Although the built-in cameras on mobile devices are getting better, there is still a huge gap between smartphones and standalone digital cameras. Brand-name digital cameras are expensive, though, with professional-grade DSLR models retailing for well over a grand. That’s why annual retail events like Black Friday are such welcome opportunities to score big discounts on costly items like digital cameras, offering you the chance to save hundreds of dollars.
And thankfully, it’s almost that time of year. Canon and Nikon Black Friday deals are often some of the best sales on big-name cameras for the year. While the biggest deals aren’t live yet, based on past deals and this year’s newest camera announcements, we’ve rounded up some of the most anticipated deals of the holiday season. And if you want to use your new Nikon or Canon to snap pictures at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, we’ve got you covered with deals going on now.
What to expect
The biggest Black Friday camera deals are often for cameras that have just been replaced. New cameras are sometimes discounted slightly, but the steepest discounts are often found on cameras that have been out for a little while. Picking up an old camera isn’t necessarily a bad thing either — sometimes, the new version only offers minimal changes, like adding Bluetooth. These cameras may not be the very best out on the market, but they are often the best camera you can buy at that price point.
Beginner-friendly cameras are also commonly discounted for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. An entry-level DSLR or mirrorless kit with a lens makes a good Christmas gift, and there are usually some deals to be had there. Sometimes, the two-lens kits are only slightly more than the kits with one lens. Super-zoom cameras and instant film cameras (albeit, not from Canon or Nikon) tend to be another kind of deal that’s easy to find.
Speaking of lenses, there may be some discounts to be had there, too. The steepest discounts are often on camera bodies and kits, but many retailers will knock down the price of some popular lenses, too.
Deals are less common on newly launched cameras — but we’ve been surprised by some of the discounts for the new Nikon Z and Canon EOS R mirrorless cameras already. These models are still considered new, but Canon and Nikon are competing with Sony in the category, and we’ve already seen some surprising deals on these mirrorless cameras — including some sales already going on now.
Deals are common from major electronics retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, B&H Photo, and Adorama. But some big box stores will get in on the action as well, with deals from Walmart and Target — we’ve even spotted camera sales from Kohls around Black Friday.
Expect minimal discounts on the newest cameras, but big discounts — even in the three-figure range — on older models. Beginner kits and consumer cameras are some of the most common, but advanced cameras will see discounts, too.
Nikon and Canon Deals Going On Now
Black Friday often has the best prices — but not necessarily. A handful of Canon and Nikon cameras are discounted for the fall. DSLRs that aren’t this year’s newest cameras already have decent discounts, along with even the relatively new mirrorless cameras from the two major manufacturers, the Nikon Z 6 and the Canon EOS R and EOS RP. Besides, if you’re picking up the camera for yourself, buying it now means you can document the holidays with it.
- — $ 397
- — $ 269
- — $ 109
- — $ 349
- – $ 799
What we saw last Black Friday
Before the 2019 Black Friday camera deals go live, looking at last year’s (2018) sales offers a good idea of what to expect — and whether or not you should wait or buy a camera that’s discounted now. The most worthwhile Canon and Nikon deals last year were on DSLRs, but there were some decent discounts on super-zooms and even compact cameras. Some of the top deals last year included:
Nikon D3500 DSLR camera
Unlike a lot of Black Friday camera deals, the Nikon D3500 discount was for a new model — the D3500 still hasn’t been replaced this year, so shoppers may very well find this deal again. This easy-to-use DSLR camera comes with the Nikkor 18-55mm lens, and its one-inch 24-megapixel sensor is many times larger than the one in your smartphone. Along with taking great shots, the Nikon D3500 can also shoot a crisp video in 1080p at 60 frames per second.
The D3500 would normally set you back $ 500, but last year’s Black Friday sales shaved $ 100 off the price. The camera is already discounted by $ 100 for the fall sale, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see another $ 100 discount, if not more, during Black Friday.
Canon PowerShot SX530 digital camera
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a DSLR but still want a full-featured digital camera, then the Canon PowerShot SX530 is a super-affordable alternative. The PowerShot SX530 utilizes a 16-megapixel image sensor and a 50x zoom lens, and can record 1080p Full HD video at 30 frames per second. It also features Wi-Fi connectivity for easy uploading and management of your pictures and videos.
At its usual price of $ 379, the Canon PowerShot SX530 is approaching the cost of entry-level DSLRs. Last year, the camera fell to $ 190 during Black Friday.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 digital camera
Budget compacts don’t offer a ton more features than a smartphone today, but the Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 has a stabilized 8x optical zoom lens, which you still can’t really find from a smartphone. It’s got a 20-megapixel sensor and can record HD video at a resolution of 720p when you want to shoot some live footage. Last year, the camera was discounted by $ 20 to $ 99. You won’t get many more features than a smartphone camera, but that zoom may be worth something and, for $ 99, it’s a great option for gifting to kids on your list.
Canon Vixia HF R82 digital camcorder bundle
Like the ELPH 180, one of the biggest reasons to buy a dedicated camcorder today is zoom. The compact handheld Canon Vixia HF R82 has a CMOS image sensor that records video at 1080p. It features an impressive 57x zoom range and Canon’s SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer. Last year, the camcorder was discounted to $ 309 with an accessory and software bundle at Walmart.
Canon T7i EOS Rebel DSLR camera
For an upgrade over the entry-level Nikon D3500, check out the excellent Canon T7i EOS Rebel. This DSLR camera boasts a 24.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor along with an 18-55mm Nikkor lens, plus a whole suite of advanced features like lag-free autofocus, a DIGIC 7 image processor which ensures crisp photos even in low-light conditions, a swing-out LCD viewing touchscreen, and a Feature Assistant which makes it easy to take advantage of the camera’s many tools and tricks.
The Canon T7i EOS Rebel typically rings up at $ 900, but last year’s Canon and Nikon Black Friday deals made the price $ 749 from Amazon after a $ 151 discount. The camera is already discounted to $ 800 now, but Black Friday may bring a lower price.
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