Camera Help

Hello, IFC,

I know… Another topic :(

Here is why I need help:
I have had the Canon SX60 HS for over a year, and I am ready to upgrade to a good camera. I have asked the best spotters on the IFC and the three cameras I was told about are the Canon EOS80D (Moritz), the Nikon D5600 (Cameron Stone) and the Canon EOS200D (Nick_Wing).

These are all fairly expensive Cameras, so I don’t want to mess up. Here are my questions: I made some of them polls to make it easier for y’all but i would REALLY love some help in replies. I am super stuck.

Should I buy a Camera body and just 1 or 2 lenses (apart) just to get the good lenses or should I buy a fairly cheap bundle (sd cards, Extra bag, etc) but with some nice lens but I might have to buy an extra one.

  • Body+Bag+Lens I want
  • Bundle

0 voters

I have always used canon, but I’m fine with change. Which is better?

  • Canon EOS80D (Moritz) ~ $700-800
  • Nikon D5600 (Cameron Stone) ~$500
  • Canon EOS200D (Nick Wing) ~$530
  • Other (please specify in the comments)

0 voters

What type of lenses should I get?

Thank You!

Oh… and a birb for @anon38496261


I probably will have more questions ;)

1 Like

I personally like cannons, so I’d say the cannon one, but it’s a bit of a toss up. I’d say the $530 price is exactly where you want to be for a good first camera too, but by that logic the Nikon works too, so chose your poison. I know you already have a bridge camera, so you may be a little ahead of the curve, but you still likely won’t be extracting the most out of any of those for a while. If you can frame up a good shot at the right exposure and with a compelling composition, it will look great on any of those. If you already do that consistently it will look better on a more expensive camera of course, but I’d definitely buy something you can afford, don’t streatch your budget unrealistically on a first camera, but also don’t invest in something that you will outgrow in a year. There’s a lot of factors, but I definitely opt for the exact lenses and what not you want. You need a 75-300, or something in that ball park hands down no question for plane spotting, so make sure that’s in there. Best of luck, I’d be happy to answer any more questions.

1 Like

Personally, an investment like that is not something you want to get advice from the majority of the community from. One on one is a much better way to ask questions and understand. That being said, I have a D5600 which I find to be a great camera, but I think you may want to pay more attention to the lens of the camera, which is arguably more important than the body itself. Also, do not take my word as professional advice, I’m an amateur photographer. I would consult a professional or someone individually with a higher expertise than the general IFC.


I agree. The quality of your shots is not determined by your camera, but your lens.


Thank you so much everyone! Sorry I’m out of likes though :(

1 Like

I don’t believe in a one size fits all system.

Here’s some general guidelines:

When calculating cost, add up the costs of these essential items:

  • Camera body
  • Camera lens
  • Second lens (if applicable)
  • SD Card
  • Camera bag

In addition, consider these items:

  • Tripod
  • Additional SD Card
  • Extra Batteries
  • Lightroom

When looking for a camera body, here’s some basic guidelines:

Nikon bodies tend to be photo-oriented. You’ll find that a lot of Nikon bodies lack solid video function. Even my $800 D7500 still has cropped 4k and bad video AF.

Canon bodies are good well rounders. They have dual pixel AF (for the most part) for silky video. Canon cameras in the same price range tend to have slightly worse specs than their Nikon counterparts when it comes to photos.

Nikon also doesn’t really make a good mid range lens. You have the beginner AF-P 70-300DX, and then you have the AF-P 70-300 FX, but from there on out the next lens in the price line up is either the 80-400 or the 200-500, both healthily over $1000 if I remember correctly. Canon has the 70-300 IS II and the 70-200 F4 which are all solid choices. A lot of us Nikon shooters will stray towards third party glass (which if you’re okay with that is no problem).

To be totally fair, the body doesn’t even matter too much. I’ve seen people with crazy expensive bodies that still can’t get their cameras to produce quality images. I’ve also seen people with entry-level bodies get stunning results. It’s more the photographer, honestly.

Lens wise, honestly just go with the beginner lens for your camera company. Canon 55-250 IS STM or the Nikon AF-P 70-300 DX. You’re doing yourself a disservice buying anything else really because learning good photography before moving up lens quality is a must. On a side note, if you’re getting a D5600 DO NOT buy an AF-S lens. It will work but it will be much costlier and not as good as the new AF-P. If you buy Canon, DO NOT get the 75-300 f/4-5.6, it’s pretty soft and has tons of purple fringing, while costing the same as the 55-250. Also would not recommend any third party 70-300, they tend to be soft and unreliable.


What is third party glass?

1 Like

Tamron and Sigma are the ones you’ll be considering. There’s others but they’re heinously expensive. You can get solid 100-400s and 150-600s from both companies for around $650 and $1000 respectively.


Thank You!


I personally have the D5600 and I love it. Couldn’t recommend it more!

1 Like

Just to add on more broadly “glass” is almost always in reference to lenses, and I think you already know what third party means


I have been working with @Captain_Merka on spotting. I was doing some reading. I have used Nikon cameras for many years. That being said, what I read was that Nikon has not been updating their cameras that much, but Canon has been listening to customer feedback. However, for lenses, Nikon has better zoom lenses in the 18-200, 18-300, and 70-300 range. @Captain_Merka has used the equivalent Canon lens and said the Nikon lens was sharper. It is true that Nikon lenses cost a lot, but you can get them used if you are careful and at pretty good prices. It is also true that some of the third party lenses are also pretty good. If you used a fixed focal length lens, I am not sure which are better.


I’m not sure how worth it would be buying 11-12 year old lenses at this point


Before you read anything below, understand that these are just my opinions, and food for thought on your situation.

When you begin looking for a new camera or camera equipment, really consider what spending a good deal of money on a new camera will bring to you, or will allow you to do/make. Keep in mind, a new camera won’t necessarily make your photos better. I’ve scrolled through your numerous spotting topics, and you’ve taken some really great photos. If I remember correctly, FedEx even reached out to you about one of them - which I think speaks for itself.

Just remember, a “good” camera is subjective. It all boils down to the person behind the device, because a “good” camera won’t automatically create great images, it’s still just as easy to take a poor photo as well.

Now, I can’t necessarily speak for the three you’ve mentioned above as I’m not a plane spotter, nor have I ever talked about photography with them, but as a keen hobbyist/advanced amateur in photography (I mainly photograph landscapes and wildlife), I’ve come to realize that my understanding of the technicalities in photography have helped me more than the camera I own. I’m sure they might agree with me that while yes the camera itself helps them take great images, it is the knowledge of the person behind the camera that makes the biggest difference.

Now you’ve probably heard the saying “the best camera is the one you have with you” and while that’s mostly true, I think the best camera is the one you master. Once you’ve mastered that camera and your skills exceed what the camera can offer, then it will be time to “upgrade” or invest in new gear or a new camera.

If you truly want that new camera/setup, which I know can be really enticing, then I voted in the polls above to:
a) choose the individual parts
b) other

To part a) Specifically choosing what you know you want will be better than being stuck with something you don’t really want just because it came in a bundle. (That is unless the bundle has the individual things you want)

To part b) I personally use Sony’s full-frame mirrorless line of camera and would highly recommend Sony’s imaging devices to anyone. Sony’s full-frame lineup is rather expensive, and lenses for their full frame system aren’t cheap either, however if you’re interested in venturing into Sony’s realm, their APS-C mirrorless cameras are just as good, if not better especially in terms of price (they’re considerably cheaper than full-frame), and have some of the best autofocus, and continuous autofocus systems on the market.

Best of luck with your decision, and I look forward to seeing many more spotting topics from you in the future!
-Moosehead :)


Thank you so much! That was so long and every part of it helped!


@Robertine, I’d suggest looking at this topic:

1 Like

I also have a Sony mirrorless camera, A6400, and I love it. Hoping to upgrade my lense, but it does work really nicely, only drawback is it costs quite a bit of money with most Sony new camera costing between $999 and $1500, with some even going up to $2000.

Great camera though and I would recommend it, if you’re willing to spend the money.


I think one of the best ones you can use is the Canon EOS Rebel T7. With the 75-300mm sense, you can get high-quality pictures of planes landing at 28L/28R at Bayfront Park in San Francisco. It’s probably one of the best cameras I’ve bought till now. I got the camera body with one lense provided, bought the 75-300mm lense, tripod, SD card, and 2 year protection plan in ~$700.

1 Like

Consider buying used. I use a Canon EOS100D coupled with a Tamron 150-600mm G1 for aviation photography. It isn’t too expensive and it gets the job done.


Tamron 150-600:

The later version of the Tamron is better but more expensive. Sigma lenses are good also.

You likely will not need a 600mm lens. I bought mine specifically for a trip to the Mach Loop. I often find that it has too much reach even wide open.