Plane Spotting cameras

Hey All, I’m trying to look for a plane spotting camera. I’m still young and trying to look for a camera that is an awesome quality and that can zoom in pretty far with still good quality. My price range is max 1,000. If you have any suggestions let me know.

1 Like


Canon EOS Rebel t1i. It’s perfect for plane spotting and is super cheap as it came out about 10 years ago, but that’s doesn’t mean it is bad lol

Right now, it’s about 150$

It has a 15mp sensor and a lot of cool features along with it, including great digital zoom which pretty much acts as optical zoom if that makes sense. Pair that with a 55-250 mm zoom lens and you’re set!

And if you want to spend some more money because the body is so cheap, get an 18-400mm lens :)

1 Like

The Nikon D5200 is a great starter.


I use a Nikon D3500, the starter pack it comes with has a small lens which I never use. I bought a bigger lense tha i use for spotting


I wouldn’t do this - these type of lens give you more versatility in focal length at the cost of quality. There are far better 55-250s and 70-300s but if you really want 400mm then get a 100-400


I bought the Nikon D3500 with 18-55 and 70-300 lenses last year and it work’s amazing sadly it has been discontinued in favor of more expensive mirror less cameras

some photos I’ve taken with it

Photo I have done with my D3400


is that united?

1 Like

No it’s the New England Patriots team plane

1 Like

oh… I thought it was a promo plane

1 Like

It was delivering Vaccines into LA

It’s worth paying close attention to lenses. “Bad glass makes your photos ___”

You can have the most expensive camera body in the world, but if your lens is of poor quality, it’ll make a noticeable difference and turn out pictures worse than a VTech Kidizoom.

It’s up to you which ecosystem you decide to buy into, but at this price range you should be looking at crop sensor cameras and not mirrorless.
Canon, Nikon, Sony and all other brands have their own perks and advantages. I use canon myself because I find the cameras to be very ergonomic, and they’re also very beginner friendly.

If you decide to go for a Canon body, do not under any circumstance buy the 75-300mm lens. It is an outdated, awful lens, no matter how cheap it is or how good it sounds.
If you need a decent range lens, I swear by the 55-250mm IS STM as the absolute best lens on a budget, with the lens usually being about $150-200.
If you still have money to spend (depending on your budget), the 70-200mm L IS is a professional grade lens that still holds up really well, can usually be had around $400-£500

As for the camera body, you don’t need something exceptionally fancy. The 250D/ Rebel SL3 is an excellent camera body, or if you need something a little cheaper, a 2000D / T7 is also a decent shout.

Don’t feel the need to get the most expensive, high end kit until you have some more experience. If you are a novice, it doesn’t matter how good your kit is, your photos won’t reflect it.

TL:DR, depending on budget, get the 55-250 IS STM and a Rebel SL3/ T7

55-250mm examples

I can’t help at all on the Nikon side unfortunately. I’ve only ever owned and used a D3000, and never used it for spotting.

Spend some time reading reviews and watching some videos. It’s more help than you could imagine.

1 Like

The camera body matters just as much. I have a high end enough lens that my camera body literally holds back the full potential of my lens. You always need a good body to go with the good glass.

Well max $1000 gives you a lot of options. You have access to a lot of used gear at this price point.

On the Canon side you could get a cheaper body like a T6S for like $300-400 and then buy a 100-400 from Tamron or Sigma for $600. You could also get a better body like an 80D for like $600-700 (I think) and then get a 55-250 IS STM for like $200-300.

On the Nikon side the cheaper body way would be to get a D3400 or D3500 and then mount up the same Tamron or Sigma 100-400, or get something like a D7500 and go with an AF-P 70-300 (I used to use this setup and it works very well).

Obviously, you could also mount up the cheaper lens with the cheaper body and save some money. Just be aware Nikon’s AF-P lenses cannot interface with older bodies so if you buy like a D7200 or 5300 or something like that you’ll need an AF-S lens.

Also, never buy a 75-300 III from Canon. Simply do not do it.

1 Like

Don’t know if I would say just as much. You’re a bit of a special case because you have a good lens but your camera body is a complete dumpster fire. Anyone with a reasonable body like a D3400 or T6i probably won’t feel like it’s restricting them from using their 150-600.

Here are some photos from my D7500 and Tamron 100-400 days. This setup is about $1200 these days but the AF-P 70-300 is almost as good within the zoom range

The D7200 and D5300 should have no major issues with AF-P if on the latest firmware version. The only issue is the focus resetting to infinity every time the body gets turned off. At least, that is what I read on Ken Rockwell’s website

I stand corrected. It’s the 7000/5000 that can’t use them.

1 Like

Does anybody have any thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 16.3MP CMOS? I found a good deal on one and was wondering if it would be worth while. Currently I use an iPhone 14 PRO and was wondering if this would be any better.