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.