Reader Nicholas Von Staden has spent several days assiduously researching whether it's actually true that courts restrict cameras to a shutter sound no louder than that of a Leica M film camera. (An issue that came up in the "Best Shutter Sound Ever" post.) He's sure he remembers the requirement in Florida because, when the rule came out, he recalls a number of court photographers wondering whether they'd be forced to buy Leicas. But he couldn't find any evidence for it. Nick also remembers that he had to go to judges' chambers several times to have his cameras approved for their noise levels.
He thinks the rule has been removed in some States and from some documents due to changing technology.
Finally he found the proof he sought—in a document called "Supreme Court Etiquette for Media" from the Vermont State Supreme Court. Under "Special Rules for Cameras and Recording Equipment," it says:
• Not more than one still photographer, utilizing not more than two still cameras with not more than two lenses for each camera and related equipment for print purposes shall be permitted in any court proceeding. Such cameras shall produce no greater sound than a 35mm Leica "M" Series rangefinder camera.
So that's it, then—proof that it's no myth.
(Thanks to Nicholas Von Staden)
UPDATE: PetaPixel has taken our ball and run with it.
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Featured Comments from:
Mark: "Having been an Official Court Reporter in New York State Supreme Court for 32 years, both in the City and then its suburbs and then the Chief Court Reporter, I lived through the experiment for a few years when they allowed cameras in the courtrooms. While they allowed one pool television camera and one pool reporter, the administrators wouldn't know the difference between a Leica and a Canon shutter sound any more than they'd know the difference between a judicial robe and a graduation gown.
"On a side note, the chief judge just proposed allowing them back."