting any consumer
> digital device.
Nor have I, and imagine what a magnetic flux strong enough to cause
problems for circuitry would do the the data on a laptop HD. Forget it
as a source of damage.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 12:22:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> Nonsense. I have had my digital camera and memory cards through what
> seems like countless x-ray machines and I have never had a problem.

Yes, it is most likely that his camera failed due to other reasons.
Regarding memory cards, the situation might be different. Did you run SHA-1
on your images before and after moving them through the X-Ray machine? If it
had changed a bit in your image data would you have noticed? Or are your
memory cards using error correction? But again, even if some bits flip, you
may not think of it as a problem. In any case, I would not unnecessarily
move memory cards through X-ray machines. Make a backup on CDs or DVDs just
to make sure ;-)

Gregor
August 8, 2005 6:52:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Per Ron Hunter:
> Now if he was dumb enough to
>pack his camera in his checked baggage, then he probably deserves the
>lesson he got.

Could you elaborate on that? I'm definitely dumb enough to put everything I
can in checked luggage.
--
PeteCresswell
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 7:16:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

GTO <gregor_o@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:
: > Nonsense. I have had my digital camera and memory cards through what
: > seems like countless x-ray machines and I have never had a problem.

: Yes, it is most likely that his camera failed due to other reasons.
: Regarding memory cards, the situation might be different. Did you run
: SHA-1 on your images before and after moving them through the X-Ray
: machine? If it had changed a bit in your image data would you have
: noticed? Or are your memory cards using error correction? But again,
: even if some bits flip, you may not think of it as a problem. In any
: case, I would not unnecessarily move memory cards through X-ray
: machines. Make a backup on CDs or DVDs just to make sure ;-)

I also have recommended to friends to remove the batteries from the camera
before sending the camera through. This way if a stray electron manages to
activate the camera durring the process there is no way that the camera
can accidently write to the memory card. Personally I suggest keeping the
memory cards and batteries seperate from the camera durring any scanning
process. Once past the scan, it is easy enough to reinstall the batteries
and memory card. I even have a pouch that clips to my belt that holds the
batteries and cards, and I can unclip it to send it through. It keeps
everything nice and neat and harder to misplace the small items. :) 

JMHO

Randy

==========
Randy Berbaum
Champaign, IL
August 8, 2005 7:57:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Per (PeteCresswell):
>put everything I
>can in checked luggage.

Until, of course, The Authorities finally arrive at the only real solution to
hijacking: FedEx all baggage and fly naked....-)
--
PeteCresswell
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 11:13:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Randy Berbaum wrote:
[]
> I also have recommended to friends to remove the batteries from the
> camera before sending the camera through. This way if a stray
> electron manages to activate the camera durring the process there is
> no way that the camera can accidently write to the memory card.

Why not recommend they remove the memory card?

David
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 12:56:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

ASAAR wrote:
> On Sun, 07 Aug 2005 11:41:31 -0700, Bill Funk wrote:
>
>>>At lower levels the
>>>ionization will flip memory cells in flash memory. At higher levels,
>>>however, it can damage junctions. At high enough flux it does induce
>>>heating just like microwaves.
>>
>>I don't know what you mean by "lower levels", but security X-ray
>>devices won't flip bits in Flash Ram, which includes camera memory
>>cards.
>
The X-ray radiation levels from the cabin bag scanners in decent quality
first world airports are miniscule. And I suppose LAX counts.

> The security X-rays probably do flip bits, but they probably occur
> so rarely as to go unnoticed most of the time.

Rare here being probably less than 1 in 10^12 or so. The chances of a
bit flip due to a direct hit on a memory cell by a cosmic ray during the
flight will be higher than this. And one hit may not be enough.

> At much lower energy
> levels you had alpha particles, which caused both soft (temporary)
> errors and hard (permanent) memory errors. This was a big concern a
> decade or two ago, and led to the widespread use of parity memory,
> and to a lesser degree ECC memory.

Although alpha particles are not very penetrating they are very strongly
ionising and screw up dynamic memory pretty badly if they are in close
proximity. Cells in static flash memory are a lot more robust.

> So if such damage did occur, that probably amounts to something
> like 1 out of 100 JPG (or RAW) files on the card having a flipped
> bit. And if someone produced a "damaged" file and an undamaged
> prior copy, I doubt that any differences could be detected with a
> very thorough examination. (I'm not referring to a checksum/CRC/MD5
> etc. type of comparison). This isn't like looking for a needle in a
> haystack. It's more like having someone dump millions of needles in
> a large bin, moving one slightly, and then asking "which one was
> moved?"

Flip a bit in a JPEG stream and it alters the entire of the rest of the
image. The only places where you can flip a bit in a JPEG without
serious consequences are inside any comments the header may contain. The
price of JPEG compression is that there is no redundancy - every bit
matters!

The OP's friend more likely dropped the camera. Airport X-rays won't
make a blind bit of difference to a digital camera. It would be amusing
to pass one through whilst taking a time exposure to see if any
components inside the camera fluoresce under X-rays. (Security might not
like you doing this - security scan is a no-photo zone in most airports)

Regards,
Martin Brown
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 1:01:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Marvin wrote:

> john wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
>> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
>> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw
>> rainbows and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and
>> they said it was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard
>> anything like this? it does seem strange to me, if it happened to
>> him, then obviously it would be happeing to lots of people , but this
>> is the first I have heard of this

Can we see a sample image? It may be possible to diagnose the fault.
>>
>> John
>>
> Did he carry the camera onboard, or did he put it in checked luggage?
> The x-ray scanners for carryons won't damage a camera, but the machines
> that inspect checked luggage can do damage to electronic gear. Many
> airports have signs warning you noet to put a camera into checked
> luggage. In any event, you should not leave anything valuable in
> checked luggage. It may be missing when you get the bag back.

It is because of the risk of theft that it is a bad idea to put
expensive electronic gear into checked bags. Also a very bad idea to put
undeveloped photographic films through the hold baggage scanners.

On hand baggage I have never seen a problem even with fast 1600ASA film

Regards,
Martin Brown
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 1:06:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Bill Funk wrote:
> On Sun, 07 Aug 2005 10:18:55 -0500, Don Stauffer
> <stauffer@usfamily.net> wrote:
>
>
>>Robbie wrote:.
>>
>>>Sounds weird... Xrays are just RF with short wavlengths, sort of like cell
>>>phones or police radar but much smaller... normally RF damages a device by
>>>inducing power into it, and the thing burns. Put a small wire into your
>>>microwave and theres the thing... But Xrays are so short I can't see them
>>>damaging a camera unless the power level was HUGE-MUNGUS!
>>>
>>
>>X-rays have a different effect than normal RF heating. The problem is
>>that the energy per photon goes up as the wavelength gets shorter. With
>>UV and X-ray (and anything higher) the energy per photon is high enough
>>to ionize atoms (it is sometimes even called ionizing radiation). Such
>>ionization can damage semiconductor junctions. At lower levels the
>>ionization will flip memory cells in flash memory. At higher levels,
>>however, it can damage junctions. At high enough flux it does induce
>>heating just like microwaves.
>
>
> I don't know what you mean by "lower levels", but security X-ray
> devices won't flip bits in Flash Ram, which includes camera memory
> cards.
>

I was referring to the flux, not the energy level. Almost all X-rays
have sufficient energy per photon to flip bits. But the lower the flux
(i.e., number of photons per unit area per exposure), the chances of an
x-ray photon passing through any case material and hitting a memory cell
are quite low. But the chance is not zero, and of course the higher the
density of memory the higher the chance.

Even UV has enough energy to flip bits, but the case and everything else
is virtually opaque to UV. This is not the case with X-rays, however.
Even soft X-rays can penetrate most low N materials.
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 1:45:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"GTO" <gregor_o@NOSPAMyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:K3uJe.1805$Z87.661@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com...
>> Nonsense. I have had my digital camera and memory cards through what
>> seems like countless x-ray machines and I have never had a problem.
>
> Yes, it is most likely that his camera failed due to other reasons.
> Regarding memory cards, the situation might be different. Did you run
> SHA-1 on your images before and after moving them through the X-Ray
> machine? If it had changed a bit in your image data would you have
> noticed? Or are your memory cards using error correction? But again, even
> if some bits flip, you may not think of it as a problem. In any case, I
> would not unnecessarily move memory cards through X-ray machines. Make a
> backup on CDs or DVDs just to make sure ;-)
>
> Gregor
>

Airport x-rays (carry-on or checked luggage) do not affect flash cards or
the flash based firmware in a cell phone, PDA, notebook PC, etc.

See http://www.compactflash.org/. second paragraph.

Bill Frank
CompactFlash Association
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 5:11:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

(PeteCresswell) <x@y.z.invalid> wrote:
|| Per (PeteCresswell):
||| put everything I
||| can in checked luggage.
||
|| Until, of course, The Authorities finally arrive at the only
|| real solution to hijacking: FedEx all baggage and fly
|| naked....-) --
|| PeteCresswell

Could be fun, or really gross depending on who you set
next to. :-)

--
--
"The first entry of Sin into the mind occurs when, out of
cowardice or conformity or vanity, the Real is replaced by a
comforting lie." - Integritas, Consonantia, Claritas
August 8, 2005 5:19:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

(PeteCresswell) wrote:
> Per Ron Hunter:
>
>>Now if he was dumb enough to
>>pack his camera in his checked baggage, then he probably deserves the
>>lesson he got.
>
>
> Could you elaborate on that? I'm definitely dumb enough to put everything I
> can in checked luggage.

Several reasons: The machines that inspect checked baggage use much higher energies than
the x-ray machines that inspect carryon bags. Valuables have been known to disappear when
checked baggage is opened for inspection. And checked bags have been known to disappear,
before 9/11 and still.
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 6:27:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 08:56:19 +0100, Martin Brown wrote:

>> So if such damage did occur, that probably amounts to something
>> like 1 out of 100 JPG (or RAW) files on the card having a flipped
>> bit. And if someone produced a "damaged" file and an undamaged
>> prior copy, I doubt that any differences could be detected with a
>> very thorough examination. (I'm not referring to a checksum/CRC/MD5
>> etc. type of comparison). This isn't like looking for a needle in a
>> haystack. It's more like having someone dump millions of needles in
>> a large bin, moving one slightly, and then asking "which one was
>> moved?"
>
> Flip a bit in a JPEG stream and it alters the entire of the rest of the
> image. The only places where you can flip a bit in a JPEG without
> serious consequences are inside any comments the header may contain. The
> price of JPEG compression is that there is no redundancy - every bit
> matters!

Thanks for that info. but it's not as black and white as you
claim. :)  I tried overwriting several 128 byte blocks in JPG files
that contained neither comments nor EXIF data. Sometimes it altered
the rest of the file, sometimes by drastically changing the color,
and in other cases eliminating all detail. But in a number of cases
there was no visible change. FWIW, the values used to overwrite the
JPG was 83H and 73H, and locations were chosen that were neither
close to the beginning nor to the end of the file. So I guess that
whether a flipped bit would be noticeable would depend on its
location in the file, and many of those would go unnoticed. But in
the right location, the changes are often quite dramatic. I know
that with some encryption schemes, a single bit error results in
total garbage following the error when decoded. If as you say,
everything following a flipped bit results in alterations to the
image in JPGs, then it's a much more subtle alteration than the
total randomization which I've seen. The difference here is that
the randomization following a bit error was a design goal. :) 


>>> When he got to his desination, he said his digital camera was ruined,
>>> when he took photos with it, he saw rainbows and other strange things.

> The OP's friend more likely dropped the camera. Airport X-rays won't
> make a blind bit of difference to a digital camera.

But far from ruining the camera, it's now much more valuable as an
aura/ectoplasm detector for the blind followers of Art Bell and
those interested in UFOs, alien lizard conspiracies, the
Philadelphia Experiment and various paranormal oddities.
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 7:09:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Don Stauffer wrote:
> Bill Funk wrote:
>> On Sun, 07 Aug 2005 10:18:55 -0500, Don Stauffer
>> <stauffer@usfamily.net> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Robbie wrote:.
>>>
>>>> Sounds weird... Xrays are just RF with short wavlengths, sort of
>>>> like cell
>>>> phones or police radar but much smaller... normally RF damages a
>>>> device by
>>>> inducing power into it, and the thing burns. Put a small wire into your
>>>> microwave and theres the thing... But Xrays are so short I can't
>>>> see them
>>>> damaging a camera unless the power level was HUGE-MUNGUS!
>>>>
>>>
>>> X-rays have a different effect than normal RF heating. The problem
>>> is that the energy per photon goes up as the wavelength gets
>>> shorter. With UV and X-ray (and anything higher) the energy per
>>> photon is high enough to ionize atoms (it is sometimes even called
>>> ionizing radiation). Such ionization can damage semiconductor
>>> junctions. At lower levels the ionization will flip memory cells in
>>> flash memory. At higher levels, however, it can damage junctions.
>>> At high enough flux it does induce heating just like microwaves.
>>
>>
>> I don't know what you mean by "lower levels", but security X-ray
>> devices won't flip bits in Flash Ram, which includes camera memory
>> cards.
>>
>
> I was referring to the flux, not the energy level. Almost all X-rays
> have sufficient energy per photon to flip bits. But the lower the flux
> (i.e., number of photons per unit area per exposure), the chances of an
> x-ray photon passing through any case material and hitting a memory cell
> are quite low. But the chance is not zero, and of course the higher the
> density of memory the higher the chance.
>
> Even UV has enough energy to flip bits, but the case and everything else
> is virtually opaque to UV. This is not the case with X-rays, however.
> Even soft X-rays can penetrate most low N materials.
But in a 4 hour flight at 35,000 feet, you will get more hard radiation
than you would get from the carry on bag scanners. Better chance of
random damage just from that exposure.

As for why one should put a camera in checked baggage;
1. theft exposure. Airline employees sometimes steal, yeah, really.
2. Damage. Bags are handled quickly, which often means roughly, and
they are dropped, and pounded.
3. While carry on scanners are pretty much standardized throughout
major countries, those in baggage are much more 'industrial strength',
and many new types are in use. Not enough experience with them to merit
trusting them not to damage things.
4. Screeners often open the bags, and not all of them are honest,
especially in some 'third world' countries...
5. Your bags often go where you didn't.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
August 8, 2005 9:17:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Per Ron Hunter:
>5. Your bags often go where you didn't.

Long time ago I was working as a baggage masher for Pan Am at Honoruru
international.

We had this new guy on our crew.

At the end of the day, we found out that he'd spent the entire shift putting San
Francisco bags in the Tokyo carts.
--
PeteCresswell
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 1:02:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Marvin wrote:
> (PeteCresswell) wrote:
>
>> Per Ron Hunter:
>>
>>> Now if he was dumb enough to pack his camera in his checked baggage,
>>> then he probably deserves the lesson he got.
>>
>>
>>
>> Could you elaborate on that? I'm definitely dumb enough to put
>> everything I
>> can in checked luggage.
>
>
> Several reasons: The machines that inspect checked baggage use much
> higher energies than the x-ray machines that inspect carryon bags.
> Valuables have been known to disappear when checked baggage is opened
> for inspection. And checked bags have been known to disappear, before
> 9/11 and still.

Anyone know what energy-level/wavelength they DO use?
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 1:08:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Ron Hunter wrote:
> But in a 4 hour flight at 35,000 feet, you will get more hard radiation
> than you would get from the carry on bag scanners. Better chance of
> random damage just from that exposure.
>
You do get some high energy cosmic ray stuff, but at 35,000 the flux is
very low. On the other hand, if you flew the old Concorde, you'd have
gotten quite a bit more. On another hand yet, cameras in shuttles and
older space stuff still worked real well in orbit as long as they were
not up there too long.

Worked on a CCD camera that was to fly through South Atlantic anomaly
for a year or so- now THAT was a challenge!
August 9, 2005 4:21:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <7I2Ke.160$Om5.611@news.uswest.net>, stauffer@usfamily.net says...
> Anyone know what energy-level/wavelength they DO use?
>

No level that can cause damage to a camera unless it contains film.

The most powerfull of the security x-ray machines cannot sustain an output
that would harm a digital camera unless it was in the beam for more than 5
minutes. The x-ray machine will time out LONG before that length of time,
should the conveyor get jammed (actually it should switch off if the conveyor
stops).

Security issues prevent the release of tech. info on these machines, but it
is known that cameras, radios, phones, computers ect. are going to pass
through them, and security concerns are not so strong as to require the
destruction of these devices.

If the camera died, it probably died from "luggage shock", the same kind of
thing that prevents liquids in glass bottles from surviving travel in
baggage.


--
Larry Lynch
Mystic, Ct.
Anonymous
August 9, 2005 4:28:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Marvin wrote:
> john wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Just heard from a friend that he was going back east leaving from LAX,
>> (Los Angeles Airport) When he got to his desination, he said his
>> digital camera was ruined, when he took photos with it, he saw
>> rainbows and other strange things. He took it to a repair place and
>> they said it was because of the stronger x rays. Has anyone heard
>> anything like this? it does seem strange to me, if it happened to
>> him, then obviously it would be happeing to lots of people , but this
>> is the first I have heard of this
>>
>> John

This post does not contain enough information to give a very helpful
reply. First, was the camera checked with baggage or just go through
carry-on screening? If it was the former, it would have had a different
history in passage than the latter (more later). The note implies that
new pictures taken with it were bad, that they had "rainbows" and other
artifacts on them. Did this happen with different memory card as well?
Were the artifacts the same from picture to picture? Were they
affected by the zoom of the lens? And so on. For example, if the camera
was in the checked baggage, it could have been subjected to strong
mechanical shock that could have have affected the optical system. Then
the artifcats would look the same on all images, but possibly change
with zoom. In other words, if we knew more, it might be possible to
understand what happened. It would be nice to know. If somehow it was
done by the screening machine -say it messed with firmware of the
camera- that would be extremely important to know, though I highly doubt
the x-rays could have done that.

Joe
August 9, 2005 5:18:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Don Stauffer wrote:
> Marvin wrote:
>
>> (PeteCresswell) wrote:
>>
>>> Per Ron Hunter:
>>>
>>>> Now if he was dumb enough to pack his camera in his checked baggage,
>>>> then he probably deserves the lesson he got.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Could you elaborate on that? I'm definitely dumb enough to put
>>> everything I
>>> can in checked luggage.
>>
>>
>>
>> Several reasons: The machines that inspect checked baggage use much
>> higher energies than the x-ray machines that inspect carryon bags.
>> Valuables have been known to disappear when checked baggage is opened
>> for inspection. And checked bags have been known to disappear, before
>> 9/11 and still.
>
>
> Anyone know what energy-level/wavelength they DO use?

X-rays are more common, but higher energy (more penetrating) x-rays must be used because
the bags can be much larger. Some advanced sytems use methods somewhat like magnetic
resonance imaging (called nuclear quadrapole resonance); these may use radio-frequency
waves to search bags for explosive compounds. These waves can be absorbed by
semiconductors, setting up destructive electrical currents.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 10:34:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 15:09:27 -0500 in rec.photo.digital, Ron Hunter
<rphunter@charter.net> wrote,
>
>As for why one should put a camera in checked baggage;
>1. theft exposure. Airline employees sometimes steal, yeah, really.
>2. Damage. Bags are handled quickly, which often means roughly, and
>they are dropped, and pounded.
>3. While carry on scanners are pretty much standardized throughout
>major countries, those in baggage are much more 'industrial strength',
>and many new types are in use. Not enough experience with them to merit
>trusting them not to damage things.
>4. Screeners often open the bags, and not all of them are honest,
>especially in some 'third world' countries...
>5. Your bags often go where you didn't.
>

Seems to me most of those would be good reasons to put it in
carry-on baggage instead.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 1:34:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Marvin wrote:
>
> X-rays are more common, but higher energy (more penetrating) x-rays must
> be used because the bags can be much larger. Some advanced sytems use
> methods somewhat like magnetic resonance imaging (called nuclear
> quadrapole resonance); these may use radio-frequency waves to search
> bags for explosive compounds. These waves can be absorbed by
> semiconductors, setting up destructive electrical currents.

It is pretty hard to generate anything more energetic than X-rays. You
need virtually a linear accelerator to get to gamma rays, next step up,
unless you use a gamma emitting mineral, in which case thing is always
radioactive- not a safe way to do it. Cyclotrons and linear
accelerators are big, expensive pieces of gear.
August 10, 2005 3:44:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Don Stauffer wrote:
> Marvin wrote:
>
>>
>> X-rays are more common, but higher energy (more penetrating) x-rays
>> must be used because the bags can be much larger. Some advanced sytems
>> use methods somewhat like magnetic resonance imaging (called nuclear
>> quadrapole resonance); these may use radio-frequency waves to search
>> bags for explosive compounds. These waves can be absorbed by
>> semiconductors, setting up destructive electrical currents.
>
>
> It is pretty hard to generate anything more energetic than X-rays. You
> need virtually a linear accelerator to get to gamma rays, next step up,
> unless you use a gamma emitting mineral, in which case thing is always
> radioactive- not a safe way to do it. Cyclotrons and linear
> accelerators are big, expensive pieces of gear.

X-rays can have a range of energies (and wavelengths). The more energetic ones overlap
with gamma rays.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 1:29:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Marvin wrote:

> X-rays can have a range of energies (and wavelengths). The more
> energetic ones overlap with gamma rays.

True, but still the higher the energy of the X-ray, the harder it is to
generate it. I doubt if those airport machines really get up to the high
energy end of X-rays, and the poster said they used higher energy than
X-rays.
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 9:26:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 09:29:03 -0500, Don Stauffer, <stauffer@usfamily.net> wrote:
> Marvin wrote:
>
> > X-rays can have a range of energies (and wavelengths). The more
> > energetic ones overlap with gamma rays.
>
> True, but still the higher the energy of the X-ray, the harder it is to
> generate it. I doubt if those airport machines really get up to the high
> energy end of X-rays, and the poster said they used higher energy than
> X-rays.

Here's something I heard some time ago about computers under X-rays.
Some X-ray machines use powerful magnetic fields to generate X-rays. If
the X-ray generator's magnetic shielding is lousy, the camera (or
whatever) could be exposed to a large magnetic field during the X-ray
process. So my question is whether large magnetic fields can damage
digital cameras.

--
Walter Dnes; my email address is *ALMOST* like wzaltdnes@waltdnes.org
Delete the "z" to get my real address. If that gets blocked, follow
the instructions at the end of the 550 message.
August 12, 2005 5:16:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Walter Dnes (delete the 'z' to get my real address) wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 09:29:03 -0500, Don Stauffer, <stauffer@usfamily.net> wrote:
>
>> Marvin wrote:
>>
>>
>>>X-rays can have a range of energies (and wavelengths). The more
>>>energetic ones overlap with gamma rays.
>>
>> True, but still the higher the energy of the X-ray, the harder it is to
>> generate it. I doubt if those airport machines really get up to the high
>> energy end of X-rays, and the poster said they used higher energy than
>> X-rays.
>
>
> Here's something I heard some time ago about computers under X-rays.
> Some X-ray machines use powerful magnetic fields to generate X-rays. If
> the X-ray generator's magnetic shielding is lousy, the camera (or
> whatever) could be exposed to a large magnetic field during the X-ray
> process. So my question is whether large magnetic fields can damage
> digital cameras.
>

Moving an electrical conductor (e.g a wire or a part of a semiconductor that is in a
circuit) through a magnetic field generates a current. That is how a generator works. A
strong enough current can damage the circuit, and semiconductor circuits in cameras are
only made for low currents. So damage is possible.
!