Can You Bring a Camera On a Plane 2024? TSA Rules

Cameras always need some special care, and whether you are a photographer or just wanted to snap some photos on your next vacation, your camera need the same protection when taking it on on a plane.

And in addition to packing a camera effectively you will also need to have some good understanding of the TSA and the FAA policies regarding taking cameras on airplanes.

Here is a quick answer.

Yes, you can take your camera on a plane in both carry-on and checked luggage, however; when transported in carry-on you will need to remove any electronics larger than a cell phone from your bag and place them in a separated bin for additional screening.

In this post, we will answer all your question about traveling with cameras and some savvy ways to protect your camera while flying.

As a rule of thumb

Never pack your camera on checked baggage, unless you don’t have any other choices.


Can You Carry a Camera Through TSA?

Canon Camera
Image courtesy / Amazon

According to the TSA digital cameras are permitted through the security checkpoint without any restrictions.

Digital cameras are not considered dangerous items, even with batteries, as they are small so their rules are pretty clear.

Here is a screenshot from the TSA website.

bring a camera on a plane/ TSA rules
The TSA website

I also check their social media to find some answers

Mia wanted to know if she can bring her DSLR camera , in addition to a camera battery and charger in her personal item or carry-on bag.

Can You Bring Cameras On a Plane-001

The TSA customer service replied that a camera, battery and charger are good to go in carry-on bags, without any restrictions.

CamerasAllowed in Carry-on BaggageAllowed in Checked Baggage
DSLR and digital camerasYesYes
Polaroid CameraYesYes
a GoPro or dji cameraYesYes
Large filmmaking cameras like the Blackmagic URSA cameraYes (if they fit in carry on )Yes
CCTV cameraYesYes
This table shows the rules for transporting various types of cameras in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Do You Have To Remove The Camera At Airport Security Checkpoints?


Ensure that you pack accordingly, and place your camera and other electronics somewhere near the top of the bag or backpack.

You will need to remove any electronics larger than a cell phone from your bag, you can leave other small camera equipment inside your bag unless the security agent ask you to remove them.

You will be asked to remove personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone from your carry-on bag and place them into a bin with nothing placed on or under them for X-ray screening.

Common examples of these devices include laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles like switches .

TSA Note

How To Pack a Camera In Carry-on?

Whether you have a DSLR camera, a GoPro or any other type of camera, ensure that you pack it neatly inside your bag.

The best and secure way to pack your camera is by placing it in your carry-on bag , which can be a backpack, or a small personal item.

Most airlines will allow two bags as carry-on baggage, so you can have a personal item and a carry on bag.

The personal item is a small bag that goes under the seat in front of you, and the carry-on bag must be placed in the overhead compartment.

If you are traveling with a budget airline they may not permit two items on board due to the limited space on their small airplanes or they will charge your for the second bag , thus, you will have to fit your camera and your other items on the allowed single carry-on.

If you are a travel photographer a lightweight and easy to reach bag can be worth its value if you invest on it for your precious camera.

In the other hand if you want to put your camera on a personal item like a backpack it can be a life saver, as it can be placed easily under the seat in front of you.

Does a Camera Bag Count As Carry-On?

If you are traveling with a camera backpack bag and is within the airline carry-on size limits and fits under the seat in front of you, then yes it will be counted as your personal item.

Otherwise if you are traveling with a large camera bag that can not fit under the seat in front of you, but it fits in the overreached compartment the it will be considered as your main carry on.

But if you just have a small camera that can be placed inside your carry-on bag or personal item, or be taken on your hand, don’t worry most airlines will not force it as your carry on bag, as many airlines allow some additional items free of charge, and that include electronics.

Can I Put Camera In Checked Luggage?

Al types of cameras are generally permitted in checked luggage.

You can place your camera inside a checked bag but you will need to take some precautions to ensure that it is safe and protected.

However we do not advise you to put your camera or any expensive electronics in your checked bag.

Why? Do even airlines compensate camera or electronics damages?

Most airlines will not take responsibility for any damaged or lost item, like electronics, cameras or jewelry, even when crashed with their luggage handlers.

Checked baggage are handled in a much more careless way.

For instance Delta Airlines stated this on its website.

Unfortunately, we cannot assume liability for Jewelry, Cash, Camera Equipment or other similar valuable items contained in checked or unchecked baggage on domestic flights.

Delta Airlines

So make sure that you keep your camera with you all the time to avoid any possible damage or theft.

Read also: How Often Are Items Stolen From Checked Bags?

What Other Camera Equipment You Can Bring With You?

Photo by Shivkumar Sd on

You can bring your camera body, lens, camera flash (stobs) and tripod or any other accessories on a plane.

If you’re traveling light and with less items, you can bring whatever gear you can fit in your carry-on suitcase, in addition to the personal item.

But always keep in mind your specific airline luggage limits.

Final Thoughts On Bringing Cameras On Planes.

The TSA and most airlines do not have any problems with taking cameras in both carry-on and checked bags.

But you will need to remove your camera and any larger electronics from your bag and place them in a separated bin when going through the security checkpoint.

Remember that it is not a good idea to pack cameras and any valuable electronics in your checked bag due to the risk of theft and damage.

We hope this helps.

Happy travels.

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