Black Friday 2015 Digital Camera Buying Guide

Black Friday 2015 Digital Camera Buying Guide

Introduction

To thumb through the pages of all the Black Friday advertisements this year, and see digital cameras popping up page after page, it's almost as if the camera phone doesn't exist. Although it's become a widely accepted truth that camera phones are replacing the need for a separate device, page after page from each and every retailer is filled with digital cameras, and all of them at a discount on Black Friday. We've looked through the ads to compile our list of the best deals in Compact Point and Shoot, Superzoom, and DSLR cameras and present them to you here, in our Black Friday 2015 Digital Camera Buying Guide.




Compact Point and Shoot

Compact point and shoot cameras are the perfect solution for those that are not quite satisfied with their smart phone cameras, or those who prefer to have a dedicated camera on the ready to avoid fumbling with a smart phone while trying to catch a passing moment. Despite the popularity of camera phones, there are still a healthy number of these inexpensive digital cameras featured in Black Friday ads, with 11 entries here from 5 different retailers.

Our Pick

Nikon Coolpix L31 16MP $46 – Walmart

No other Black Friday point and shoot camera deal comes close to Walmart's Nikon offering. This Coolpix L31 features a 16MP sensor, 5x optical zoom with motion blur reduction, and even records 720p HD video. For $40 less than the next lowest price compact point and shoot digital camera, this is hands down the best deal in a pocket-sized camera.

Runner Up

Panasonic Lumix TS30 $99.99 – Panasonic.com

The Canon Elph 160 featured at both Best Buy and Kohl's for $10 less loses this battle for all the extra features that $10 gets you. The biggest upgrade here, aside from this camera being waterproof, shock proof, and dustproof, is the inclusion of optical image stabilization, giving you crisp and sharp photos even without a steady hand. Rounding out the features here is a 16MP sensor, 4x optical zoom, and 720p HD video recording.


Super Zoom

The second category of camera featured on Black Friday is geared for those who want to get up close shots of the action, even at a distance. These cameras are, for the most part, a little heavier and beefier than compact cameras, partially because of the large telescoping lens that makes them so desirable. If you're after a camera to take with you to music recitals or sporting events that can still be tossed into a bag or purse, the super zoom is for you.

Our Pick

Nikon Coolpix L340 99.99 – Target

Target proudly displays the winner of this category on the front page of their Black Friday ad, and for good reason. The only other similarly priced super zoom camera is Walmart's Canon SX400 deal for $99, but the Nikon Coolpix L340 outstrips the Canon in every possible way. The large 28x optical zoom lens with vibration reduction image stabilization and 20.2MP sensor means you won't miss a minute of the action even from a distance.

Runner Up

Panasonic Lumix 30x $299 – Panasonic.com

You can have it all with this Panasonic Lumix 30x “Travel Camera” by Panasonic. And by that we mean all the power and versatility of a super zoom but with a size and form factor more akin to a compact point and shoot. This pint sized wonder features a 30x optical zoom lens and a slew of advanced features for this price point, including RAW format shooting, 10fps burst shooting, full HD video at up to 100fps, and 3cm macro shooting. At $100 off this Black Friday, there's no better choice for a fully-loaded digital super zoom.

Honorable Mention

Samsung Galaxy 2 Camera $249.99 – Best Buy

Our only honorable mention here is included because of the unique twist it brings to digital cameras in addition to the $50 Black Friday discount. Shoppers will find the 16MP rear illuminated CMOS sensor and 21x optical zoom lens to be the most boring part of the Galaxy 2 Camera after they discover the rear 4.8” 720 HD touch screen. One tap of that screen reveals that this camera is running full blown Android 4.3, giving it unparalleled connectivity and social media options, largely thanks to the wifi connection and access to the Google Play app store. Apps on a digital camera may sound like a gimmick until you use those apps to pair your smart phone to this camera and use it as a remote viewfinder and shutter control just before firing up Facebook and Twitter to upload your photos directly from the camera.


DSLR

Digital Single-Lens Reflex cameras, or DSLRs, encompass the largest amount of price variance of any other category of digital camera. From entry level to professional grade, the cost difference is in the thousands of dollars or higher. On Black Friday, there are offers that fall into the Entry Level and Hobbyist Category, but none that feature a full-frame sensor demanded by many professionals since the Canon 5D Mark II made it a new standard.

Entry Level Pick

Nikon D3300 Bundle $399.99 – Best Buy

It was a toss-up between this bundle and the Canon T5 bundle for $399 also featured at Best Buy amongst other retailers. While the T5 includes more accessories for the price, the Nikon D3300 is without question the better camera, and the T5 is considered by many to be only a T3 with a fresh coat of paint. The D3300 has 24MP CMOS, 5fps burst shooting, and records video up 1920x1080 at 60fps, and the bundle includes a 18-55mm lens and 32GB SD card. If you want more versatility, Best Buy offers an upgraded bundle with an additional 55-200mm lens, camera bag, and wifi adapter for $100 more.

Hobbyist Pick

Nikon D7100 Bundle $999.99 – Best Buy

Nikon's famed APS-C sensor and removal of the low-pass filter on the D3300 help propel the D7100 to victory over the Canon 70D. This 24.10MP DSLR bundle which includes 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses, camera bag, and a 32GB SD card, all for $200 less than the 70D bundle.


Final Thoughts

While you're at the store picking up your favorite digital camera deal, it's a great time to accessorize. Camera bags, memory cards, and even rechargeable batteries are traditionally some of the best small-purchase deals to be found on Black Friday.

It's not even December, but here at BFads.net, it's already the most wonderful time of the year! We live to flip through pages of ads and bring you the best deals Black Friday has to offer, from HDTVs, 4K TVs, video game consoles, tablets, and more!


Celebrate this time of year right alongside us by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and by downloading our Black Friday app, where you'll be kept up to the minute on price breaks, ad leaks, giveaways, buying guides, and more!

November 18, 2015
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