The 10 best Black Friday camera deals we’ve found so far – CNET

There really aren’t any Black Friday deals on cameras to get excited about — at least not yet, or unless you want to wade into some murky shopping waters. For instance, Abe’s of Maine deals are so good they’re suspect, and the best deals at Ritz Camera tend to be “international” versions; in other words, gray market, so there’s no US warranty. That leaves you with the manufacturer’s seasonal discounts, where more mainstream places like B&H, Adorama or Best Buy just shave a few trivial bucks off until a little later in the season. I’ll update as I (hopefully) start to see more aggressive price cuts; I couldn’t find anything notable for Fujifilm, which I hope will change as well.

That doesn’t mean there are no bargains to be found. Here are my picks of the products worth buying at their current seasonal prices, as well as some to avoid except under specific circumstances. For those unacquainted with my holiday shopping philosophies, I don’t consider bundles with massive amounts of mostly useless, zero-profit-margin accessories at higher prices good deals; the only thing that makes the bundle more valuable are lenses, and depending upon the camera, possibly a battery grip. 

Nikon D3300 (with 18-55mm II lens, Black)

Nikon D3400 with the AF-P 18-55mm VR lens

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Best dSLR value under $500
Nikon D3400 with AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens

While you can find cheaper, more accessory-packed entry-level dSLR kits, these D3400-based options combine one of the best products in its price class with good value for the money. 

My top pick here is the Nikon D3400 with AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens for a hair under $500. (Note that “VR” here stands for “vibration reduction,” Nikon’s term for image stabilization, and not virtual reality.) Since it’s a manufacturer discount, you can get it directly from Nikon, or for $4 less from B&H, Adorama, Amazon and elsewhere.

 Buy from NikonBuy from B&HBuy from AdoramaBuy from Amazon

Three-lens bundle for $770:  If you’re okay spending more than $500, Nikon also offers a deal on a very clever bundle: A “parent’s” kit, which runs about $770 for the body plus three lenses. On one hand, I’m not jazzed about the combination of the AF-P versions of the 18-55mm and 70-300mm (which come as part of another dual-lens kit bundle) because it leaves the 55mm-70mm range open. I like a 18-55mm and 55-200mm option more, but Nikon doesn’t have an AF-P version of that lens, yet. 

But for the triple-lens Parent’s Camera Kit, Nikon throws in a 35mm f1.8 as well, a fast lens that will let you shoot in low light. B&H’s offer looks like it ends on Nov. 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET, while Nikon doesn’t specify any end date on its direct offer. Sadly, this bundle only comes with the red model.

Buy from Nikon | Buy from B&H 


Nikon D5600

The Nikon D5600 with the AF-P 18-55mm lens

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Best kit under $1,000 
Nikon D5600 with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for about $950

Once again, there are tons of combinations of bodies and lenses on sale this time of year, but the excellent D5600 paired with a solid general-purpose lens like the 18-140mm is a great bet. Nikon lists it as back-ordered on its site, but you can get it from B&H (at least through November 18 11:59PM ET), Amazon, Adorama, Best Buy and so on.

Buy from B&HBuy from AmazonBuy from AdoramaBuy from Best Buy 


Sony Alpha ILCE-7 (A7)

Sony A7 with FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

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Best body under $1,000
Sony A7 for $999

This is Sony’s seasonal price for the camera, and it’s a pretty sweet deal. Though several generations old and not the fastest camera, the Sony Alpha ILCE-7, aka the A7, is a full-frame model for less than $1,000. Plus, it’s far more compact than Nikon and Canon’s newer and a lot more expensive dSLR versions. You’ll also want to pick up a spare battery or two, since the A7 has sad battery life.

Buy from B&H | Buy from Adorama | Buy from Best Buy | Buy from Amazon

Kit with 28-70mm lens for $1,200: It’s also widely available in a kit with the FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens for about $1,200. The 28-70mm isn’t my favorite E-Mount lens, but it’s one of the least expensive ones, so it’s a reasonable choice if you want to get up and shooting immediately. 

Buy from AmazonBuy from Adorama | Buy from B&H | Buy from Best Buy


More good deals 

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Sony A6000 with 16-50mm power zoom lens

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Sony A6000 dual-lens kit for $700

My perennial gifting go-to, the Sony A6000 APS-C mirrorless, comes in a kit with the 16-50mm and 55-210mm power zoom lenses for $750 at places like B&HAdorama, and Best Buy, which is a great value as it is. But even better, you can pick it up from Amazon for less — only $700. 

Buy from Amazon

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Panasonic GH4

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Panasonic GH4 for $900

The GH4 has been replaced by the Panasonic Lumix GH5, but this groundbreaking-for-video Micro Four Thirds mirrorless still holds its own for 4K videography, and it’s now a really good value for the money. B&H offers the GH4 for the same price as everyone else, but throws in a Rode VideoMic kit  or an alternative model with the  V-Log L firmware update — Panasonic charges for it. 

Buy from B&H (Rode mic) | Buy from B&H (with V-Log L) 

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Nikon D7500 with 18-140mm lens

Nikon

Nikon D7500 with 18-140mm lens for $1,550

Most of the discounts you see before December are on inventory the manufacturers are trying to dump. And while Nikon’s discount on this new, terrific midrange model optimized for action photography isn’t that big, combined with the discount on the lens this Nikon D7500 bundle makes a pretty compelling option for the money. (Nikon, B&H — ends 11/28 at 12:59 p.m. ET, Adorama, Best Buy). 

Buy from Nikon | Buy from B&H | Buy from Adorama | Buy from Best Buy 


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Canon EOS Rebel T6i

Sarah Tew / CNET

Canon EOS Rebel T6i dual-lens kit for $900

Canon’s T6 looks alluringly cheap this time of year, but the Canon EOS Rebel T6i is a better camera — almost anything is — so if price matters go for one of the D3400 deals I mentioned earlier. You can get the generation-old T6i for $750 with the 18-55mm lens, but the best value is the $900 kit with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses from B&H. Everyone else tries to sell you the Creator’s Kit, which has the lenses and other video-related paraphernalia for $50 more. There’s also a kit with the 18-135mm and 55-250mm lenses for $1,100, but that’s a strange pairing that overlaps quite a bit. 

Buy from B&H


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OM-D E-M5 Mark II with 24-40mm f2.8 lens 

Lori Grunin/CNET

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens for $1,500

A very nice Micro Four Thirds mirrorless, the E-M5 Mark II is on sale for $800, the price it really belongs at (not $1,100). Olympus doesn’t really specify kit discounts, but it offers lens discounts when purchased with a body. You get a nice price when you pair the pricey 12-40mm f2.8 lens — one of my favorites — with the Mark II for $1,500 all told, effectively giving you about $300 off the lens. And B&H has bundled it all up for you.

Buy from B&H

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GoPro Hero5 Black

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GoPro Hero5 Black for $350 at Target on Black Friday

Target‘s the only retailer that’s announced any Black Friday-specific camera deals as yet, and when its doors open at 6 p.m. local time on Thursday you’ll be able to get the GoPro Hero5 for $350, $50 less than the usual price.


Black Friday dealsSee every Black Friday 2017 deal we’ve found so far

Holiday Gift GuideCNET’s full gift guide, including dozens of products priced under $25, $50 and $100

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