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Roman Abramovich's 'paparazzi shield' may not work.

Roman Abramovich's 'paparazzi shield' may not work. - Film could get round Roman Abramovich's 'paparazzi shield'.

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paparazzi shieldA 'shield' designed to stop paparazzi taking photographs may not be as useful as first thought.

Earlier this week it was reported that Roman Abramovich has come up with a new way to stop his friends and family getting photographed by the paparazzi.

The novel idea which may be copied by other celebrities, is to install a 'paparazzi shield' on his yacht. The system, which is made up of infrared lasers, detects electronic recording sensors and directs a focused beam of light directly towards it, effectively preventing the camera from recording an image. But as the expensive device detects cameras by looking for their sensors surely this means all paparazzi could get around this by switching back to 35mm film?

What do you think? Is 35mm the way to get around this? Do you think a 'paparazzi shield' should be used?

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Comments


Consulo e2
9 762 9 Scotland
23 Sep 2009 4:15PM
This was the first thing I thought of when I read about this ie, simply switching to film to get around this.

Roman Abramovich's status as a 'celebrity' aside, I can see why people who are annoyed the the paps are having to go to such measures. The only ones I have any real sympathy for, are the ones who don't really play the game.

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Goggz e2
7 2.3k 72 Wales
23 Sep 2009 10:54PM
If it truly seeks the sensor then no system on earth can react that fast to that small a target if you have a decent shutter speed... surely?

Do they mean the front lens element? That would be a different matter perhaps, but just as easy to mask...
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
23 Sep 2009 11:19PM
No, it definitely says the sensor. I've been thinking about this today and I agree, the sensor on a dslr is shielded by the curtain until it takes a picture, but I guess the machine has a delay in detecting then blocks after it's seen the sensor as the camera exposes.

It still means that some pictures will be taken if that's the case.
24 Sep 2009 12:17AM
My first thought was about ending up blind....

I'm pretty sure this is an adaptation of a system developed for the military to spot snipers. It works by detecting the glint of your lens, identifiably different from normal glass due to the spectra of the coatings etc. The "detects the sensor" information you recieved hopefully means that it won't fire the laser until the mirror is up and the sensor is exposing, otherwise there will be a lot of blind paparazzi photographers walking about. Even a low powered laser can do serious damage when magnified through lens optics, particularly with the long telephotos favoured by paps for sneaking shots of rich people on their yachts.

A very long lens hood or other concealment for the front element won't work to hide you from the system either as all the one's I've heard about actively scan with either a light source or a low powered laser. Remember, if you can see it, it can see you.

I'd hazard a guess that he's considered film too, if the system is sensitive enough to detect the mirror moving out of the way prior to the exposure and the laser is optical (as opposed to IR) then it would almost certainly result in very over exposed images.

Your best option to defeat it would be to find out what wavelength laser the system uses and obtain the correct optical filter to exclude that. You could even just buy a bunch of filters and experiment, they're not that hard to get as they're used all the time in labs dealing with lasers for safety purposes.
davey_griffo 5 213 165 England
24 Sep 2009 12:39PM
My first thought was blindness, too. Surely nobody can legally fire a laser at another person's eye's, even if the paparazzi are a bloody nuisance.

On the other hand, if the press even for one second considered the privacy of the individual, this wouldn't be a problem in the first place. On that level, I hope he blinds a few before the authotities inevitably take his toy away.

Taking this article seriously, for a minute, I suspect it's hype put about by Mr Abromovic's press officer. I know technology & lasers are quick, but to catch one out (if it's correct about the detection of the sensor, & not the lens), it would have to be sweeping so fast it was pointing in the right direction when the shutter is fired, & detect & send it's beam before (potentially) a 1/8000 sec shutter speed has closed it again. Sounds a little far-fetched to me.
25 Sep 2009 2:11AM
Sounds like it would damage peoples eyes.
Would an infrared filter not cut it out?

I guess they won't actually release proper details of how it works as it would make it easier for people to beat
shok 4 Australia
28 Sep 2009 12:30PM

Quote:
It works by detecting the glint of your lens, identifiably different from normal glass due to the spectra of the coatings etc. The "detects the sensor" information you recieved hopefully means that it won't fire the laser until the mirror is up and the sensor is exposing, otherwise there will be a lot of blind paparazzi photographers walking about. Even a low powered laser can do serious damage when magnified through lens optics, particularly with the long telephotos favoured by paps for sneaking shots of rich people on their yachts.


Just use a rangefinder styled camera that utilizes a separate viewfinder, and isn't required to remove the lens cap until the shot is needed. Plus, any laser light isn't directed or magnified towards the eye.
The other way I can think of around it would be to create a ringflash setup using IR LEDs instead. Invisible spectrum to the human eye, but notorious for screwing up automatic focusing on digital devices. As an example, try pointing your tv remote at your lens while pressing a button. It won't do any permanent damage, but temporarily blinds the mechanism. We do this to test if remotes are working on our truck trays at work.
Fight fire with fire I say.

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