SLR Cameras Allowed at Olympic Venues
A few weeks ago, I was originally told with 100% certainty, and confirmed on BOCOG’s website, that professional photography equipment would not be allowed into the Olympic venues. Recently, however, I noticed that professional photography equipment wasn’t on the banned list at the venues, so today I decided to try my luck at bringing an SLR through security.
I had a general admission beach volleyball ticket for this morning, so I packed my Olympus E-520, 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens, and 1.4x teleconverter in a large messenger bag, and headed over to the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground. Before I went through security, I took the camera out of the bag and ran it through the x-ray machine individually, so there wouldn’t be any chance of it sneaking through without someone noticing. They noticed my E-520, but handed it back to me after it passed through the belt. One guard even complimented my choice of equipment.
Once I was in the venue, I spent the first few minutes shooting from my upper level seat, before walking down to an empty seat in the front row. I shot an entire game from directly behind a photo position, only a few feet from the court. When the seat’s occupant returned, I went up to a camera platform, and was even allowed to shoot from there without security asking any questions. I never took out my credential the whole time, and was not wearing a photo vest.
A friend also told me today that he was able to enter the Olympic Green with a Nikon D300 and 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, without any questions from security. He didn’t bring his gear into any of the venues on the Green, but noted that spectators only pass through security when they first enter the Olympic Common Domain, not before entering individual venues. Please post a comment if you’ve successfully brought equipment into other venues, but at this point I don’t anticipate any issues.