Serving the BC community for over 55 years

FAQ INFORMATION & MORE

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frequently asked questions

Are special pens required for writing on CD and DVD disks?

Here is the response from Fujifilm's Technical Department...

Excellent question. Using a soft fiber or felt-tipped permanent marker is preferable but be aware that the solvents in some types of inks can potentially damage the disc.

Avoid using ballpoint pens, pencils or other sharp writing instruments. Double-sided writable DVD discs can be marked only in the centre hub or "clamping" region of the disc.

Some discs are specially coated to accommodate handwritten labels and even special markers are available and intended for such use. 

Bottom line, any pen/marker labeled as 'for use on CD/DVDs' is safe (including Sharpies). Avoid sharp-tipped writing instruments and 'special' inks (silver, gold, fluorescent, etc..)

We've heard that Staedtler has a special pen (waterproof) 'Lumocolor CD-R Pen'.

Sharpie has a "CD/DVD Permanent Marker". Here's a quote from the Sharpie website...

Is the Sharpie marker safe for writing on CD's?

Sanford has used Sharpie markers on CDs for years and we have never experienced a problem. We do not believe that the Sharpie ink can affect these CDs, however we have not performed any long-term laboratory testing to verify this. We have spoken to many major CD manufacturers about this issue. They use the Sharpie markers on CDs internally as well, and do not believe that the Sharpie ink will cause any harm to their products.

Sharpie CD/DVD marker has a twin tip for added versatility in labeling CD and jewel cases.

How can I save my water-damaged photos?

Generally damaged photographs for which there are no negatives (nor digital images) need your first attention. 

Certain types of photographs are more susceptible to damage than others, as reported in the Setpember 2008 issues of PMA Magazine. 

It may not be possible to save photos if they are stuck together or moldy. Since mold can grow within 48 hours, time is important.

If photos can't be dried immediately and carefully, they should be frozen. This will give you the time to find out how to properly salvage your photos. 

That may mean asking a neighbour to put them in their freezer while you deal with your emergency.

Where to get more information:

The Northeast Document Conservation Center is a non-profit conservation center specializing in the preservation of paper-based materials, including photographs. 

You'll find some helpful information to deal with water damaged photos here.

For a full list of their leaflets, that you can download, go to: www.nedcc.org/resources/leaflets.list.php

Manufacturer's Service Advisories

Have a question, concern or issue with your digital camera?

Wondering if a service advisory has been issued for your camera?

We deal with only the best, most reputable photographic suppliers who go to great measures to ensure they provide our customers with the highest qualify products. Occasionally, they'll find that a product doesn't meet their factory specifications so they'll issue a service advisory on their website. If this applies to your camera, usually the manufacturer's Canadian distributor will provide complimentary service to correct the concern and will usually provide instructions for fast, no-charge shipping. Therefore, since we know you don't want to be without your camera for any longer than absolutely necessary, we encourage you to send your camera directly to them using these complimentary expediated services, rather than through our stores.

Safety Data Sheets

Canada has aligned the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

SDSs provide more detailed hazard information about the product than the label. They are an important resource for workplaces and workers to help you learn more about the product(s) used. Use this information to identify the hazards of the products you use and to protect yourself from those hazards, including safe handling and emergency measures.

SDSs tell users what the hazards of the product are, how to use the product safely, what to expect if the recommendations are not followed, how to recognize symptoms of exposure, and what to do if emergencies occur.

For each and every hazardous product that is used in a workplace, employers must ensure that there is a valid Safety Data Sheet (SDS) accessible to employees at all times.

SDS's for the products that we sell are available from our supplier's websites:

Kodak

Ilford

Electronic Recycling Program

BC Electronics Recycling program

Retailers  are required to collect an Environmental Handling Fee (EHF) on new regulated electronic equpment. The fee is determined by the province to which to merchandise is being shipped and will automatically be added to an online order. For a list of current fees, click here.

Find out more about BC's environmental fees that we collect and remit to the government on the purchase of new cameras, camcorders, and printers. Click here.

Wondering what to do with your old consumer electronics, including your old, non-working cameras? Click here for more information.

Donate your older camera to charity: Many older (working) cameras can be traded in towards the purchase of a new camera or accessory. Older low-megapixel cameras may have little value on trade but, if they're in working condition, they could be much appreciated by a charity that works with children or disabled adults.

For more information about current charities that we are supporting through the donation of these older cameras, please click here.

Donation of old cameras to charity

Have an old digital camera that's collecting dust, still works but have no trade or re-sale value? The following charity would appreciate your camera for use in their programs:

The Federation of BC Youth In Care Networks is a youth-driven, provincial, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the more than 5,000 young people in and from care (foster homes, group homes, custody centres and mental health facilities) in B.C.

Instruction and User Manuals

Need a product manual for a current or older camera? Many of our suppliers have these on their websites for you to download. Click on the appropriate brand to go directly to their list of on-line manuals.

Many of these manuals require Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don't have this program, click here for to go directly to their website to download their latest version... it's free.

Airport X-rays and Travel Tips

Airport X-rays and film

Security equipment at airports can potentially damage unprocessed films, particularly those used for checked baggage which have a strong risk of severely fogging films.

Usually it is advised to carry film in carry-on luggage since these xrays are less damaging to most films. Upon request, some airports may be willing to hand-inspect the film if it is unpackaged and carried in a clear plastic bag. They will no longer hand-inspect cameras so you may wish to remove the film before approaching security. But, don't be surprised if they deny your request or question your reasoning... just do as they say. If you're concerned about the number of times your film will go through xrays, it may be wise to find a reputable photolab and have it processed before returning home.

For more information, check out the following websites:

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

US Transportation Security Administration

Air Canada (security requirements)

Warranty Repairs of Safe Travel with Batteries and Devices -(U.S.A.) items:

Effective January 1, 2008, the Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will no longer allow loose lithium batteries in checked baggage. These batteries may continue to be packed in carry-on baggage.

For more information, go to the United States Department of Transportation website

Planning a vacation?

Click here to check out these great accessories and tips for the best photo memories.

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