Tips for travelling with your cameras

July 28, 2015

If you're headed out on a trip, no doubt you want your cameras in tow. Make sure to protect them on your flight, and at your destination.

Tips for travelling with your cameras

Carry on cameras when flying

  • Always include all your photographic gear in your carry-on luggage when travelling by plane.
  • Never put it through as checked baggage.
  • Besides the possibility of it getting lost, few cameras, zoom lenses, or flash units can withstand the rough treatment doled out by baggage handlers or of being crammed into an extremely cold luggage compartment.

Buy an adapter kit when travelling overseas

  • If you're planning a trip overseas, take note: You will need an electrical adapter with a universal plug (or a set of plugs) and voltage adapter to use battery chargers and most other small appliances.
  • The voltage standard in North America is based on 120 volts and a 60Hz frequency.
  • Electrical systems in most other parts of the world, however, are based on 220 volts and 50Hz frequency.
  • Plugs also vary from place to place. Consult your camera manual or contact the manufacturer for specific instructions and equipment recommendations.

Bag photo gear at the beach

  • Sand is the enemy of all photographic equipment.
  • Unless you're using a cheap disposable camera, you'll need to take some added precautions to protect your photo gear when taking it surfside.
  • Many manufacturers offer optional sand- and water-proof casing for their cameras and camcorders, with prices running as high as several hundred dollars.
  • But many photo stores and websites (and photo magazine listings) do sell a less expensive covering that is little more than a zip-shut plastic bag with a glass window for the lens.

    DIY covering:

  • If you don't have time to get a protective covering, try placing your camera or camcorder inside a transparent plastic bag; sturdy zip-close sandwich and freezer bags tend to work best for this application.
  • Make sure there are no creases or holes in the plastic and try to position the bag so that it fits snugly over the lens (take care that it doesn't rub against the lens, however).
  • The chief trade-off of this approach is that shooting behind the plastic is likely to result in some loss of detail and sharpness in your pictures.
  • Experiment with this technique to see if the photographic quality is acceptable to you.
  • Moreover, while the plastic provides considerable protection against water and sand, it's not 100 per cent effective — and even a little sand is enough to harm the optical zoom mechanisms on most of today's digital cameras.
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