Personally, I think the best deals for DSLRs and lenses are to buy them used or refurbished. But if you are set on buying new, Black Friday is a fun time to spend money.
High end Canon gear is not gonna be dropping in price anytime soon because the 5D mk iii, 70d, and 6d are all fairly new cameras. The canon 7D, however, will likely see a successor in early/mid 2014, so we will likely see price drops for Canon cameras around the 1st or 2nd quarter in 2014. I’m not sure if the 5D price will drop when the Canon 7d mk ii hits shelves, but certainly DSLRs that are priced around $1,200 and under should see a price drop. Lower end bodies are always dropping in price so you can always find a deal on them if you are patient enough.
I don’t follow Nikon, or Panasonic closely, but I figure the same logic can be applied to them. Low end bodies will always be falling in prices, and higher end bodies will drop when new gear is introduced. If the rumors about a possible 2014 release of a 4k GH4, with 200 mbps encoding and 10bit color depth are even remotely true, then we are all doomed anyway because we will have to sell our obsolete bodies for pennies on the dollar and run out to buy the GH4. By the way, when I said 4k GH4, I meant it can shoot at 4k resolution, not that it would cost $4,000. Anyway, here are some thoughts on the 2014 Black Friday DSLR deals:
Target is very competitive. When it comes to deals I always think of Amazon, Ebay, Micro Center, Fry’s and New Egg. I rarely think of brick and mortar places like Walmart, or Target because they just seem… uh clunky? Sorry I am a Silicon Valley snob, so if you are a brick and mortar retail store, you may be victim to unjustified discrimination from web2.0-online-start-up-tech-nerds like myself.
Why Target is Awesome:
The first step is to get a Target REDCard. This will give you a discount of 5% on practically everything you buy at Target. The great thing about this discount is that it will stack with any sales or promotions that Target is running. I have heard of people getting instantly approved for the card, so if you move fast, you still have time to get an additional 5% off on your Black Friday purchases at Target. Keep in mind, that you may be approved for a small credit limit – like $200. It all depends on your credit report and whatever the hell else goes into the credit limit calculation. The limit often gets raised for people, so maybe by next Black Friday you will have a high enough limit to get some bigger savings.
Shop on Black Friday and Get 20% Off
When you shop at Target this Black Friday, and spend more that $75, you will get a 20% off coupon that is valid from December 1 – December 7. So this means you have to come back to Target the next week, and buy more stuff, and then get 20% off on that stuff. Target is good about being competitive with Amazon on pricing, but the selection of lenses and cameras is lacking. So if you don’t see a body or lens that you want, this 20% may be useless to you (or you can buy a $1,000 T.V for $800 instead).
Let’s assume Dec. 1 – Dec. 7 features the current prices on Lenses and DSLRs. You could bundle a Canon T3i with a Canon EF 75-300mm, and walk out the door for $535.98 + tax (509.18 + tax with REDCard) . But the better deal would be to get the 6D kit with the EF 24-105, and throw in a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L. Normally this would run you $5,000 + tax (holy shit), but at Target this could potentially be $3,800 + tax if your REDCard could handle it.
What About the Target Deals Actually ON Black Friday?
Unfortunately the Target deals on Black Friday are lacking. I would suggest buying some stuff for $75 and then coming back a week later and applying the 20% coupon on your order.
$449: Canon T3, 18-55mm IS, 75-300mm, 8GB SD card and a cheap Canon bag
$499: Nikon D3200, 18-55mm, 55-200mm (both lenses non VR)
Other Black Friday DSLR Deals:
Ebay Black Friday/Weekend/Cyber Monday DSLR Deals:
$389: Canon T3i, 18-55mm is II (Black Friday, Nov. 29)
$400: Nikon D3200 (Saturday, Nov. 30)
$470 or $378.99, I see two prices listed, wtf?: Nikon D5100 (Sunday, Dec. 1)
$539.99: Nikon D5200 (Sunday, Dec. 1)
In conclusion, the Ebay deals suck. Look elsewhere…
WalMart has a similar T3 deal to Target. But they also feature a deal on the Nikon D5100:
$499: Nikon D5100, 55-200mm (non VR)
Rakuten (Buy.com) has the best deal I have seen thus far:
$389: Canon T3i, 18-55mm is II
Without question I would skip all the Target and WalMart Black Friday deals, and go for the Rakuten T3i deal. However, if you want to enjoy 20% off of a Target order between Dec. 1 – Dec. 7 you will need to buy something for $75+ at Target on Black Friday. That might be your only chance to get a deal on mid range and high end DSLR gear.
I will update this page when I get more info on Amazon, Ebay, Adorama, and B&H deals, since I expect those sites to have better DSLR and lens deals than the ones I outlined above.