ILC Cameras Being Banned from Events

Started 3 weeks ago | Discussions thread
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BrentSchumer Senior Member • Posts: 1,514
ILC Cameras Being Banned from Events

So I've noticed that random venues and events seem to discourage or outright ban ILC photography.  This is frustrating for a photography hobbyist, as one of my pleasures for attending unique events is to capture them for future memories!

This is made especially frustrating by how enforcement can be left up to random venue/event staff.  When I attended the Westminister Kennel show this year, the security line I went through let my A6000 + 181-135mm zoom through, but others forced people to check their micro four-thirds gear.  These kinds of arbitrary policies leave photographers at the mercy of cranky low-level staff.

From now on I'm going to try and contact event staff in advance to confirm whether consumer cameras are allowed at their events and get pre-clearance in writing.  If refused at the door, I'm likely to skip instead of hand over $2K in gear to a random coat check person to bump, drop, or steal.

What have you experienced?  How do you mitigate the risk of being hassled or excluded from venues?

Below I'll share two experiences from this year.

Westminister Kennel Club Show

  • Venue: Madison Square Garden
  • Gear: A6000, 18-135mm lens
  • Mitigating Measures: None
  • Interference During Security: None
  • Camera Bans: The venue apparently banned cameras with "large zooms" left up to the discretion of individual metal detector staff.  My camera and lens were let through.  Yet when I went to the contraband room to retrieve a checked water bottle from my friend, there were dozens of cameras there from tiny MFT bodies to D850/5DMkIV-class bodies with giant 400mm f/2.8 lenses.

Sumo Tournament (NYC)

  • Venue: Playstation Theater
  • Gear: A6400, 50mm, 35mm, 18-135mm, RX100VI
  • Mitigating Measures: Emailed the event organizer before the event and was assured that non-flash photography was fine.
  • Interference During Security: I was asked for a press pass when my bag was inspected.  A manager was flagged who indicated that I may be forced to check my gear, and he was going to flag me down once I got into the venue (there was quite a line).  However, there was no follow-up.  To reduce the chance of disrupting my family's evening I shot pictures of the tournament itself on my RX100, and only brought out the A6400 + 50mm zoom for the "Sumo wrestlers vs. attendees" funny content at the end.  I was not approached by security using either camera, but downgrading to the RX100 left me with mediocre main event pictures (it's a great camera, but struggles with 1/250s+ indoor sports).
 BrentSchumer's gear list:BrentSchumer's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Sony a6400 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS +2 more
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