New law for flying with camera batteries

For those of you who travel by air with your cameras, be aware that as of January 1, 2008, it’s no longer legal to put lithium ion batteries in checked baggage. From now on, all spare lithium ion batteries must be kept in carry-on bags, with the terminals covered. REVISED: The US Department of Transportation has clarified its rules. Small lithium-ion batteries – like the types that are used in laptop computers and cameras are exempt from the new rules becuase they contain less than 8 grams of lithium. So, you should be able to travel normally, even after the new restrictions.

These days, most cameras use either Lithium Ion or Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. Lithium Ion batteries are usually marked with an Li-Ion monicker of some kind.

Obviously, batteries in your camera aren’t a concern, unless you’re hoping to put your camera in your checked bag, which is usually not a good idea, for any number of reasons.

Most spare batteries ship with covers for the contacts and it’sa good idea to use these when packing your batteries.

Though I’ve never tested this, it’s probably better to carry on your batteries anyway, as keeping them in your checked baggage could subject them to cold that will make them lose their charge. Cold won’t permanently damage your batteries, but it could result in them needing to be topped off.

For more info, click here.

Bruce Fraser dies at 52

With great sadness, we heard this morning that our good friend, Bruce Fraser, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006.

To many of us, Bruce was “Mr. Photoshop‚” and/or “Mr. Color Management.” He was the author or co-author of a number of the most successful computer titles of all time, including Real World Photoshop and Real World Camera RAW, as well as one of the founders of PixelGenius. To many people throughout the digital imaging industry, Bruce was an icon, but an approachable soul who was unstintingly fair in his criticism and generous with his time. Our thoughts go out to his family and close friends. He will be missed.

Bruce and I worked together for more than 15 years, starting with my time at MacWEEK, and continuing through my recent tenure at Macworld. A remembrance of Bruce has been posted there.