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Kuwait Bans DSLR Cameras Use For Non-Journalists

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-give-'em-ideas dept.

Censorship 446

DaveNJ1987 writes "Kuwait has banned the use of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras in public places for anyone who is not a journalist. The ban, which was passed by the unanimous agreement of the country's Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Information and Ministry of Finance, prevents the public from using DSLR devices on the streets of the Middle Eastern State. Tourists are to be affected by the new laws and must be aware of this before travelling to Kuwait. Smaller digital cameras and camera phones are exempt from the ban."

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446 comments

funny and ironic (4, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321636)

An ironic twist I think... I know many people whose DSLR pictures totally suck because the camera is beyond their ability to master even simple photographs. Also, ironically, anyone who would want useful information from digital pictures can readily shoot quality pictures with non-DSLR digital cameras. Is this for real?

Re:funny and ironic (4, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321748)

An ironic twist I think... I know many people whose DSLR pictures totally suck because the camera is beyond their ability to master even simple photographs. Also, ironically, anyone who would want useful information from digital pictures can readily shoot quality pictures with non-DSLR digital cameras. Is this for real?

I think the idea is to cut back on some form of spying. Lets face it, if you are a journalist, you want REALLY good pictures for your articles, like national Geographic quality if possible. Thats why they're allowed DSLR's.

But if I'm a spy, and I see a hand off going on between some military personel and some 'civilian' - I'll be all dressed up as a tourist with my nice HUUUUUGE Telephoto lens, snap a few quick shots. If someone gets suspicious you either delete the pictures if you don't have much time or if you think you can without noticing, switch out the memory card.

Asta Lasaugna, don't get any onya.

Re:funny and ironic (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321768)

Forgot to mention: the point being that you can't get that kind of zoom level with a regular digital camera, in case I didn't make that point obvious.

Re:funny and ironic (0, Flamebait)

jmottram08 (1886654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321944)

neither true nor obvious. lenses are not limited by sensors. you can build a 500x zoom on a point and shoot with no problem. DSLRs are traditionally more capable of better pictures, not better lenses. a better ban might have been a lens over 5x, with a cap on resolution at 8mp.

Actually Point and shoots zoom better than SLRs (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321946)

The tiny thumbnail size sensor makes those 14x and up supper zooms possible. My 400mm on my SLR is huge in comparison. On my full frame sensor is 400 on my crop sensor SLR its about 600mm.
here are the class of camera I'm talking about.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q110superzoomgroup/ [dpreview.com]

Of course these don't work well in low light....

Re:Actually Point and shoots zoom better than SLRs (-1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322038)

Yes but you cannot delete those pictures if someone asks you for them.

Re:Actually Point and shoots zoom better than SLRs (1)

osoroco (626676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322188)

what if you're a birdwatcher/scientist snapping pics of urban birds?

Re:funny and ironic (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322162)

There are plenty of non-DSLR cameras that support a variety of lense mounting standards. For example, micro four-thirds cameras (non-DSLR) can use four-thirds lenses (DSLR) via adapters, at which point you can get those same HUUUUUGE Telephoto lens on a non-DSLR camera like the Lumix GF2, which has a body very similar to most point-and-shoots.

Re:funny and ironic (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321788)

Yeah, that's the ticket... spying.

Spying on all that "born on top of a huge oilfield" technology that kuwait is working on.

Re:funny and ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34322044)

It sounds like you just need fake journalist's credentials to continue your spy operation in Kuwait. Don't dress as a tourist anymore though.

I wonder if they are really trying to suppress information (the high-res image) or if they think people are going to be using the size and shape of that camera body and lens to make guns and "surreptitiously" shoot people?

Re:funny and ironic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321762)

I'm from Kuwait and YES!

I think they claim people aren't comfortable being pictured by others with these pro cameras!

Lame I know

Re:funny and ironic (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321792)

Hm... I wonder if a technology ANALOG SLRs that don't use film would be effected by this?

For example, using a CMOS analog sensor instead of a digital image sensor.

And instead of storing bits, store voltages on some kind of media.

I suppose the Kuwaiti photography market might not be large enough to support such a device being created [if it does not exist already], however

Re:funny and ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321924)

You have no clue what you're talking about. How do you think an image sensor works anyways? They're all pretty much analog, and some interesting electronics exist to get all that data digitized.

Re:funny and ironic (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321934)

Or for digital cameras with huge interchangeable lenses that AREN'T single-lens-reflex. These days, sensors are fast enough to show full motion video on the screen on the back and don't really need a viewfinder if you trust auto-focus.

Re:funny and ironic (5, Funny)

Achra (846023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322082)

Hm... I wonder if a technology ANALOG SLRs that don't use film would be effected by this? For example, using a CMOS analog sensor instead of a digital image sensor. And instead of storing bits, store voltages on some kind of media. I suppose the Kuwaiti photography market might not be large enough to support such a device being created [if it does not exist already], however

If only there were some kind of pre-existing analog SLR format that could be readily used... Some method, perhaps, wherein photons interact with molecules of silver hadride to form a latent image on some kind of plastic based substrate.. One could envision a method for retrieving the so-called "latent image" via chemical means.

Re:funny and ironic (-1, Troll)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321820)

Glad I'm not going to Kuwait. Um... ever. The day I spend my hard-earned money to buy some trashy point-and-shoot piece of crap camera to take photos with instead of a real camera just because some fascist regime decides my DSLR is a security threat is the day hell freezes over.

Re:funny and ironic (4, Insightful)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322014)

Its not the camera that takes great photos, its the photographer. Ive seen great pics taken with a crappy disposable film camera. Ive seen shitty photos taken with a DSLR.

Re:funny and ironic (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321824)

It sounds like classic security theatre to me. It has, somehow, become an article of faith in jackboot circles(the world over, apparently; our Limey friends on Airstrip One seem to be the most enthusiastic; but the notion is international in its appeal) that 'terrorists' simply cannot function without extremely high quality photographs, taken personally with professional grade equipment, even if their target is some tourist trap with 10+ million publicly available images on the web... It has further, somehow, become an article of faith(among both jackboots and photo-n00bs) that DLSRs are the magic ticket to being the next Ansel Adams, while anything without interchangeable lenses might as well be a webcam from 1993.

How exactly these beliefs persist, I'm not quite sure, when any moron who spends ten minutes in the camera aisle at Best Buy can see that contemporary happy-snapper gear is pretty competent(particularly when paired with contemporary flash memory that will give said happy-snapper 10,000 chances to get it right for under $40...) and trivially available stuff like Photosynth [photosynth.net] demonstrates the power of huge numbers of shoddy images combined with some algorithmic cleverness...

Re:funny and ironic (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321996)

It has been discussed many, many times. Belief beats fact. Fear beats belief and fact. This seems to apply to everyone across the board. It's like the anti-gun groups who conveniently ignore the reduction in crime in the US states where CHLs are issued and continue to cry "blood in the streets." It simply doesn't matter how much fact you shovel out. They won't see anything but what they want to see... and by "they" I mean pretty much everyone including you and me.

you dirty bastard (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322150)

Photosynth [photosynth.net]

You'll be installing Microsoft Silverlight. It's small and fast.

Anybody got some pointers for FOSS photogrammetry systems?
goddamnit, can slashdot misinterpret allegedly valid html worse?

Re:funny and ironic (2, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321844)

Non-SLR digital cameras have gotten very good in recent years. As an old-school 35mm SLR user, there are times I'd love to have a DSLR, but a 10MP non-reflex camera with a 10X optical zoom lens (such as the one I have) can take pretty much the exact same photos, albeit with marginally lower image quality due to the optics. So they're accomplishing nothing except to require amateur photographers to use smaller and less expensive cameras.

Re:funny and ironic (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322016)

I loaded the newegg homepage a few minutes ago and(by pure happenstance) they were offering a 35x optical zoom Canon point-and-shoot for a hair under $400. I'm guessing that a real lens snob who can afford something that gets its own tripod and looks like an anti-tank weapon would be driven to tears by the optical artefacts(particularly around the edge of the frame); but with a tiny tripod and some adequate image stabilization wizardry(yours standard on the nicer point-and-shoots) I suspect that you can get pretty adequate results from something that neither is, nor even looks like, a DSLR...

Re:funny and ironic (1)

Hodapp (1175021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322132)

One of the biggest determining factors of quality still is the physical size of the sensor. I think you'll find the images will differ in quality quite a bit if you compare side-by-side.

what about non-digital SLRs? (4, Interesting)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321644)

What about regular SLR cameras? Why ban D(igital)SLR cameras?

Re:what about non-digital SLRs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321782)

And also, what about Micro Four-Thirds [wikipedia.org]? It has interchangeable lenses (which most people consider synonymous with SLRs), but it's not an SLR - you see the image in an electronic display, not through an optical viewfinder (which is the main point of SLRs).

As a keen amateur photographer, this ban would make me take my travel (and hence my spending money) to another country. Absolute stupidity on the part of the Kuwaitis. I mean, look at it - you ban SLRs, but not compact cameras. Would the police look at, say, a Canon G series [wikipedia.org] camera, and claim it to be an SLR? What shots can I get with a DSLR that I can't get with a compact camera? (Hint: not many, not in the contexts they're talking about.)

Re:what about non-digital SLRs? (2, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322126)

Do you want to explain the distinction between an optical and electronic viewfinder to the local police?

Re:what about non-digital SLRs? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321826)

Similar to my initial line of thinking, which was along the lines of "what the hell can banning DSLRs achieve when point-and-shoots (or micro four thirds) are still legal", but the opinion of the author is that they're going for a chilling effect:

In my opinion, the only reason the Kuwaiti authorities didn’t issue a full scale ban on all digital photography apparatus is because every self-respecting smart-phone these days comes with a couple megapixels strong built-in camera that would basically make the ban useless.

The ban will not affect small ‘standard’ digital cameras, in theory. But in all honesty, who would be willing to go in public taking shots with a digital camera and risk having to explain the differences between DSLR and non-DSLR cameras to angry Kuwaiti authorities? I for one certainly would not.

The author and I are thinking of non-SLR digital devices, you're thinking of non-digital SLRs, but the argument is the same - do you want to take the risk?

Re:what about non-digital SLRs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321976)

And what about DSLT, like the new Sony a55 and a33?
Is having a mobile mirror and a digital sensor the offensive part?

Re:what about non-digital SLRs? (2, Interesting)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322040)

I'm guessing digital SLRs are banned because the photos can be easily copied/uploaded whereas those on actual film cannot. Control the flow of information.

Re:what about non-digital SLRs? (4, Insightful)

lazlo (15906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322074)

Or what about interchangeable lens cameras with an LED-based "viewfinder" that do not actually use a reflex mirror? I think they're called by some "bridge cameras", and I'm not entirely sure I understand what the advantage of the reflex mechanism is for a digital camera. (for a film camera, yeah, I completely understand. But those reasons mostly don't translate to digial *at all*.)

In reality, I suspect that the term DSLR is being abused similarly to "assault weapons" is in the US. The law really means any camera that looks too scary to be permitted to civilians, and the real definition will be defined ex post facto.

I agree (4, Funny)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321646)

Using a DSLR camera while standing in the middle of the street, is just unsafe.

Re:I agree (1)

bema (1946062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321918)

You should have told me that earlier :(. I guess I will be fine if I use an ordinary camera next time, thanks for the advice though.

What what? (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321656)

Why? Is there any reason at all for this ban? Help me out here.

Tyrants don't need a reason... (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321704)

They did it because they can, and because nobody will punish them for their temerity with a bullet in the head.

Re:Tyrants don't need a reason... (2, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321842)

They did it because they can, and because nobody will punish them for their temerity with a bullet in the head.

They can't be tyrants because we, the US of A, liberated the Kuwaiti Royal Family and this monarchy from the evils of Saddam Hussein; which we then invaded Iraq to free its people from the oppressive tyranny of that tyrant in order to install a democracy.

Don't you just love US foreign policy?

Re:What what? (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321728)

It seems like it must be some nonsensical knee jerk response for the sake of security or some crap. Seems like a typical blind bureaucratic action or something...

If you spend a few more bucks on your point and shoot, you can get pretty close to the same quality as a DSLR.

Re:What what? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321740)

Oppressive government that hates society and is trying to hide something.

It makes it easy to target people that are "journalists" and require fees or kickbacks.

It also eliminates people from having 300+mm telephotos to take photos of "secrets" from a distance.

Re:What what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321910)

You hit the nail on the head here. Oppressive regimes hate cameras in general, and probably the most "dangerous" would be the ones that can sport the ultra zoom lens that can take pictures of stuff happening well away from where the action is going on. This way, it is harder for the goons to crack heads of everyone in range.

The availability of inexpensive, high resolution cameras is a tyrannical regime's worst fear. This is why we are seeing bans of cameras popping up left and right.

Re:What what? (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321746)

Why? Is there any reason at all for this ban? Help me out here.

I guess they don't want HQ telephotography of abuse of power from safe locations etc, where they won't even know who's photographing them so they can't see who they should arrest. :-p

However... Smaller digital cameras OK? Uh, what about the Canon SX30 IS with 35x zoom? That's better than my Nikon D90 with my 200mm lens. While perhaps not the same optical quality, this doesn't matter at all unless they're trying to ban photographs with a nice bokeh, or low noise levels, haha. :p

Re:What what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321850)

because Muslims are stupid fucking dimwits that have stood in the sun too long -- thats why

Good job! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321666)

You oppressive shit fucks. I wish oppression, tyranny, homicide, torture, and rape upon all those who embrace this shit, and equally upon those who lack enough spine to stand up to it.

Re:Good job! (0, Offtopic)

rwven (663186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321756)

Are you standing up to it in your own country? Yeah, didn't think so.

Re:Good job! (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322158)

Standing up to what? I own a dslr and have never had a problem taking pictures with it anywhere. Well, not a problem with any sort of 'authority' anyway. As for the actual quality of the shots...

Re:Good job! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321864)

You'd better include a major slice of American rentacops and nebulous security agencies, along with a fair percentage of the citizens they so zealously 'protect'; along with Kuwait...

What about 35mm? (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321676)

Back when digital photography was in its infancy, what I did was shoot pictures with 35mm film, and then mount the negatives as slides, and fed them into a slide scanner.

As far as I can tell, none of the technology involved in that workflow would come under this ban. So...?

Re:What about 35mm? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321714)

I was wondering if there's already a 35mm SLR ban in place and this is just extending it to DSLRs or something. They would be about a decade late in enacting the ban, but that's politics for you.

Re:What about 35mm? (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321798)

Not only that, but with high quality 35MM film, you can get a MUCH higher resolution scan out of a negative than your typical DSLR can produce. High end 35MM film will capture the equivalent of 30MP+ images.

I have to ask... (1)

hipp5 (1635263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321694)

Why? Seriously, what benefit is there banning DSLRs over other cameras? It can't be the existence of telephoto lenses, because there are lots of compacts that have large zooms. Maybe it's a war on artful, quality photos?

Re:I have to ask... (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321832)

Actually your typical point and shoot has a much deeper optical zoom than most DSLR lenses. a 10x telephoto lens for a DSLR is hundred or even thousands of dollars. Most point and shoots do 10x optical or better. Heck, my cheap digital camcorder does 30x optical, 40x digital.

Re:I have to ask... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34322060)

Most point and shoots do not do 10x or better. Go check newegg.com if you doubt me.

I pretty much wrote off your entire post when you mentioned digital zoom, BTW. Mentioning digital zoom when the question is about quality and clarity of an image is a sign of utter ignorance.

Re:I have to ask... (1)

argmanah (616458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321908)

Why? Seriously, what benefit is there banning DSLRs over other cameras? It can't be the existence of telephoto lenses, because there are lots of compacts that have large zooms. Maybe it's a war on artful, quality photos?

Ok, seriously, people need to stop talking like a DSLR and a compact one is essentially the same. You have clearly not tried to shoot photos at extreme distances in low light. The difference between a quality DSLR in the hands of an expert versus a compact ones can be very extreme depending on environmental factors. Here in the states, the place I've seen it come up on the most is at concerts, where a DSLR with a good lens will make the pictures appear like you've got front row seats when you're really up in the balcony, and the auto-focusing compact cameras simply cannot keep up with that, as their smaller lenses have to compensate via slower shutter speeds making the images blurry. We need to at least admit that there is a theoretical point to banning DSLR's if you're trying to prevent espionage.

Don't get me wrong. Realistically speaking, the Kuwait ban is worthless, since anyone willing to risk their lives for espionage probably is willing to chance it with a DSLR and a fake media badge, but I'm sure to them it looked good on paper.

Re:I have to ask... (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321950)

Why? Seriously, what benefit is there banning DSLRs over other cameras? It can't be the existence of telephoto lenses, because there are lots of compacts that have large zooms. Maybe it's a war on artful, quality photos?

Not only that... but there are non-SLRs that have Telephoto lenses you can attach, I am pretty sure. Some of the compacts with Zoom capabilities are probably SLRs, technically

There are some "SLR-LIKE" cameras that are not SLRs, because they have a separate viewfinder which does not look through the main lens though.

By definition a SLR is a camera that has a single lens, and a mirror, the viewfinder looks through the LENS a Prism is used to restore the orientation of the image, in a manner, that when you look through the viewfinder, you see the photo will be taken. Any camera that has a single lens and uses this method reflection, so that the viewfinder and the image sensor both utilize the same lens is called SLR.

A DSLR just refers to digital technology.

So this should be easily circumvented by using any camera that is not a SLR, I guess, i.e. any Camera that has a viewfinder which that its own lens on the front of the camera and does not look through a single lens, OR uses a mechanism other than reflection to duplicate the image in the LENS to the viewfinder.

For example, a camera that electronically displays a rendition of the image hitting the image sensor using an electronic backlit display, without any reflection, instead of passing the image straight to the person viewing.

I suppose viewfinders that incorporate an electronic display, will, however, be more expensive than the reflection technique, and the image appearing on the display will be less true in quality than the actual picture.

illegal in USA too? (2, Insightful)

index0 (1868500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321712)

Are these cameras legal on the streets of USA? From this past decade of news, it seems like it is illegal in USA too.

Re:illegal in USA too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321778)

Everything is illegal in USA. Everyone is a criminal. And Criminals don't deserve rights.

Re:illegal in USA too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34322032)

No ( although people see the 'fancy' camera and get out of your way, assuming you are a journalist I guess [ maybe carrying a camera bag helps that, or wearing it around your neck? I have no idea ] ), but they are generally more expensive than people want to spend on a camera. Could also be related to their size - a decent point and shoot digital camera comes across as more portable and user friendly than the bulkier DSLR cameras.

Re:illegal in USA too? (3, Informative)

jmottram08 (1886654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322102)

Right, compare the US to a country that bans cameras. Everything is about you.

The current police filming incidents are headed to the supreme court, where they will be overturned.

Micro Four Thirds? (1)

circlingthesun (1327623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321726)

Micro Four Third cameras are very similar to DSLR's but lack the flip up mirror or optical viewfinder. Are these exempt too?

Re:Micro Four Thirds? (1)

jmottram08 (1886654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321884)

Only if by "very similar" you mean "entirely lacking the single defining characteristic".

Re:Micro Four Thirds? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322186)

Only if by "very similar" you mean "entirely lacking the single defining characteristic".

Kuwaiti military guy with automatic rifle: I see you have a large camera, surely you know those are prohibited unless you have a journalist badge issued by the state

Amateur photographer: No sir, you see this isn't a DSLR this is a micro four thirds camera! The ban said D-S-L-R and this camera lacks a reflexive mirror! I am free to go, right?

Kuwaiti military guy: right this way sir...

This makes journalists easy to identify. (5, Insightful)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321730)

If you can identify a journalist by his camera, it's easier to target journalists when you want to keep "bad news" from leaving the country.

Re:This makes journalists easy to identify. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321902)

Also, large DSLR cameras are seemingly indistinguishable from weapons when viewed from helicopter. I seem to recall the murder/slaughter of civilians video showing a photographer carrying equipment being slaughtered while someone in the audio was saying "he's got a weapon!"

Re:This makes journalists easy to identify. (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321970)

That's any camera. I've shot at people on a paintball field before because the photographer was in an aiming stance pointing at my teammates in a location I was expecting to find opposing players.

Re:This makes journalists easy to identify. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321962)

And the reverse is also useful: get out of here, this is for journalists only. Of course, all the independent, critical journalists have been kicked out of that category. Arab media is frequently very clubby with government.

Example: "It is widely known that many members of the National Council wield considerable influence over the regional press. They resort to protecting themselves from any press criticism by appointing parliamentary correspondents as their own private secretaries. They grant services to the journalists and their families. Sometimes they might even put pressure on government institutions to allocate funds for the journalists' jobs, allowing them to claim salaries, yearly bonuses and legal perks without ever having to visit their supposed workplace! Their colleagues are unaware of the situation because these "journalists" merely show up as names on the payroll of the ministerial budget."

http://report.globalintegrity.org/Kuwait/2008/notebook

Re:This makes journalists easy to identify. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322020)

If you can identify a journalist by his camera, it's easier to target journalists when you want to keep "bad news" from leaving the country.

It's not just that. It's also a lot easier to dismiss blurry evidence from a dinky little camera not suited to capturing fast action. I wonder how hybrids and high end interchangable lens non-DSLR cameras are classified. I was actually wondering how long it would take before some country banned (or licensed, with onerous requirements) cameras altogether. I guess Kuwait is leading the way...

why not ban the rain? (1)

valugi (1069088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321772)

and other concepts they dont like or agree as monkeys, snow, toilet paper, bronthosaurus, eliptic galaxies, Newton and so on...

darn (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321776)

Guess I'll just use my old fashioned SLR and scan the developed photos. SLR is superior anyways, but that's another story

Re:darn (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321894)

Guess I'll just use my old fashioned SLR and scan the developed photos. SLR is superior anyways, but that's another story

I've barely used my film SLR since I bought my digital SLR. As far as I know, my DSLR does far more than my film SLR (Nikon D80 vs Nikon F75). In fact, I will likely trade it in soon to get myself a new lens for my DSLR.

I can take hundreds of photos for little cost, and keep them all or strip out the few that came out blurry because I was in a rush. I can do auto-exposure bracketing to be sure to actually get the picture I need when I won't have a chance to take it again -- let's face it, grandma isn't going to re-cut the cake because your shot didn't work out..

I suspect that it is only in very limited ways that a film-SLR is "better" than a DSLR. If most pros have changed to digital, then I doubt it even more.

At this point, I think a DSLR is as good as a film SLR, and for many people, probably even "better" when you factor in the niceties. My use of film has dropped to essentially zero.

Tourists? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321784)

Tourists are to be affected by the new laws

Does Kuwait have a booming tourism industry or something? I don't understand why they'd do this.

Seriously, between idiots saying I can't take photos on or near their property, and police believing they have the right to seize or delete my photos, a lot of countries seem increasingly hostile to the notion of photography.

WTF?

London (City) does this too... (-1, Flamebait)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321790)

London for all intense and purposes does exactly the same thing. You cannot take "professional" pictures without a licence (which costs money) and if you have a DSLR you are presumed to be a professional - thus if you're lucky harassed by the police, and worst given a summons to turn up at court (or VERY unlucky arrested under vague anti-terrorism laws).

Re:London (City) does this too... (2, Informative)

Dominic (3849) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321870)

Really? Not noticed this, and I'd have thought that I would, what with living there and everything.

Re:London (City) does this too... (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322006)

[citation needed]

While the occasional harrassment of some unfortunate tourist taking a photo of the Gherkin has been reported, it's going to be news to a *lot* of people that you need a license to take "professional" phots.

Re:London (City) does this too... (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322010)

Funny, I was there just last year and shot around 1000 pictures a day using my DSLR with a nice big obvious telephoto lens. Not one of those $3K lenses, but clearly not the stock one either.

I didn't experience a single altercation, let alone was even noticed by anyone. Even when shooting within the underground system and at Westminster Palace. Hell, I even shot inside the Tate modern and the National Gallery without garnering a second look.

The most interference I saw was a few signs saying that photography was not permitted in certain galleries (copyright and all) or that flash photography was not permitted. Photography was not permitted INSIDE of active churches like St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey, or INSIDE Westminster Palace. None of the hundreds of other people I noticed with nice DSLRs were hassled either except if they ignored those obvious signs.

Re:London (City) does this too... (2, Informative)

slick_rick (193080) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322026)

I was in London last year and took quite a few photos with an DSLR. Hell, I even got a bobby to pose [imgur.com] for me.

Creepiness. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321808)

If you're not a member of the press, or an otherwise legit photographer, you just look like a creeper carrying a camera like that. I know the feeling because I own two of the big fuckers. Maybe that's why there is local support for the ban.
Also, if you're a journalist, you are "in the system," which is good for someone else who isn't you, so you can freely carry on.

Re:Creepiness. (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321978)

If you're not a member of the press, or an otherwise legit photographer, you just look like a creeper carrying a camera like that.

Or a tourist.

reason? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321812)

arabs are dumb. arabs are despotic. despotic and dumb bans result.

Maybe they believe DSLRs will steal their souls... (2, Insightful)

Tangential (266113) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321814)

We've all seen or heard about such things. Primitive, uneducated, unsophisticated peoples often fear that cameras will steal their souls.

Maybe DSLRs are considered big enough to steal souls while camera phones and point-and-shoots just aren't big enough to hold a soul.

They didn't quite think this one through... (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321838)

I have a compact camera that fits in my pocket that takes *better* pictures than my big DSLR did; I have a (sadly, no longer working) Nikon D1X that is exactly what a professional camera looks like; big body, takes all Nikon lenses, but only shoots 5mp. Compact cameras can shoot up to 14mp, last time I looked. Say what you will about the lens, compact cameras can produce spy-agency-worthy images of ... uh ... whatever is spy-agency-worthy in Kuwait.

Re:They didn't quite think this one through... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321968)

I have a (sadly, no longer working) Nikon D1X that is exactly what a professional camera looks like; big body, takes all Nikon lenses, but only shoots 5mp. Compact cameras can shoot up to 14mp, last time I looked.

Well, you can easily buy DSLRs up into the 16 megapixel range. The fact that you bought one when they didn't have anywhere near the resolution of film doesn't indicate a problem with DSLRs, it makes you an early adopter who got stung.

terrorist device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34321886)

DSLR are big and can be stuffed with a lot more explosives than point and shoot.

What about the Sony NEX-5 or 4/3s (1)

Liquidretro (1590189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321896)

The Sony NEX-5 and NEX-3 and also 4/3s frame digital cameras are technically not DSLR's because they do not have mirrors but are larger than a point and shoot and have detachable lenses. Where do they fit in this silly ban? Also remember this is the country that wanted to ban the Blackberry and then backed down.

Digital Self Loading Rifles (2, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34321932)

are clearly a danger to the public and should be banned. Thanks to the Kuwaiti government for finally standing up to the kuwaiti second amendment bullies.

God Bless Kuwait (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322000)

Isn't everybody glad that Americans fought and died to liberate Kuwait in the early '90s? They are praising George Washington as they revel in freedom!

I say we just withdraw from the entire Middle East. With the money we spend over there we could be on a hydrogen economy pretty quick.

This makes so much sense... (1)

19061969 (939279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322092)

...because as we all *know*, terrorists only ever use DSLRs. Me, armed with a 14.6 megapixel Sony NEX and a small kit zoom lens can only produce crappy quality pictures which are easily outmatched by even my n-year old 6 megapixel Pentax SLR with the same zoom.

Unless of course they want to crack down on journalists - but then journos are exempt.

Okay, so maybe they're having a go at the camera manufacturers who wouldn't pay a bribe - but then the same manufacturers also make small cameras too.

Ok, I'm stumped for answers unless the kuwaiti govt are a bunch of total f**wits whose distended pieces of fetid rectum they call their brains can't function for more than a millisecond unless there's a brown paper bag stuffed with someone elses cash at the end of it.

Geotagging? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34322104)

Don't some DSLR cameras have a GPS in them? The ability for photos to be geo-tagged could be something the government is trying to restrict or otherwise control.

"DSLR" is meaningless (1)

PJ6 (1151747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34322112)

SLR-design was useful when you had cameras that made chemical exposures - the concept is simple: the light you see through the viewfinder will be the light that hits the film. For digital cameras, the very idea of flipping light between a viewfinder and the sensor is ridiculous: a digital preview going to an LCD screen shows you exactly what the sensor "sees", so it's more accurate than any direct viewfinding. You can get high-end digital cameras that don't have single-lens reflex. I'm an experienced (but not professional) photographer, and I've always thought that putting SLR on a digital camera (that can do live preview) to be totally unnecessary.
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