Camera for spotting

This isn’t a duplicate, I just want to compare some camera for plane spotting.

A month ago I went to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to spot some nice planes. But I only took my phone with me (iPhone 8 Plus), still the pictures aren’t good as I wanted.

What camera do you use and which lenses?

Can you guys maybe post some pictures with your camera and camera settings:

iPhone 8 Plus

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Here you go

I know, but I want to see the pictures other’s made

There are plenty of examples in that thread. Take a look

I have a EOS Rebel T6. 10/10 would recommend with the 75-300mm lens.

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Do you have an example?

That one is closed. So no one can post photos there.

Here’s an example:

Here’s the package I got:

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I use a Canon EOS 100D with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Here are a few of my favourite photos taken with this setup.

And finally:


that last one is priceless


I took that at Lossiemouth beach on a rather windy Friday after the Typhoons had stopped flying for the weekend.

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I’d recommend a Canon EOS Rebel T5i, T6i or T7i. They’re great cameras for beginners packed with features. You can also get a Canon SL1 or SL2; the SL1 is a mini version of the T5i while the SL2 is a mini version of the T7i.

As for lenses, the 55-250mm IS STM is the way to go. Don’t get the original IS or IS II version, they’re not as good, and have slow focusing. The 75-300, while cheaper, won’t offer as much sharpness, and has slow autofocusing (and no Image Stabilization!). If you have a bigger budget, you can get a used Canon 70-200 f/4L on Amazon for under $500. That’s an L lens (the white ones with a red ring) for under $500! That’s probably the best value, considering a whole bunch of them go for over $1000. (Note this lens doesn’t have Image Stabilization, so the images may be blurrier if you have shaky hands, or you’re using a slow shutter speed.)

You may also want an editing software. I use Adobe Lightroom Classic CC for $10/month. I prefer to use this over the CC version because there are more ways to edit photos. You can also use Lightroom CC Mobile or Snapseed for free.

Here’s a picture of what I use: A Canon EOS 77D with a 55-250mm IS STM (ignore the microwave 😂)

Note: my camera has a battery grip, which is an extra attachment on the bottom that allows you to put more batteries in

Settings-wise, it all depends on the environment and your lens. I’d recommend checking out @JRRaviation’s spotting guide for that one!


I use a Canon 5D Mark III. I recently got a 2x extender that pairs with AF for my camera for the 70-200mm 4L which gives it a focal length of 140-400mm. Essentially this has made me look to sell my 400mm 5.6L as I dont need that focal length anymore. While the continuous shooting mode on most cameras say you can only get 6 photos at a time before buffering if you go with the 280mbps-300mbps 32GB SD card you can get up to 12 photos continuous before you buffer. I use that and it allows me to get tack sharp photos with the largest range possible on my camera. It also saves me from having to spend $2000 to buy a 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L lens. The 2x extender and the 70-200mm 4L lens will save you $1000 compared to the 100-400mm lens.

Cost of the 70-200mm 4L lens brand new is $600
2x EF extender III is $429

Total for both is $1029

Type of photos you can expect with this


WOW! That is amazing!

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I tend to use the Canon EOS 1000D with a 75mm-300mm Lens. Great photos, but it can’t do video.

I’m using a Canon EOS 80D and a Canon 55-250 lens (kinda short for spotting but it’s just right for spotting at Munich). When it comes to settings…well, they really depend on what result you want to achieve and of course you have to adjust for different weather/light conditions. You can find some of my pics in the Spotting category on the forums: Spring Spotting @ Munich (EDDM/MUC) - Part 2 with Lorenzo

I use the Canon EOS 1300d Its a great DSLR for beginning and better spotters it makes awesome pictures!
Instagram- @mell_aviation

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If you’re looking for a first camera buy a Canon in the rebel series (T6, T6i, T7, T7i). Get one of the package deals that includes a telephoto and a wide angle and you’ll save more money if you were to buy them seperately. Package deals usually include a free camera bag too.

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One more thing; even though the 55-250mm is 50mm shorter of the 75-300, it’s a LOT sharper. You can easily crop/zoom in on the photo to over 300mm and still get better photos.

Sharpness with cropping is solely dependent on your pixel density. You can have the sharpest lens but have a 12MP camera and crop and get blurry photos.