Heading to the London 2012 Olympic Games in the next few days? Check out this guide that reveals the cameras you can and can't take with you.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to get a ticket for the London 2012 Olympic Games you’ll be keen to pack your camera. Just before you do you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the current camera restrictions in place.

Just last week, Olympic organiser Locog sparked confusion amongst many of those who purchased tickets for football events at Wembley. An advisory, made by Olympic sponsor Panasonic, recommended ticket holders check the conditions of entry to venues after Games bosses warned visitors not to bring any types of interchangeable-lens cameras to the home of football events.

One of Locog’s main concerns was that interchangeable lens cameras foul the rules on what is classified as a professional-looking camera, thus ruling out the use of DSLR’s, including mirrorless, compact interchangeable lens cameras manufactured by Panasonic, Sony, Fujifilm, Pentax, Olympus and Nikon.  

Professional sports photographer, Dean Mouhtaropoulos has been relying on a Lumix G5 to capture events at the Olympic games

So if you’re advised not to take an interchangeable lens camera to Wembley, what can and can’t you take in to other London 2012 Olympic events? Well, there’s nothing to say you can’t take an entry-level, enthusiast or pro-spec D-SLR to the London 2012 Games, however you will need to bear in mind it has to adequately fit in a bag that’s no larger than 30x20x20cm. To get around the issue of camera size many visitors turned to the idea of separating the lens from the body and packing the items individually with appropriate body/lens caps attached. Provided the lens you take doesn’t exceed 30cm in length you shouldn’t have any difficulties, just remember tripod’s aren’t allowed so you’ll want to make good use of any image stabilisation feature your system has.

Official Olympic Rules

As for the offical Olympic rules, large photographic and broadcast equipment rules apply. Refering to Section 19.2.3 of the London 2012 Olympic terms and conditions it states any large photographic or broadcast equipment over 30cm in length (including tripod and monopods) will be restricted. Should you run the risk of trying to enter the Games with such equipment you’ll be refused on entry and won’t be granted permission to your seat.

Sports photographer Dean Mouhtaropoulos took this image at the mens gymnastics on day three of the Olympic Games.

Adding to this, 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”.

For more information on the prohibited items at the London 2012 Olympic Games click here.

  • JulesW

    So no tripods or monopods over 30cm in length can be carried. Is that folded or unfolded length and what if you carry a walking stick which can be used as a brace when taking pics. Will this be banned too?

  • Paul Fisher

    This is commecialism gone mad.

  • Colin Lang

    From what I have seen, loads of people have got D-SLR’s most with at least a 300lens on. And they were not in the Press areas but in the crowd with their families etc.Especially in the Velodrome.It’s all a load of nonsense.

  • David

    I was at the Rowing Event at Eton Dorney lake, and there were plenty of photographers amongst us spectators with lenses the sizes of mini torpedos! I believe some focal lengths in excess to nearly 500mm! After reading this article, I thought I’d play it safe and just take my single 24-105mm lens, but was deeply disappointed when I saw a large number of people with their telephoto lenses.

  • Allan Harris

    I went to Etonian Dorney to watch the rowing last Saturday and used my Canon 5 D Mk III with 100-400 zoom and had no problems with security. The lens is only 26cms long unextended.

  • John Wood

    I thought we lived in a free country! It is my right to take what photos I want with what camera I want and choose to publish them if I want. Nobody has the right to prevent me!

  • Clayton Ayers

    so much for leaving in a free country….

  • Patrick

    I had no trouble at the acquatic centre with a 350D and a 100-400mm and a 24-70

  • David Essery

    Are we becoming a communist country, what a load of old tosh

  • RichMonster

    Those rules are terrible! What if all you have is a DSLR and want to capture your experience? Do they really expect a ticket holding fan to get better shots than the Pros in the best positions? It’s not too likely.

  • sprightly

    That is precisely why I chose NOT to go to the Games. The marketing rulers own the lot and have spoiled it for everyone else.

  • Michael Shaw

    What a load of rubbish, I went to the main Olympic Venbure on Tuesday and there were many people using DLSR cameras with no restrictions whatsoever. The organisers have, as usual, no idea of modern cameras.

  • Chris Jack

    I have been taking a Nikon D4 with a F2.8 70-200mm zoom into events at Excel, Olympic Park, Earls Court, and Wembley Arena without being stopped. A question was only raised at Wembley Arena – but I was let through when I pointed out I was within size restrictions and offered to measure the camera in front of the security man.

  • Chris

    I took my Canon 550D (twice) and no-one batted an eyelid.

    I saw many other DSLR’s in the crowd too.

  • Stan

    Best idea is Stay away and watch on Multi Channel TV at home. You’ll see more of what YOU want to see

  • frank o’shea

    Feckin’ asswipes. Olympics is finished where this shite gets priority over fans preferences.

  • James of Birdseyeviewphotos

    its better to watch on tv and use a camera I have done it often.

  • Derek Emery

    Why bother to go at all?