I've looked around online and found conflicting beliefs about the safety of having magnets near (non-magnetic) electronic recorders. Since CF/SD doesn't operate magnetically like a hard drive or tape, some photographers and recordists are unconcerned about having magnets near their gear, but I've also read forum posts by electrical engineers who say they wouldn't dream of keeping magnets near their cameras, etc. (more out of concern for the electronics than the media).

I ask because I was thinking of picking up a couple of magnetic-footed Gorillapods for my handhelds. I'd like to be able to keep the stands, the handhelds, the 702T, and the headphones into the same bag (mics in another).

Have any of you run into problems keeping non-magnetic gear around magnets?

  • "I've also read forum posts by electrical engineers who say they wouldn't dream of keeping magnets near their cameras, etc." {{citation needed}} – endolith Sep 15 '10 at 19:20
  • @endolith I can't find the page I read that on (from multiple users), but it may still be in my browser history at work. The gist was "people may say it's safe, but having worked with/around magnetic fields for many years, I wouldn't ever put my <electronics - maybe digital cameras?> near them." – Tyler Sep 17 '10 at 8:10

Do you mean while recording, or only for storing?

Years ago I damaged some tapes and a card. But that's not what you're asking, I haven't personally ran into any electronic issues that I am aware of. Why? Probably cause I'm super paranoid about magnets. Whether it's true or not, the second people have conflicting beliefs, I usually pick the safer option.

I don't think the magnets on a GorillaPod would be too powerful. I think the issue comes with strong magnets such as in big speakers. However, I definitively wouldn't have a magnet close to a recording device busy recording, as I'm sure it could risk corrupting your recording.

If you're really that worried, I'm sure that any small distance you put between the magnets and the recorder will make a significant difference. So place a piece of aluminum, cloth, your headphones or something.

I might be talking BS, @endolith would be the best to answer as he's an electronic engineer.

  • @Andrew Mostly for temporary storage, e.g. traveling to and from locations to record. I'm with you on the super-paranoia -- I used to use Nagras primarily and was very, very picky about where reels were kept. Good idea on spacing things out -- maybe foam bumpers for the feet would do the trick. Thanks for the feedback! – Tyler Sep 14 '10 at 21:35
  • @Tyler oh, I forgot I also wiped a Nagra tape... haha. I think if it's just for storage you don't need to worry much. Again, I'm no expert though. – Andrew Spitz Sep 14 '10 at 21:42

Magnets damage recordings on tape. A moving magnetic field that goes through a wire will produce voltage ( = create an electrical signal). I experienced induction buzz a week ago recording with a pcm-m10. However, static magnets, especially weak ones should not be a cause for concern? In very isolated cases i would expect a magnet to interfere with the operation of a dynamic (moving coil) mic, but I don't think this affects condensers or electrets.

  • @georgi.m Good points. Fortunately, I don't think there'd be any movement of the magnets going on during recording, and my hope is that the foot magnets aren't strong enough to interfere with electronics they're not right next to. My concern is more that something will get messed up when they're lying against things in the bag. Do you know what it was that generated the buzz in your M10 recording? – Tyler Sep 14 '10 at 23:49
  • @Tyler no idea what generated the buzz that day. possibly another circuit nearby. I cannot see an issue with placing magnets against SD cards, however try to keep magnets away from hard drives, in case you plan to carry one. Magneto-optical discs, including MiniDisc media, are also in danger. – georgi Sep 15 '10 at 7:10

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