SD Memory Cards + Airport Scanners


Does anyone know the stability of the data on SD memory cards as they go through airport metal detectors ?

I’d done some travelling some years ago and I passed through a scanner with my USB flash-drive, later finding to my horror that many files became corrupted in so doing. Well, at least I assume the scanner is what did it.

So I’m nervous now about having my camera go thorugh the same.

Has anyone here ever done it before?

Did your photographs survive?


[FONT=“Georgia”]And yes, I do intend to take the cards out and put them in the little tray thing, but I’ve dealt with bone-headed airport security before and I’d like to avoid an incident where I can.


My cameras go through as carry-on several times a year (5-12 over the last 3-4 years). I have 2 cameras that use CF cards. The CF cards are usually in the cameras, but sometimes just in a backpack pocket.

I can safely say I have NEVER had an image be corrupted by going through the airport scanner.


Well I hope that’s the same for SD… though I imagine it should be.

When I’m back from my excursion I’ll post in this thread if anything happened to my cards or not.


I’ve also gone through airport security with CF cards in the camera and have not had a problem. I haven’t heard of any issues with SD cards going through airport security.

Shaun, I’ve taken my camera with XD cards through the scanners a few times and never had a problem.


I recently went though customs and the usual stuff with my camera in my hand luggage: neither the SD card nor the USB drives I was carrying were corrupted I’m happy to say. The SD was in the camera, and was of course off, the usb’s were just in the same case.

Where is your excursion taking you? :slight_smile:

I think he’s gone. :slight_smile:


Okay… so after going through airport security EIGHT times in the past week I can safely say that no, metal detectors don’t muck up your SD cards.

I had three cards… one in the camera, one in the bag (both went through the X-Ray machine) and one in my pocket as I went through the metal detector.

The data on all of them survived.


yeah…i think the detector doesn’t affect anything with the USB or memory card…to do that…it will take a lot of external energy to affect the memory in it…,91986-page,3-c,digitalcameras/article.html

The X-ray machines used at airports–even the newer, more powerful machines–don’t affect memory cards like CompactFlash, Smartmedia, or Memory Stick. Film users aren’t so lucky.

the best way is to tell officer they will defiantly allow you to keep it without passing from metal detector.

I’ve heard stories of data on flash media being corrupted that way (as well as laptop screens), but had no bad experience with that - passed somewhat like 10 times with no problems… The only thing i may mention - a few times got the old 3.5 diskettes corrupted in the subway (probably passed near high-voltage sources or the train engine).


Clearly you’ve never dealt with Caribbean security.


I have never had a problem with airport scanners…