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Olympics Bans Professional Cameras
source: Amateur Photographer

Spectators watching the Beijing Olympics Games will not be allowed to carry 'professional' camera gear into the stadium with them, according to strict rules laid down by organizers.

Such cameras are banned alongside guns, grenades, gunpowder and explosives.

However, the definition of what classes as 'professional equipment' has not been made clear in the list of 'prohibited items' for the general public.

At the time of writing, organizers had yet to respond to Amateur Photographer's inquiry regarding the ban.

Among those angered by the move is photographer Zach Honig who warned in a blog: 'If you're attending the Olympics without press credentials be sure to leave your SLR at home and carry a small point-and-shoot camera to avoid refused entry.'

Officials have told him that SLR cameras and lenses 'will not be permitted beyond security checkpoints' because such equipment blocks the views of other spectators.

Under separate House Rules governing Olympic events, organisers state that the public cannot bring camera tripods, long-handled umbrellas or wireless equipment.

Here is the list of prohibited items in the Olympic Green found on the official Olympic website:

Audience members of "Good Luck Beijing" pregames events occurring at the Olympic Green are urged to respect guidelines set forth to ensure the safety of those entering and exiting the site. In accordance with national law, like elsewhere in the country, guns, grenades, gun powder, explosives, and other dangerous articles in this category are forbidden.

In addition, everyday objects that may potentially affect security, such as glass bottles, hot water thermoses, coolers, and other such items used to carry things cannot be brought into competition grounds. No banners or other material bearing slogans are permitted.

With the exception of strollers and wheelchairs, no supportive equipment is allowed. Whistles, horns, radios, walkie-talkies, speakers, drums, sticks, or sharp objects that may be harmful are also not permitted. Sports equipment, suitcases, large bags, and professional camera equipment will not be allowed into the Olympic Green.

Fans have thus far acted cooperatively with enforcement personnel. According to reports, the Olympic Green area will enforce the same rules during Games-time.