London bans DSLRs from derelict station tour, because they're too good


Here's a bit of a head-scratcher for you: the London Transport Museum, the authority that administers tours through the historic Aldwych Station, has this past week advised visitors that they can't enter the former tube stop with their digital SLR cameras. Because of their "high-quality sensor and high resolution," DSLRs are seemingly being qualified as professional equipment, which the tour's Terms and Conditions explicitly prohibit. The reason this is befuddling to us is because we've actually seen and used a Sony NEX-5N camera. And a Samsung NX200. Oh, and Panasonic's GF series isn't so bad, either.

In the presence of those quite terrific little cameras, whose sensors are either the same APS-C size as you'll find in cropped-sensor DSLRs or only a little smaller, this decision from the Transport Museum strikes us as arbitrary, or if not that, then worse, ill-informed. Hopefully someone at the Museum wises up to the fact that professional-quality photography (and video!) can be obtained from devices that don't have to have a pentaprism. Speaking of which, how would Sony's Single-Lens Translucent cameras be classified under this system?

We reached out to the London Tansport Museum and got this statement in response:

"Terms and conditions for the recent sale of tickets to visit Aldwych Underground station clearly stated that digital SLR cameras were not permitted, as these are classed as professional equipment.

"There was not a ban on taking photos during tours. However, there were restrictions on professional cameras and tripods because we were concerned that people using them could delay the tours for others, as it was a very tight schedule with more than 2,500 visitors going up and down a spiral staircase of about 160 steps to get to and from the platforms.

"We wanted to make the tours as enjoyable and safe as we could for everyone. With the huge public interest in seeing the disused Tube station it was better to have the event with this restriction rather than no visit at all.

"We apologise to visitors who wanted to use this kind of camera during tours to the stations."


Image Credit: Tim Allen Photo

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