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Kentucky Derby Bans All Interchangeable Lens Cameras for ‘Security Purposes’

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If you’re planning to attend the Kentucky Derby early next month, you might want to make sure you’ll be content with capturing your memories with a smartphone or point-and-shoot. Churchill Downs, the racetrack that hosts the famous horse race, has unveiled new security measures that will prevent attendees from bringing certain items onto the grounds. Among them: all interchangeable lens cameras.

In addition to interchangeable lens cameras (e.g. DSLRs, mirrorless cameras), the guidelines also prohibit any camera that has a lens longer than 6 inches, tripods, and camcorders.

Churchill Grounds says that the measures were developed after consulting with several law enforcement authorities following the Boston Marathon bombings last week.

The policy reflects a common prejudice against “professional” style cameras. It’s interesting that a $629 entry-level Canon Rebel (a crop-frame camera) with a 18-55mm kit lens will be banned under the new policy, but a professional $2,800 Sony RX1 full frame compact camera will be perfectly acceptable.

A Canon Rebel with an 18-55mm lens will be banned, while a Sony RX-1 full frame compact camera will be allowed

A Canon Rebel with an 18-55mm lens will be banned, while a Sony RX-1 full frame compact camera will be allowed

…and that a tiny Sony NEX mirrorless camera with a pancake lens will be banned, while a much larger bridge camera with a powerful zoom lens will be perfectly acceptable:

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Churchill Downs says that permitted items include:

Small cameras, but none equipped with detachable lenses or lenses more than 6 inches;

and

Cellular telephones, smartphones and tablets

It looks like you might want to pick up a telephoto lens for your iPad after all. Oh wait… that lenses is nearly 8 inches long. Is that allowed?…

(via WBRB and USA Today)


Thanks for sending in the tip, Keith!


Image credit: Photo illustration based on standing up to watch the ponies by gavinrobinson