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back to article Of Kuwait and DSLR cameras

The Kuwait Times, our source for the story first published as Kuwait bars DSLR cameras in public places, has retracted the claims on which the story was based. This means we were wrong too. We apologise. FYI - here is the Kuwait Times's retraction, published on Saturday, 27th November. Our story is published below this. …

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Silver badge

maybe

Maybe it's more to do with them not wanting tourists recording the conditions of the construction workers who are treated as slaves and housed in squalor.

We can't have anything getting in the way of the image of properity and wonderful buildings, can we?

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Big Brother

That's the de-facto position in soviet states as well

Like Russia, China and UKia. If you want to take pictures of the Kremlin, Tiananmen Square, or the Mother of Parliaments, pack a compact. Whip out a (D)SLR and the FSB, MSS or PSCO Dimbleby will appear from behind a bollard, screaming "No photo! You no take photo here!" while calling for the riot squad. And God help you if you're caught being too tall, while using a too long camera.

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Silver badge
FAIL

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Erm.... I just was in China a couple of montsh ago, and they had no problem with my DSLR in any place, including Tienanmen, just outside the MAOsoleum, etc.

Still, good to see that UK levels of photography freedom are now being rivalled by those liberal gulf states

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FAIL

DSLR

So a Nikon F5 with a 300mm fast telephoto lens is OK ?

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Maybe?

Having read other comments about this on other sites, it seems this has come from one news source only and not appeared on TV or other newspapers.

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Anonymous Coward

And to think we fought a war to liberate this country from oppresion

Oh, hang on

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Silver badge

What about...

...a film SLR? Medium format view cameras?

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Bronze badge
Megaphone

Sick of this crap!

I am a very keen amateur snapper and even here in the UK I have been picked on just because I shoot with a large DSLR, various bits plugged into it and a big wide lens, yet the security rent-a-cops ignore others with compacts and mobiles. I got asked to leave the spot outside London City Hall once by a security guard, while other people walked past with mobiles and compacts taking shots! It was only after I complained to the building supervisor at city hall about it, that I got an apology from the land owners!

So your average terrorist would lug a 4KG tripod, a 12KG bag of kit to a reccy would they? Then spend 10 minutes lining up their shots? Yeah, 'cos your average terrorist nutter is always trying to draw attention to himself when he's on a reccy! Isn't it more likely if you're up to no good, you will use something that will make you look more like, I dunno a typical f**king tourist than a pro/amateur snapper?

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Common sense

You're applying common sense to the matter. Normally that's a good thing but doesn't really apply to the "War on Terror" (nor the other Wars on Intangible Concepts we seem to be so keen on fighting).

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Badgers

Call this a title?

Bet it's religious.

Big camera's steal your soul or some such bull plop like that.

s'True I heard it from some big bearded shouty guy...so it must be true.

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Telephoto lenses?

Maybe they don't think long telephoto lenses are fair? (ie taking photos of people without them knowing about it). Don't forget, making images of any living thing is forbidden in the Koran, so they probably feel much more strongly than we do about photography without the subject's consent.

PS if you think this is totally daft, ask someone who has found a picture of themselves in what they thought was a private place, adorning page 5 (or even page 1) of a tabloid newspaper. Paris doubtless knows all about that.

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Bronze badge

Long Lenses

Long focal length lenses are not the exclusive domain of DSLRs you know. If you don't believe me take a look at some of the superzoom bridge cameras on the market. Equally many EVIL cameras will take long lenses too.

Actually since most, but not all pros use DSLRs could this be a way of raising money and/or keeping track of professional photographers. If you want to use a DSLR you'll need a permit. That permit will cost and it will allow the authorities to keep track of professional photographers. Paticularly journalists.

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Boffin

@Nigel 11, 24th November 2010 13:27 GMT

"Don't forget, making images of any living thing is forbidden in the Koran"

you do know that they have TV stations as well as magazines don't you?

note, images and pictures are no equal to statues

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yep

Our Canon SX210IS has an equivalent of a 340mm full frame lens I believe. Its a 14X optical, and with a 14.1MP sensor, going to 30 or 40x in digital actually still takes good images. (thought getting that far needs a tripod, badly).

I agree, this is probably a "media control" issue. At the very least, stop and harass someone with a camera to prevent media from getting that show while they're taking out their ID...

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

Two thumbs-down

Surprised by that. Is it so wrong to suggest that another country might have a different value system? (Not one that I agree with, but when in Rome ....)

And given a choice between Paris and the Sun, I think I'd probably take Paris's side.

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Now we need ...

... Saddam.

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds a bit Talebanesque

Wouldn't it be ironic in a "come full circle" kind of way if we ended up having to invade Kuwait to depose a dictator!

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Headmaster

Well

it was originally the U.S. who put nice friendly Saddam in power because he was good at hatin' on the Iranians after.

The same thing applies to the Taliban too, because they became our new best friends the moment the Russkies moved in there.

So yes, you are right, it would be ironic, but it would not be the first time such irony has occurred when U.S. foreign policy backfires, which it does more often than not.

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Flame

Moved sideways

It appears the last incarnation of HMG didn't really get unelected - they just emigrated to Kuwait.

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Thumb Down

Good for micro four thirds

The new breed of micro four thirds act similar to DSLRs but aren't as they have no mirror so they'll be exempt as well.

What a pointless law.

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not that I'd do it personally...

...I'm not willing to risk freedom, or any other punishment for something akin to slapping the government in the face (which I feel safe doing here, just not there), but I bet it won't be long until someone hooks a 700mm lens or larger onto a m4/3 using an adapter (easily acquired) just to see the reaction of police.

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Democracy now?

At least after the Gulf War, they're now a democracy, having responded to encouragement at that time to move in that direction.

Oh, wait...

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Congratulations Kuwait

A photography policy that make our beloved Met look less like hysterical bullies.

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Anonymous Coward

Dumb.

So they are not banning "superzoom" bridge cameras. Or EVIL cameras that take similar lenses to the DSLRs?

Neither of those types of camera could be called a compact in the traditional sense of the word, but they're not DSLRs. Can the average Kuwaiti plod tell the difference between a bridge camera and a DSLR anyway.

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Bronze badge

Definition...

So does that mean they can use film SLRs? Or maybe the new generation of exchangeable lens cameras that don't have movable mirrors but keep the same size sensors, comparable controls and can often mount the same lenses? There are the Olympus & Panasonic micro four thirds system cameras, or the Sony NEX series. If you are really trying your luck, the Sony A33/A55 that have an EVF and a pellicle mirror and are externally virtually indistinguishable from a DSLR (as they lack the "reflex" action, they are not DSLRs).

Of course I might not want to argue the finer bits of camera construction semantics with a policeman from Kuwait.

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Bronze badge

Reflex

I agree with everything you say, except the bit about the A33/A55. They are very definitely reflex cameras. Reflex refers to the fact that light is reflected, a fixed translucent mirror is still reflex. It's not a new idea it dates to at leat the seventied. If you think the mirror needs to move to be reflex why do you think TLR stood for Twin Lens Reflex?

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Silver badge
Boffin

DSLR only?

That's a rather silly criterion. It excludes not only compacts and phones, but bridge cameras and the new EVIL cameras (Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens) which have almost identical capabilities to DSLRs but are a bit smaller.

Just how are they going to tell which is which without taking the camera apart, or looking up the model number on the net?

And then there's this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-apparel/interactive/e60c/

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WTF?

Police State Kuwait Mark II: The Western-approved version

Hang on, didn't we go to war to liberate this lot from Saddam?

Why did we bother? Wasn't the war supposed to "restore" Kuwait to an open and democratic society?

Although of course they'll be giving our own government ideas with stupid laws like this (not that our government needs anyone else's input for stupid ideas)

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Grenade

Because of oil...

Otherwise they're just another bunch of repressive fundie religious nutcases. The war was supposed to restore American access to the oil.

A friend works for GE Power Gen, and had to go over there to diagnose a steam turbine that fragged itself. They fought having a woman look at their equipment (fnarr!) tooth and nail, but since she's the expert, there wasn't much choice. They still gave her crap, but since she was fixing their turbine that was having a several-million-dollar-a-day downtime, she was able to shove it back in their faces.

Muslims, Christians, I hate the lot of 'em. We need a sniper rifle icon, but the grenade will do.

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Happy

more likely because of this:

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/gadgetlab/knarre-web.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Pointless

Modern mobile phone camera are perfectly capable of taking exceptional images, not quite DSLR, but getting there. They can also take very good 720pHD video. So it surely cannot be just image quality they are trying to stop.

Weird.

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Right, just spoke to my old man

Who has lived there for the last 30 years (its where I grew up) and he reckons this report is a load of crock. Infact he is going to pop out tonight when he goes to the golf course and take his DSLR and see what happens.

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Bronze badge

That would prove...

"Infact he is going to pop out tonight when he goes to the golf course and take his DSLR and see what happens."

That would prove what exactly. I could pop out tonight and drive through the village at 90mph and not get caught. That wouldn't prove that it's legal to drive at 90mph in a built up area.

Anyhow the story as I heard it originally was that the Kuwaiti government is planning to outlaw the use of SLR cameras without a permit in public places. Not that they have already done it.

I still think it's a sneaky way of keeping tabs on press photographers. Except of course for the legions who still stick with a Leica.

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Happy

say hello to humourous remark

ie his comment about going out with camera.......and why would they keep an eye on press photographers? Maybe you could tell us all why as you seem to have a deep seated knowledge of the country? In the meantime I'll take the word of someone who is there and knows enough people (the elite there are very clicky and someone always knows someone who knows someone that came up with the lastest laws, rules and regs) that he would know about this one.

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Bronze badge

Press

Why would they want to keep an eye on press photographers in Kuwait. The same reason as any government wants to keep an eye on the press and in particular it's recording of fact.

Next time there's a demo in the UK arm yourself with a meaty SLR and try taking pictures of the police and see what happens. Take pictures of a demonstrator smashing private property and the police will do nothing. Take pictures of the police and see how long they leave you alone.

The authorities in any country do not like the press recording the actions of the authorities in action. Unless of course it's an approved photo shoot.

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