For serious photographers, Black Friday isn’t usually that exciting. A few discounts trickle in on low-end gear, but there’s rarely anything that gets enthusiasts and professionals champing at the bit. But this year is different, with impressive savings on both enthusiast and professional gear that can save you some real money. If you’ve been holding off on buying a new DSLR or mirrorless camera, your patience has just been rewarded.
For more non-camera deals check out our best Black Friday deals page.
Sony’s Black Friday promotion (which actually runs now through December 29) includes $1,000 off the flagship A9 mirrorless camera. Sure, that means it’s still $3,500 for the body only, but this is the lowest price that camera has ever been. The A9 is one of the most technologically advanced cameras on the market, using a 24-megapixel “stacked” full-frame sensor that can pump out 20 RAW photos per second — for up to 362 shots. It’s the first mirrorless camera to really go after the professional sports photographer crowd, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5, which cost $5,500 and $6,500, respectively.
If the A9 is too expensive for your taste but you’re still curious what this full-frame mirrorless game is all about, the A7 II may be just the gateway drug you’re looking for. Although now supplanted by the A7 III, the mark II model remains a very good camera for amateur and enthusiast still photographers — remarkably so when you consider the current price of just $998, which includes the 28-70mm kit lens.
Built around a 24-megapixel sensor, the camera doesn’t match the A9’s speed but still produces gorgeous images. The 5-axis in-body image stabilization also makes it easier to shoot slower shutter speeds handheld, further improving the camera’s capabilities in low light. If you’re banking on 4K video, however, you’ll need to opt for the A7 III, as the A7 II tops out Full HD 1080p.
At first sight, Olympus’ deals look rather modest — $100 off the E-M1 Mark II body, for example, is nothing to write home about. However, as you add lenses, the savings keep piling up. Pair an E-M1 Mark II with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens, and you’ll save $700 on the bundle, for a total price of $1,998.
The E-M1 Mark II uses a 20-megapixel Four Thirds sensor, which is a much smaller format than full-frame. This allows for equivalently smaller lenses, leading to a lighter weight package overall. While 20MP is not bad, the High Resolution Shot mode can output a 50MP image made by combining 8 separate exposures for extreme levels of detail. The camera also boasts class-leading weather sealing and image stabilization, as well as 4K video and a wealth of high-speed shooting options.
The E-M5 Mark II shares its 20-megapixel Four Thirds sensor with the E-M1 Mark II, but puts it in a smaller, more streamlined body. It still features excellent weather sealing, 5-axis stabilization, and High Resolution Shot mode, but doesn’t have the speed or video chops of the E-M1. What it does have is a much lower price: When paired with the 14-150mm kit lens, it costs just $999 — a savings of $500.
The Nikon D500 may just be the best crop-sensor DSLR on the market, offering excellent image quality from its 20-megapixel APS-C sensor, 10-frames-per-second burst shooting, fast autofocus, 4K video, and robust weather sealing. And right now, Nikon is selling it bundled with the MB-D17 battery grip and other accessories for $1,797– a savings of around $500. More, add the 16-80mm f/2.8-4 lens for a total of $2,400 — a savings of $940.
Sure, if you were looking for a good deal on just the body alone, you may be disappointed here. But if you’re ready to build up a kit, this is a good place to get started.
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is an “entry-level” full-frame DSLR, but that doesn’t mean it can’t produce great results. In a way, it’s the full-frame version of the popular EOS 80D, with a similar 45-point autofocus system, fully articulating touchscreen, and Dual Pixel Autofocus for fast focus in live view and video modes. And right now, you can pick it up with the BG-E21 battery grip and 24-105mm f/4L lens for just $2,200, $700 off the usual price.