Good budget zoom camera


You obviously didn’t see the video I included in one of my replies. The difference between 300mm and 3000mm would be very noticeable.


A lense I suggest is a Canon 55-250mm lease, it takes pretty good quality photos and has a good zoom range. I think it would be a great fit for a spotting camera. I have seen websites that sell it for under 180$ (I think I might have seen amazon sell it for around 140)


Robertine, I will send you a video on a guide to plane spotting equipment.


Thank you!


With my canon ELPH POWERSHOT 150 IS, This is the max zoom I have

(the second pic is a 737 MAX 8 being built for JAL)


@Cbro4 I believe he meant the difference between 2000mm and 3000mm. :)

@robertine Hello again.
I would assume the reason your Canon Elph Powershot’s picture was blurry is because the camera was not being held steadily enough, the camera was using digital zoom instead of optical zoom (which is most likely the reason), or a combination of the two. (And let’s be honest, it’s not the newest of cameras either.)
Other users have suggested some very good cameras and camera brands, but some of the ones they suggested are over-budget.
From my quick 30 minutes of research, this camera might prove to be a good option: the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS. (IS stands for Image Stabilization, which, when put simply, is a system built into the camera to keep the image more steady and reduce camera shake. It’s very helpful when you’re zoomed in a lot.) It’s got 45x optical zoom, it will record video in 720p (which is about average for its price), and the reviews seem to say that it has pretty good value for its price.
If you’re buying this camera in the US, it’ll usually cost upwards of $250, but there’s a few places like Amazon and Newegg that sell the “International Version” of this camera. (See this link:
From what I understand, “international version” only means that… ok, let me try to explain.
So you know how companies will sometimes make the prices for their products in one country be different than their prices in a different country? (For example, an iPhone in the US is much cheaper than an iPhone in the UK.) Well, buying an “international version” product basically means you’re buying a lens for a cheaper price - because it’s being sold from a different country where prices are cheaper.
One of the (only) notable downsides of buying this type of product is that you won’t have any warranty included in-the-box like you normally would if you bought the camera at full price. But if you’re not worried about breaking it very easily, this might be worth a shot.
Also, I know that Newegg usually has a very good return policy (at least for mainland US), just in case. :)


@racerclc, thank you so much for the info!
Indeed, that camera looks really good for what i’m interested in (with the research I did about it), but you also taught me what IS means, and why my pictures were so bad. I do agree that the camera I have is old, and if I keep following my spotting passion, I will need a more “professional” camera.
Thanks again!
(and you liked my thank you reply)


If I spend a decent amount of money on one of the cameras that you proposed, will I get anything better than what I have now?
what I have now:

1= air Canada a319
2= westjet 737-800


I absolutely believe so. Even if you get the cheapest superzoom, they’ll be sharper than those. If you invest more in a telephoto zoom and DSLR, you can expect to see pics like this:

(Not me just someone I follow on IG; D3400 and 70-300, $500 ($340 for the body, $160 for the lens)


Wow, thanks, I might get one for Xmas then…


After lots of thinking, i think i’ll get a Canon PowerShot SX430 IS 20 MP Digital, and i was wondering if anyone here had that camera, and if so, could you please take a picture of high altitude spotting you did, and show it to me, so i can know what to expect.
Thank you so much!


I have a Lumix fz-82 with 60x-opt. zoom, 18 MP, costs approx. 270€ and sometimes 230€ as an offering.


Oh, cool! Do you have any high altitude spotting photos or videos you could show me? Thanks!


There you go:

Captured without any stabilization free hands.


Wow! Thank you so much! Those are such high quality! Your LUMIX FZ-82 is now on my list!


Videos aren’t bad as well but I can’t post it here because of the format


Oh, oh well… The photos are wonderful!


I have the FZ 80 which has a 60x zoom and I digital zoom which makes a total of 120x. It has 4k @ 30 and 1080p @ 60 plus a number of other settings. It has good stabilization and has an 18mp senser, so it takes good pictures as well.
You can find it on Amazon for around $350-$400 dollars.


Do you have any high altitude spotting photos or videos you could show me? Thanks!


This is another sample of what i can take right now.

1= Without zoon
2= Most zoom my current camera can do (40x)