Any of the entry level DSLR's are very capable these days. It's the lens that makes the real difference and where most of your money should be spent. You might be better looking on the second hand market given your budget if you want one of the later models with video.
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
vikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10338 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5723 times:
Seems to me that you can't really go wrong with any of the big names (Canon, Nikon, etc.). Even the entry-level DSLRs will produce great images, especially if you get some good-quality lenses to go along with it.
I used a Canon Rebel XS (1000D) for about two years. It served me quite well, especially for the last 6 months or so, when I finally got L-glass. That cheap little entry-level DSLR was phenomenal with those lenses.
The XS + 18-55 IS cost me somewhere around $500 in 2010. I think I bought it on Amazon.
What I really would like to say is that the intention of buying this camera was that some of my good and old Nikon lenses would not become expensive paperweights.
As for the spotting in Toronto at late summer, the CIAS is a must. As the Sun is against you when standing at the lakeshore, it is better to be on a boat out on Lake Ontario. For the local airports, the best locations are south of the action.
Regardless of what you buy, you WILL need a sizable zoom (at least 200mm) for most plane spotting. The Amazon page I linked to has some zoom lens bundle discounts, and with your budget, the only option would be the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ($249 - $100 bundle discount for a total of $848 for the D3200 + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 + 55-200mm f/4-5.6G).