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Black Friday Camera Deals: What to Expect This Year
Everyone knows that Black Friday is great for scoring deals on the latest TVs, tablets and computers, but cameras and photography equipment also see big discounts. Black Friday deals are often gone in a flash though, and it can be disheartening to know that you missed out on a major sale for a piece of equipment you’ve had your heart set on. Getting the best deals for your camera equipment requires research, patience and perseverance to say the least. Although it can be difficult to predict where the Black Friday sales will land, knowledge of last year’s sales and new camera releases can help us guess what to expect.
We took a look back at some of the best camera deals from Black Friday 2014 to see what you can expect this year.
Nikon D3200 Starter Kit
2014 Sale Price: $500 (Retail price $550)
The Nikon D3200 is a 24-megapixel DSLR camera perfect for the budding photographer. This camera deal came with an 18-55mm lens, a 55-250mm lens, and a camera bag for only $500. And while that may only be $50 off, this camera was already well-priced, so this is still a good bargain. This was an exclusive offer only available at Walmart.
While we may see this kit on sale again for even cheaper, (the price is already down to $450), this Black Friday look for major discounts on the newer model, the D3300. Because the much anticipated D3400 model should be hitting the shelves just in time for Christmas or early next year, retailers will want to clear out the older D3300 models by slashing prices on Black Friday.
Nikon D7000 with 18-140mm Lens
2014 Sale Price: $800 (Retail price $1100)
Store: Best Buy
Best Buy had a good bargain on the Nikon D7000 with $300 off the retail price. This is a high performing mid-range DSLR camera that has been around since late 2010. At the time this sale was going on, the retail value was already marked down to compete with newer, lower quality DSLR cameras.
The D7000 is out of stock just about everywhere but Amazon, where it's currently retailing in the $1,300 to $1,400 range. If you didn't grab this deal last year, you're probably out of luck. The good news is the D7100 will probably see some superb Black Friday deals, especially since the D7200 just came out last March.
Nikon Coolpix L830
2014 Sale Price: $169 (Retail price around $300)
Stores: Sears and Radio Shack
If you were in the market for a solid point-and-shoot zoom camera last year, the Nikon Coolpix L830 was the way to go. Sears and Radio Shack has this compact, battery operated camera at an almost 45 percent discount, down from around $300 at both Sears and Radio Shack to $169.
The Coolpix L830 has dropped in price to the $250 range and this model may be in for another fantastic discount this holiday season. The Nikon Coolpix L840 is a similar camera that came out earlier this year and Best Buy already has it on sale for $230. With Black Friday fast approaching, we may see an even bigger discount on this one.
Canon EOS Rebel T3i Starter Kit
2014 Sales Price: $499 (Retail price $599)
Store: Best Buy
Best Buy had a great deal on the Canon EOS Rebel T3i as a doorbuster special in 2014. Shoppers lucky enough to grab this offer got not only the camera, but an 18-55mm lens, 75-300mm telephoto lens, Canon camera bag, 16GB memory card, and an HDMI cable. The Canon EOS Rebel T3i may be an older model (it's from 2011), but it’s still an amazing camera that any beginner photographer would be happy to own.
The Rebel T3i is out of stock in most locations and probably won't be seeing a lot of deals anytime soon. Canon has released some great cameras in the last 12 months though, especially the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, which came out in September of 2014. This is one camera we hope to see marked down a bit from its lofty $1500 price tag.
Canon EOS Rebel T5i Dual Lens Kit
2014 Sales Price: Dual lens kit $700 (Retail price $849)
If you were interested in upgrading from an entry-level camera, Walmart had the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at a steal for $700. Several stores had an offer for this camera with an 18-55mm lens for $650, but for just $50 more, Walmart threw in the 75-300mm lens as well. Who wouldn’t pay an extra $50 for a Canon telephoto lens?
The Canon EOS Rebel T6i was released in February, so it’s safe to say we will see the Rebel T5i with all the bells and whistles at a nice discount somewhere this year. We may see a small sale on the newer Canon EOS Rebel T6i, but for bigger discounts you'll probably have to wait for next year.
Pentax K-3 (Body Only) With Accessories
2014 Sales Price: $796.95 (Retail price $1,299)
The Pentax K-3 was released in 2013 as the successor to both the K-5 II and K-5IIs. Adorama had this camera on sale for just under $800 with a D-BG5 battery grip, 32GB memory card, and free shipping. B&H priced matched Adorama on this bargain, but only included the battery grip in the offer.
The Pentax K-3 (body-only) can now be readily purchased for around $650 from several locations, and we expect this model will most likely see another fantastic holiday discount with some worthy accessories. If you missed out on this sale in 2014, this may be the year to get an even better deal!
Pentax K-5 IIs (Body Only) With Accessories
2014 Sales Price: $497/$530 (Retail price $699)
Adorama had the best offer we’ve seen so far on this camera for just $497 with free shipping. B&H had the next best deal at $530 with free shipping. The B&H offer also included D-BG4 battery grip and 64GB memory card, but no lenses.
Pentax came out with the K-S2 and K-3 II this year, leaving plenty of room to discount some of the older model cameras this holiday season. We expect to see the Pentax K-50, which succeeded the K-30 model in 2013, on sale. Another Pentax camera that will likely see a good price cut is the mid-range DSLR, Pentax K-S1.
Sony A5000 With Kit Lens
2014 Sales Price: $300 (Retail price $400 to $450)
Store: Best Buy
The Sony A5000 has been out since early 2014 and was promoted as “the world’s lightest interchangeable lens camera”. Best Buy had this camera up for grabs at a cool $150 discount and they included the 16-55mm zoom kit lens.
The Sony A5000 is still retailing in the $400 to $450 price range, and we would be surprised not to see this little camera on sale again. The Sony A5100, which is similar to the A5000, is another entry-level camera to keep an eye on. It has a slightly higher retail price of $550, but will probably see some holiday love this year.
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
The Panasonic FZ200 is a compact digital camera that offers a 24x optical zoom. B&H had this camera for just $297.99 with free shipping last year. You can get it today for around $400 though.
Panasonic has released two newer models in the F series since the FZ200. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 came out in July and retails for about $600. They also have the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000, which has a steady price tag of $800. There is a good chance that we will see some nice discounts on both the FZ200 and FZ300 models, but we don't predict much of a price cut on the FZ1000.
The trick to camera shopping on Black Friday is not buying something simply because it’s cheap. Write out a wish list of items with their retail prices for reference while you shop. Beware that every store is going to claim to have the lowest price on an item, so do your research first. Also, don’t just rely on in-stores deals; many stores offer exclusive online-only sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Slickdeals has the latest info on the best Black Friday deals all in one place, so check back often for newly released ad scans and updates!
What was your favorite camera deal from 2014 Black Friday sale? What do you hope to see in this year’s sale?
Images courtesy of ©iStock.com/Azure-Dragon, Sears, Adorama, B&H.