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The biggest shopping day of the year is right around the corner—and electronics are often one of the most discounted items, cameras included. So what Black Friday deals are there on cameras for 2014? We've rounded up the most discounted products for you.
Before you go...
Just because it's Black Friday doesn't mean it's a good deal, and just because it's on sale doesn't mean it's a good camera either.
Know what you want before you go. Even if a camera is a great deal, if it's not suited to what you shoot the most, it could be a waste of your money. Narrow down the selection to a type of digital camera or two and read the reviews before you head out. Check out our gift guide if you're unsure.
Compare prices online. Often, online stores have good deals too—sometimes even better. Before you head out in the crowd for that camera deal, check the product page for that item on Digital Camera HQ—we list prices from several of the top online retailers, so you know if you're getting a good deal without a bunch of surfing around.
Don't be afraid of picking up an older model. A lot of the camera deals this year are on models announced a few years ago. But that's not necessarily a bad thing—sometimes you can pick up a more powerful camera for less than a newer but less powerful model. For example, there's a deal on the Fujifilm XF1, a 2012 camera. It has a larger sensor and better lens than a typical point-and-shoot, but is on sale for about $150. Compare the camera with a newer model to see if the features are worth the extra cost for your shooting style.
Black Friday Deals: Point-And-Shoot Cameras
Canon is a pretty good bet if you're buying a camera for under $100. The ELPH 135 is a pretty basic camera with an average size sensor for point-and-shoots and an 8x optical zoom. Still, if you're budget is limited, you can find it for $79.99 at Best Buy this year, plus you get a $10 gift card back.
If you can swing a little more, the Canon ELPH 340 is faster, has a longer 12x zoom and includes wi-fi. It's also at Best Buy for a nice price of $129.
If you are buying a camera for a social media lover, Samsung is a good brand to look at with some of the most connected cameras on the market. The Samsung WB350 is a basic model, yet still offers wi-fi and smart features along with a 21x optical zoom and 1080p HD video. Amazon has it for about 40 percent off at $153.99.
The Lytro is an unusual camera—it's unusually shaped, sure, but as a light field camera, you can snap interactive photos where you can change the focus after the shot is taken. It's the 2011 model, but fun to play around with and over half off the introductory price at $155 at Amazon.
While the Fujifilm XF1 has a smaller sensor than other advanced compacts, it's just $154.19 for the red version at Amazon. The 2012 model is probably the best Black Friday deal in point-and-shoots this year, because while it is considered an advanced compact, it's price is right in line with basic point-and-shoot cameras that have a lot less to offer in terms of image quality. The XF1 sports a brighter lens and bigger sensor than the average point-and-shoot.
Black Friday Deals: Super Zoom Cameras
The L830 is a no-frills budget model, but you can get a whole lot of zoom for the $169.99 Best Buy price. As an added bonus, it includes a bag and memory card.
Black Friday Deals: DSLRS
Canon's mid-level EOS Rebel T5i can be picked up for about $400 from Groupon on Black Friday. The T5i features a 9-point autofocus system, 5 fps burst mode and a tilting LCD screen.
Entry-level shooters might also be interested in the T3i, which can be picked up along with two lenses for $499 at Best Buy. It's similar to the T5i, though a bit older with a slower burst mode.
The Nikon D7000 is quite a bit older, but considering it's paired with an 18-140mm stabilized lens for $799 at Best Buy, it's still a good option. If you already have some Nikon lenses, ignore this deal and pick up the body-only D7100 for $700 at Amazon, but the kit is about $450 cheaper than the D7100 paired with the same lens.
Beginners should take a look at the Nikon D3200 (2012 release) two lens kit with a bag—you can pick it up for just $496.99 at Target this year. It's a good basic model for beginners, and the 18-55mm lens and 55-200mm lens gives you some versatility.
Pentax makes some pretty solid budget DSLRs. We applauded the image quality on the K-50 when we reviewed it last year, and it's a steal for $389.99 at Amazon.
Black Friday Deals: Mirrorless Cameras
If you're looking for a truly compact shooter on a budget, the Sony Alpha a5000 deserves some of your attention. It's Sony's smallest mirrorless, but still packs in an APS-C sensor and a 420 shot battery life. Originally between $400 and $500, Best Buy has an excellent deal for $299 with a 16-55mm lens, or the two lens kit is $400 off at Costco.
Olympus makes some pretty great mirrorless models—the OM-D E-M5 is weather-sealed with a micro 4/3 sensor, five-axis image stabilization and 1080p video at 60 fps. You can find the body-only on sale for $599 at Amazon, or directly from Olympus.
The Sony a600 has a 179-point phase detection autofocus, paired with an 11 fps burst and an APS-C sensor and it looks to be a solid performer. You can find the kit for $100 off ($698) at a handful of online retailers, including Amazon.
This year's Black Friday ads have a good handful of camera deals—and if you don't like fighting the crowds, a lot of them appear to be available online as well. Be sure to click o the product link and check out the prices from online retailers before you head to the store, as many haven't announced their sales yet.