cvgaviation

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Hello. I currently have a Nikon P900 and I use it mostly for aviation photography/plane spotting. I like it, but I need something with better quality. I'm looking for a DSLR with a somewhat long lens for under $1000. What do you guys recommend?? Please help! My birthday is in 4 days so;)
 

Destin

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That's the problem you're going to run into.. a lens to match the zoom of your current camera literally doesn't exist. Your camera has the equivalent of 2000mm of optical zoom, so the 300mm others have recommended will disappoint you big time.

The longest native DSLR lens I'm aware of is the canon 1200mm 5.6L, which even if you wanted to spend tens of thousands and carry it around, is nearly impossible to find a copy of.

This is the kind of DSLR setup you'd need to even come close to matching your current camera's zoom:
 

astroNikon

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I nearly bought a P900 a few years ago for the exact reason you have it, but due to other constraints (only JPEG, etc etc) I didn't pull the trigger.

As mentioned the 2,000mm you can't match at the price you mention without giving up a lot of functionality (ie, really old manual focus zoom lenses). Plus you are going to gain a lot of weight.

For instance you can find an old Manual Focus Tokina 150-500 lens for about $500 used and add that to a Nikon D5600 about $700 new and you are at $1200 for 750mm and VERY BIG and HEAVY by comparison to the P900 .. about 1250mm short of your small sensor and extra "zoom" P900 camera too.

Above $1000 .. say getting close to $3000 you have options of a Tamron 150-600 and 1.4x teleconvertor and a nice 1.5x camera, which would give you about 1300mm, still short of your 2000mm

Though I've never compared the image quality of the P900 to a cropped image from a DX camera in those scenarios.

How far away are you from the planes??

You best best to move to a DX camera is jumping in with a 70-300 VR AF-P lens. which as mentioned is far short of your 2,000mm P900.
 

jaomul

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I'm wondering how a 300mm Nikon would work out with adapter on a Nikon 1 system
 

Designer

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.. I need something with better quality.
"Better quality" can mean different things to different people. The rig I listed is what I would call "higher quality".

I don't know how you use your present camera. If you are taking photos of planes a mile away, and still want to read the tail number, then a 300mm zoom lens is probably not going to do it.

If, however, you just like to hang out at airports and get clean shots of planes without necessarily getting the pilot's face, then a 70-300 just might be o.k.
 

benhasajeep

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Lots of plane spotter use DSLR's and the 50-500mm/ 150-500mm / 200-500mm etc super zooms (sigma, tamron, or system). Many use crop sensor bodies for the field of view with the long lenses. You might find a decent D7100 and a Sizma 150-500mm lens for a decent price. Both used of course. Canon's have a 1.6x crop factor might find a decent 70D for a favorable used price and same 150-500 sigma.
 

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