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Aerial photography was one of the first functions of aircraft during wartime, not too long after the development of consumer cameras by Kodak in the 1880s. The first reconnaissance flight was credited to Captain Carlo Maria Piazza of the Italian Air Force during the Italo-Turkish War of 1911. The French made good use of aerial reconnaissance, entering World War I with the premier air force. German advances in camera design and optics allowed photography at high altitude, primarily from Zeppelins. All sides sought to improve upon ways to quickly deliver intelligence to commanders on the ground.
The Spotting Camera is a vehicle specialization featured in Battlefield 1. It allows pilots of Barrage Bombers to locate ground targets. It is used by pressing the button while aiming with the Bomb Sight.
When activated, all enemies in view are spotted for the entire team. The pilot may immediately follow up with bomb drops or setting up a strafing run for his gunner(s).
— In-game Description
Functioning similar to its counterpart in Battlefield 1, the Spotting Camera enables the pilot to spot enemies on the ground, providing intel to teammates and allowing for more precise ground attacks. Switching to the camera brings up a bombing sight - when taking a picture, all enemies within the sight become 3D spotted for several seconds. The user must not switch to another weapon immediately after using the camera however, as one must keep the camera active after one second of activation for the spotting to work. Another picture may be taken after a short cooldown. Aircraft can take a maximum of five pictures before having to resupply from an Airhook.
- The Spotting Camera applies a temporary sepia filter, also made available to spectators as one of several camera filters.