Camera restrictions at the Olympics explored

Camera restrictions at the Olympics explored
Camera restrictions will apply at the 2012 Olympics

There has been much speculation over what photographers can and can't do at the London 2012 Olympics. The debate has come after a controversial statement was issued last year concerning a complete ban.

Last year a London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) spokesperson told Amateur Photographer: "There will be some events where you will not be able to take your camera in." She added that shooting would be one such event.

Equipment restrictions

Now the company is looking at restricting what equipment can be brought in. A spokesperson for LOCOG said: "Obviously we recognise that spectators will want to bring cameras into the Games. The only restrictions are around size, and these restrictions are to prevent undue impact on other spectators."

A book released this year entitled Capture the Moment - A practical guide to taking photos at London 2012 explains: "You are allowed to take camera phones, compact cameras and DSLRs into Olympic and Paralympic venues, as long as the equipment fits into a bag no bigger than 30 x 20 x 20cm. Anything above this may be confiscated and not necessarily returned to you."

The bag must fit under your seat, and large lenses will not be permitted because they could obstruct the others' views.

Bags could also face an X-ray check before they can be taken into the stadium. There has been some speculation as to whether all security guards will adhere to photography guidelines.

The rule book

Although the official guidelines have yet to be released, the terms and conditions online give some indication of the rules to come.

Section 19.2.3 of the London 2012 Olympics terms and conditions states that "Large photographic equipment (including tripods)" can't be taken into a venue.

And section 19.6.3 states that: "Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a ticket holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a ticket holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally".

A member of the London 2012 Olympics team told TechRadar: "Spectators will be free to take photographs inside London 2012 venues. However, flash photography may be restricted at some events."

Guidelines coming

"LOCOG is currently finalising spectator filming and photography guidelines. As with other large sporting events, there may be restrictions for spectators on the size of lenses permitted into venues," she said.

"We are working on guidelines and will publish them in good time for the 2012 Games so everyone attending is clear on the policy and can enjoy the events."

The release date of these guidelines appears to remain a mystery, so photographers will have to adhere to the aforementioned terms and conditions for now, until the detailed guides are issued.

What will fit?

If we're allowed to take a bag measuring 30 x 20 x 20cm into London Olympics venues, all of the following cameras, including a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, can be taken... As long as the coming guidelines permit them:

Nikon D4 (160 x 157 x 91mm)
Nikon D800 (146 x 123 x 92mm)
Canon EOS 5D Mark III (152.0 x 116.4 x 76.4mm)
Canon 1 DX (158 x 163.6 x 82.7mm)