Why I need to get back to Las Vegas this year
Nikon D700, f/16 @ 14 mm, ISO 100, 9 Exposures

For my 21st birthday I went to Las Vegas with a friend.  We stayed for a week in The Lady Luck Hotel and Casino.  It is located not too far from Fremont Street.  During this trip I walked the strip a few times with my old Olympus C4040.  I even paid $150 for a full day at the Grand Canyon which included a car service to the airport, flight in to the canyon, private tour & a Native American style lunch.

Before I could afford a Digital SLR I owned the Olympus C4040 which was the closest I could afford to it.  The C4040 used Smart Media memory cards.

One thing that always worried me with these cards was how fragile they were.  Even with that knowledge I never broke one.  However, little did I know how vulnerable these cards were to anything abnormal.  I shot an entire project while in the Grand Canyon.  Every rock that looked like an animal I photographed.  I shot over 500 photos in total (for my project and tourist type photos).  I also took 250 photos on the Vegas Strip.

The morning we had to fly home I was looking at all of my photos in the camera.  I started deleting anything blurry, poorly exposed, etc… On a vacation I usually wait until the last day to do this in the camera so I don’t waste batteries.  In the airport I had put my camera back through the x-ray machine like everyone else has done in the past and still does today.  We obviously have no choice in the matter.  When I got home and went to import my photos to the computer I found that most of the photos that were shot were corrupted.  Very little was able to be saved.

Since that trip I have been to Las Vegas once, but not as a photographer.  I went with another point & shoot camera just to enjoy myself on a vacation. (Stayed at The Luxor)

Why I need to get back to Las Vegas this year:  This time I will go back as a photographer.  With the right gear and better knowledge of photography.  I will be 27 in June.   I have been working full time for over 4 years and with amazing gear like the Nikon D700 & 24-70 2.8 lens I can go back and take better photos.   I also get to see a good friend of mine whom I so rarely see.

Did the X-Ray machine cause my images to corrupt?  People may disagree but I think it did.  There must be a reason why Olympus stopped using Smart Media cards besides from them being so big and so fragile.  My theory is that they were in fact extremely vulnerable to X-Ray.  To further verify my theory, I know others who had similar problems with Smart Media corrupting after a taking a trip by plane.

Please share your thoughts on my theory.  I know many will disagree.

I am hoping to go back to Las Vegas in June.  I will try to stay at The Venetian if I can afford it.

Thanks for reading.


[side note] I know that all current memory cards are fully tested to withstand X-Ray machines and should not be effected by it in any way.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I always bring a laptop with me and make sure I make copies on disc or upload them before I leave to ensure I wont lose them

  2. Understandable. That makes a lot of sense and I have done that on some vacations but it is just more to worry about. To me the vacation would be about getting away from everything. Bringing a laptop sometimes keeps you too close to 'real life'.

    I brought my laptop on my Charlotte trip earlier this month with the purpose of writing on the blog about the trip. I wound up getting sucked in and had to add photowalks to photowalklist.com as a bunch were submitted while I was on vacation.

    I also don't trust those portable photo drives as the hard drives in them crash so easily.

    I bring A LOT of extra compact flash cards with me on trips. Each day I switch to a different one and put the used one safely stored. Makes me feel better about it.

    Thanks for your comments on here and on Twitter. I appreciate it!


  3. : ) You know how i feel about this matter (the Vegas part, anyway!)

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