Cameras for plane spotting

Hi everyone!

I would like to know which cameras you all use for plane spotting. I plan on getting one with a lot of megapixels with long range, but not very expensive.

Please let me know in the comments.

Any Nikon camera works very well.

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I use canon T3i

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Team Canon!! EOS 500D :)

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I use a phone when not in try-hard mode. When I go sweaty I pull out my Canon Rebel EOS T5.

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Wow. Thanks a lot. I’ll definitely check the specs over the weekend, especially with thanksgiving sales starting soon…

The better the camera typical the higher the price is, most good DSLR starts at 400ish and up. I personally have Nikon D5600 which works well. I would recommend it! Shoots well out of the box.

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I use a Nikon D7500, tried and trusted, I love it.

Few things though:

  1. Cheaper lenses drop off quality massively at long range

  2. Megapixels means almost nothing in the world of modern cameras.

But if you made me choose, I would recommend some sort of beginner DSLR (D3400 or Canon T6) and each manufacturer’s budget zoom lens (Nikon AF-P 70-300 and Canon’s 55-250 IS STM). For their price class they are very sharp and have good autofocus. They both drop off pretty bad in the upper thirds of their ranges but it’s still (mostly usable) and they are pretty good at shorter ranges.

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Step one is deciding if you like Nikon or Canon :)

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Thanks so much!

The megapixels is for the graphic resolutions, because my phone has better clarity than my old camera, but not good for plane spotting at KSFO.

KSFO is my main airport for plane spotting.

Yeah, for SFO you need some longer focals, probably up to 300mm would be ideal but you could make do with 250.

Megapixels only affects your ability to crop. A lot of beginner cameras have 24MP but some enthusiast DSLRs (the next step up) like mine only have 21 ish, but they will still produce better images overall.

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I’m Team Sony! I use a Camcorder, just I don’t have deal with buying lenses.

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KSFO has some pretty sweet spotting locations!

I have a Canon EOS T100, and it works great. I use two lenses…

  • 75-300mm
  • 18-55mm
    The longer the lens, the better for spotting (unless your spotting locations are right near the airport.)

If you want to see what a T100 can do…

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i would recommend buying a cheapish camera and getting a good lens, makes all the difference :)

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It would help us if you could give us an approximate budget

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Thanks everyone! This helps a lot. @AndrewWu, I don’t have an approx. budget yet (Keep it in the three digits for now), but I’ll let you know when I do have a budget.

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Sony!

I have the Sony a6300 but unfortunately I have a 70mm lens so I can’t planespot very well. Close up shots are good though.

I’m planning on getting a bigger lens soon.

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Canon 4TW
I use a Canon EOS Rebel T4i 75-300mm lens
Hoping to get a 100-400mm lens soon.
Here are a few of my shots with it.

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Good budget zoom camera

There are a lot of good recommendations here :)

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Thanks everyone! 👍