The 5 Best Black Friday Camera Deals of 2015

by William Brawley

We’ve been hard at work compiling an absolutely massive list of all the Black Friday camera deals we’ve come across this holiday season. There’s a ton of deals, and the list is constantly changing as pre-holiday deals arrive and expire and new deals pop up. But, is the list perhaps too exhaustive? Uncertain how to spend your hard-earned cash this Friday?

We’ve put together a quick list of our five favorite Black Friday camera deals of 2015. Not only are these deals impressive, they are also cameras we’ve tested, thoroughly enjoy and are impressed with. So, without further ado, here’s our top 5:

#0. Not even a Black Friday Deal: The Crazy Deal of the Year!

Wait, hold on a sec, we’ll get to our Top 5 Black Friday camera deals in a moment, but first we just had to point out what we’re calling the “Crazy Deal of the Year.” While not a Black Friday deal — heck, it’s just the everyday price —  the Olympus E-PL6 with a 14-42mm Kit is selling for just $299. Yes, $300, and that’s its regular street price these days! The E-PL6 is kind of a sleeper hit within Olympus’s PEN series. Originally released only for the European and Asian markets, it eventually made its way Stateside. Sporting many of the same specs as the E-PL5, it does offer some new software-based improvements like expanded Low ISO 100 and timelapse movie mode, and now it’s available for a crazy-low price! If you’re looking for the best possible deal on a great entry-level interchangeable-lens camera, this is it!

(Reader “But here’s an even better deal” in the comments thread below pointed us to a deal from Samy’s Camera in Los Angeles, on the Pentax K-S1, that’s even crazier. The page doesn’t display a price (edit: As of now, it does), but if you add it to your shopping cart, you’ll see that it’s $299, with a $100 mail-in rebate! That’s for a very feature-rich DSLR, with an APS-C sensor and 20.2 megapixels of resolution. We haven’t tested the K-S1, but the K-S2 did very well, so we have no reason to believe that there’s anything wrong with the K-S1’s image quality. It’s clearly one heckuva deal. The catch? We’re sure it’ll be a non-issue for many people, but we suspect a big part of why this camera is on fire-sale clearance is the incredibly obtrusive blinky-light LEDs embedded in the grip (and its generally gaudy “hip” styling). As noted, we haven’t had one in the lab to test, so we’re going from memory from when we had hands-on with it at a trade show when it first came out. It may even be possible to turn off the LEDs, but we just really didn’t like the styling. At all. But we’re a bunch of stick-in-the-mud classicists when it comes to camera styling, so the K-S1 might be just your cup of tea. If you’re a little more modern in your tastes than we are, check it out; if you’re OK with the design, it probably does qualify as the craziest camera deal of all time :-)

Ok, now on with the Black Friday list…


Black Friday Camera Deal #1.
Canon SL1 2-Lens Bundle with PIXMA Pro-100 Printer & Shoulder Bag

$399 after instant and mail-in rebates (compare to $1,099)

Chalk it up to Black Friday, this is a pretty insane deal. The Canon SL1 is a couple of years old now, but is an absolutely great little camera! It’s super-compact, takes great pictures, and sports a nice range of features. Here’s the kicker, though: This deal includes the 18-55mm kit lens, and a 75-300mm telephoto zoom lens, and a Canon PIXMA Pro-100 printer and a 50-pk of photo paper.

This is a LOT of gear for a seriously LOW price! Not only do you get an excellent, super-compact APS-C Canon DSLR with two zoom lenses, you also get a highly-regarded, professional Canon photo printer, a 50-pack of 13 x 19 photo paper and a Canon shoulder bag. The Canon PIXMA Pro-100 is the printer we use in-house, for making comparison prints from our test shots. Excellent print quality, smooth, reliable operation, and a just insane deal, when bundled with the camera and two lenses here.

Hmm… A camera, two lenses and a printer for $399? Maybe this should be the crazy deal of the year? Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Read our Canon SL1 Review for more details.


Black Friday Camera Deal #2.
Fujifilm X-T10 with 18-55mm & 55-200mm Lenses Kit

$1,399 (compare to $1,799)

Fuji’s really made waves with their mirrorless line, built around their phenomenal X-Trans sensor technology. The new, easier-to-use and smaller Fuji X-T10 is a high quality, stylish camera that captures great images. And now, paired with two of Fuji higher-end XF-series zoom lens — the 18-55 f/2.8-4 OIS and 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 OIS lenses, you have a very capable, high-performance kit, all for a solid $400 discount.

This is really a pretty premium setup for an excellent price. Fuji does a particularly good job with their lenses; despite the fact that these are what might be called “kit” lenses, they’re really high-grade optics. The 18-55mm is very sharp wide open across its focal length range, with low distortion and vignetting, and chromatic aberration that only creeps up in the corners at the wide angle end. For its part, the 55-200mm is sharp from corner to corner, with almost zero distortion, extremely low vignetting and very low chromatic aberration. If you’re looking for a great camera with high-quality optics at an affordable price point, this Black Friday deal for the X-T10 with its two-lens kit has you covered, from wide angle to a very decent telephoto focal length.

Read our Fuji X-T10 Review for more details.


Black Friday Camera Deal#3
Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm & 55-200mm VR Lenses

$396.95 (compare to $876.95)

Though it’s been supplanted by the Nikon D3300, the Nikon D3200 is still a really excellent, capable camera. In fact, we were so impressed by it, we awarded it our 2013 Entry-Level Interchangeable Lens Camera of the Year! With a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, the D3200 is still one of the highest resolution crop-sensor cameras on the market, and is just a pleasure to use. Bundled with two zooms, this kit is altogether compact, versatile and extremely affordable. This is by far the most affordable way to gain entry to Nikon’s whole system. If you’re a Nikon shooter, this would be an ideal gift for your spouse/significant other, child, relative, or anyone else you love enough to give the gift of Nikon ?

Read our Nikon D3200 Review for more details.


Black Friday Camera Deal #4
Panasonic GX8 body-only

$997.99 (compare to $1,197.99)

Panasonic’s newest rangefinder-esque mirrorless camera sports the highest resolution Four Thirds sensor ever at 20.3-megapixels, and takes the reins as their flagship GX model. Like a Swiss Army Knife, the GX8 has tons of features, including a new “Dual I.S.” 5-axis stabilization system, 4K video recording and better high ISO performance just to name a few. We haven’t quite wrapped up our review of it yet, but have been just super-impressed with this beauty. If you’re into the Micro Four Thirds system for its compactness and excellent range of high-quality lenses, this is a great deal on a really fantastic body!

Read our Panasonic GX8 Review for more details.


Black Friday Camera Deal #5
Sony A6000 body-only “Deluxe Bundle”

$398 (compare to $648)

Includes Sony 16GB Class 10 UHS-1 SD card, Case Logic camera bag and Wasabi Power 2-pack Battery & Charger

The Sony A6000 has more or less dominated our top-cameras list ever since it was announced, and for good reason! Affordable from the get-go (and now even more so), the A6000’s image quality is very impressive and its performance nimble. It’s comfortable yet compact ergonomics plus a built-in EVF has made it a hit with both beginners and enthusiasts. This “Deluxe Bundle” Black Friday camera deal from Amazon sweetens the pie by tossing in a number of free accessories and extras. Given our test results, our readers overwhelming response to it, and the surely hundreds of thousands of them Sony’s sold, this is a pretty safe bet, this Black Friday.

Read our Sony A6000 Review for more details.


BONUS: Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7

$99 (compare to $249.99)

Okay, I know we said “Top 5,” but reader “Turbofrog” alerted us to this incredibly low price for the brand-new Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 lens. Normally selling for a still-affordable $250, this lens can now be yours for just $99! Alongside the wider 20mm f/1.7 and longer 42.5mm f/1.7, this 50mm-equivalent lens is the third in their recent “affordable f/1.7” family, and offers a classic focal length and bright aperture all in a package that’s just a hair over two inches long and just shy of two and a half inches in diameter. While not a macro, it also focuses down to a surprisingly close 25cm / 9.8 inches. Here’s your chance to get a very nice Micro Four Thirds equivalent to the traditional “Nifty Fifty”, at an amazing, Black-Friday price!

Read more about the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 here.