Nothing quite brings out the camera deals like an impending holiday and the biggest shopping day of the year. While every electronics store — and even a few oddities like department stores — will have some sort of camera on sale, some stores offer deeper discounts while others are trying to pawn off a camera so old it will be obsolete by this time next year. Some offer one day (or even one hour) in-person deals while others offer a more laid back online sale long enough it would almost be more accurate to call it Black November.
Black Friday often brings big discounts on last year’s cameras, which isn’t a bad thing if the update isn’t particularly huge. Meanwhile, stores try to push the camera brands that are never discounted (we’re looking at you, GoPro) by offering a free gift card or accessories — just make sure to read the fine print, sometimes you can’t use those gift cards until after Christmas.
So what are the best Black Friday camera deals? Here are the biggest deals on consumer cameras that caught our eye, from a $300 mirrorless camera kit to modest reductions on video cameras.
Black Friday Camera Deals: DSLRs
Newbies looking to get started with a more advanced camera can pick up a DSLR and lens for as little as $450 — and from an unexpected competitor: Kohls. The department store ad lists the Canon T6 for $449, and that includes $135 in Kohls cash (which is like a gift card, but with an expiration date). With this deal coming from a store that largely sells clothes and home goods, we wouldn’t be surprised if the deal isn’t at every location — but it could be worth a quick look online.
Consumers can also find the same camera without the coupon back but with an extra lens at Best Buy, or step up to the T6i from the same retailer for $799. Adorama also has the same camera with a single lens for $50 cheaper for shooters that don’t need that long lens. Canon also has a few deals on their higher up DSLRs, including the 80D with a 18-135mm lens for $400 off at Best Buy.
Nikon will also get beginners started for a similar price — and it’s worth noting that opting for the Nikon option gets users more speed, more megapixels and a much longer battery life for another $50. Both Target and Best Buy are offering the Nikon D3400 for $499 with two lenses. Consumers could also step it up at bit with the Nikon D5300 and two lenses for $100 more at Best Buy.
Nikon is also offering a handful of deals from their own website, and while they tend to be less extreme than the giant tech stores, there’s a few deals there worth a look. The slightly older D7100 is selling for $699, with the newer D7200 at $999, for example. Lenses are discounted to as low as $99 for the most basic shooters — but some deals are only valid with a DSLR purchase.
Black Friday Camera Deals: Mirrorless
Of course, if you want the flexibility of a DSLR in a more portable package, Black Friday is full of deals on small mirrorless shooters as well.
Consumers looking for the lowest price on a small interchangeable lens camera will likely want to check out the Sony a5000 already being offered for $298 from B&H Photo Video — and that price still includes the lens. The camera is now over two years old and it’s slower than most, but this small shooter will definitely grab better shots than your smartphone without much of a price tag. Shooters looking for more camera may still want to stick around at B&H — they’re offering the full frame Sony a7 II, body only but with a few accessories, for $1499, which is about $200 off.
If the thought of an older camera gives you a sour taste, Best Buy is already offering the Sony a6000 with two lenses for $699 (originally $1049) or you can find it at Adorama with even more accessories, including an editing program by Corel and a bag to stash it all in.
Consumers eyeing the colors and classic style of Fujifilm’s mirrorless outfits may want to check out B&H’s sale that has already started. While several different options have discounts, the older models have the steepest drops, like the X-T10 for $400 off.
Olympus has fewer sale options (that we’ve seen so far anyways) but consumers can pick up the E-PL7 at B&H for $100 off.
Panasonic also has a handful of solid mirrorless deals — B&H is offering the GH-4 for $300 off and tossing in a $150 B&H gift card to boot. The smaller G7 is also selling there for $500 with a $50 gift card.
Black Friday Camera Deals: Compact Cameras
Consumers looking for a pocketable camera that can shoot better than their smartphone still have a few sales to consider.
The Sony RX100 line is a popular and high quality advanced compact camera with a large sensor and manual modes — the very first camera in that line, the RX100, is selling for $400 at Amazon or directly from Sony. While the camera is a 2012 model, the latest round in the series sells for over $900.
The Ricoh GR II is another advanced compact shooter, but without such an old launch date, and is selling for $100 off at B&H. That same retailer has a number of different compact camera discounts, like $150 off the Panasonic LX100.
The discounts on simpler cameras are less steep but still there — like the Canon SX530 for $50 off with a free $30 gift card at Best Buy. And for cameras that you can take places you wouldn’t bring your smartphone, the waterproof Nikon AW130 is selling for $199 at Best Buy.
Black Friday Camera Deals: Video Cameras
Of course, video cameras haven’t been left out of the mix either.
GoPro normally doesn’t discount their latest cameras — and that still holds true this year. Stores are trying to entice buyers instead by adding in extras. Target is selling the Hero 5 with a free $60 gift card.
The previous models are a notable exception — and a nice option if features like voice control and image stabilization aren’t too essential for you. Sam’s Club is advertising the GoPro Hero 4 Silver for $200, while a number of stores are selling the older Hero Session for $179 including Best Buy and Target. The features of the silver are likely the better deal for $20 more, but only for exisiting Sam's Club members.
And if traditional camcorders seem rather boring — try 360 video with $100 off the 360Fly 4K at Best Buy.
While some Black Friday camera deals are only in stores and others are already reduced online, check the reviews and our list of online retailers first — you don’t want to be so enticed by a “deal” that you buy a camera that doesn’t have the features that you need. Happy holidays — and happy shopping!