Looking for cameras to start plane spotting

Hello, I am looking to start plane spotting in the bay area, but I don’t know what cameras and lenses to look for as I don’t know which ones are good and which ones aren’t. I already looked at other topics but they seemed a bit outdated, so any help would really be appreciated. The price range for both would be around 800$. Thank you.


Some helpful tips here


If I would get a D80, what lenses should I get with it?

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You’d be hard pressed to find a solid, used D80 on the market at this point (they’re like 13-14 years old now). I think your best bet would be to go for one of the newer beginner DSLRs like the Rebel T6 or Nikon D3400 and get the starter zoom lens for each (Canon 55-250 IS STM or Nikon AF-P 70-300 DX). Both combos will keep you under $600 after tax and stuff


I use a D40X yes it’s old with a Tamron 70-300MM lens and a Nikkor 18-55mm lens. I also use Adobe Lightroom for editing

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I use a Sony a6300 and its great!

The a6300 is a good option as the alpha series is well known. though if you want better and newer cameras, I suggest going for the Sony a6500 or a6400.

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Sony a200 is a good starter camera. I used it when I first started spotting. It takes great pictures with the right lighting and settings. Depending where you buy it from, it ranges from $100-$200+. I also use the 75-300mm lens. This lens can take really good medium to long distance pictures.

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So this lens is usually the best for spotting?

I would say so. It took some really good shots for me. If you want to PM me I can show you some of the pictures I took with it.

What about a cheap camera like under $100 or $150 lol

That’d be really hard to find. Plus the quality of the pictures wouldn’t be as good.

Oof any suggestions for under 300 maybe?

There are different lenses, so I’m not sure there is one that is the “best” for spotting.

What about for up close like as in plane fly right above you? I’m guessing I don’t need zoom too much but idk

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