Are there any best practice in transporting a camera (point and shoot / DSLR with or without lens) from one place to another in a safe manner? (to minimize any type of damage caused by knocks or shakes)

  • 1
    Most camera bags have padding to help minimize the impact of transportation. Are you planning on doing something that is going to have more significant requirements?
    – forsvarir
    Jun 12 '12 at 6:59
  • 1
    If you are serious about protection I would pick up a pelican case. They are nearly indestructible. I bring my DSLR on my back while snowboarding in a pelican case, and if I fall, the only thing that gets hurt is my back :)
    – dpollitt
    Jun 12 '12 at 15:14
  • @forsvarir. Unfortunately, the camera bag that I am holding does not have the padding to minimize the impact of transportation. However, I feel that both dpollitt & RedGrittyBrick have provide good solution for my problem. Thanks.
    – Jack
    Jun 13 '12 at 1:50

Use padding

Any camera bag will have enough padding to prevent the kind of damage that comes from jostling and bumping equipment together. I sometimes wrap a DSLR in a large microfibre cloth or a jumper within an ordinary backpack.

Reduce Movement

Ensure the camera can not move within it's padding, adjust a camera bag's internal dividers to make a snug fit for the equipment. When placing the bag in a vehicle, ensure the bag can't shift around, wedge it into place with other luggage or hold it down with bungie straps.

Avoid crushing

Generally this means making sure that a camera bag doesn't end up beneath other luggage and is not in a position where other items can fall on it. Mostly this boils down to carrying cameras in carry-on hand luggage when travelling by air.

Nothing else

I don't remove batteries, I don't separate lenses from cameras, I don't lock up mirrors or change switch settings. Cameras and lenses (and their mounts) are pretty strong and the only times I've had them damaged is when I've dropped them from my hand after stumbling on a rock, never in transit.


The first thing to remember is that modern cameras are pretty robust.
Of course, that's not a reason to treat them badly, but it means that you don't have to be paranoid all the time.

A bag with padding will prevent minor knocks and bangs from causing damage. I'm talking about things like putting your camera down too quickly, or catching it on something solid as you walk past.

For more expensive gear, you will want to take more serious measures; something like solid cases with custom foam inlays for top end gear.

However well you protect your gear it will never be invulnerable, so treating it with respect is just as important as how you package it.

I know you asked about transport, but it's worth noting that your gear is at its most vulnerable when it's out of its protective packaging - i.e. when you're using it!


Depending on your environment, you may also have to worry about moisture and/or dust (or sand). The precautions you take should be proportionate to the risks expected, e.g. padding suitable while the camera is in checked baggage may not be adequate if the case falls out of a moving vehicle at speed.

  • Maybe buying a weather proof point and shoot may help?
    – Jack
    Jun 13 '12 at 1:56

It depends on how you are transporting the equipment and what your environment is.

When you carry the camera with you a padded bag and some common sense are all you need most of the time - but there are solutions for almost any danger your camera can face during transport.

Some examples:

  • If you are traveling in heavy rain a bag with a rain cover will do

  • For a very wet or dusty environment you will want a water/dust sealed bag/case

  • In case the camera is transported with other luggage you will want a hard case that can support the weight of the other luggage without crushing the camera

  • When you are traveling in a high crime area you can get steel reinforced camera bags and straps so thieves won't be able to cut the strap/bag to get to the camera.

You can find protective gear for almost anything - you can find cases that can support the weight of a truck without bending, you can find fire-proof bags - it all depends on the dangers you think your equipment will face and the cost - both in money and in convenience - of protecting against those dangers.

Detaching the lens and locking anything that can be locked may help a little in some extreme situations if the protection provided by the bag/case is insufficient - but an extra layer of padding (like wrapping the camera in a T shirt) will help much more.

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