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Best Black Friday camera deals 2021 — early sales and what to expect

Three cameras against a blue background. A label with white text on a blue background reads "Tom's Guide Black Friday"
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best Black Friday camera deals will be with us very soon, so if you're on the lookout for a new DSLR, mirrorless, point-and-shoot, instant or action camera, you're in the right place.

We expect killer Black Friday deals on cameras from all of the big names in photography: Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic and more. And if previous years are anything to go by, there'll be plenty of great sales on lenses and accessories too.

Whether you're looking for your first serious camera or just want something cheap to use on a weekend away, there's sure to be a great Black Friday camera deal for you. And the good news is, you don't even need to wait until the big day itself, because there are already some tasty sales available. Read on to see what we've found.

Early Black Friday camera deals

Nikon Z5

Nikon Z5 (body only): was $1,399 now $1,299 @ Best Buy
The Z5 is one of Nikon's best mirrorless cameras, offering a 24.3MP full-frame sensor plus built-in image stabilization and a fast and accurate 273-point autofocus system. There's (cropped) 4K video, too, plus handy features such as dual SD card slots and full weather sealing. This Best Buy deal knocks $100 off the list price.

Panasonic GH5

Panasonic GH5 (body only) was $1,599 now $1,299 @ Best Buy
Though Panasonic has now released the GH5 II, the original GH5 remains an excellent mirrorless camera that excels with video. Its 20.3MP micro four thirds sensor serves up plenty of detail and there are plenty of video treats such as 4:2:2 10-bit 4K recording. The GH5 II costs around $400 more, making this a bit of a steal.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera Bundle

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera Bundle was $79 now $69 @ Best Buy
Fujifilm's Instax Mini 11 is regularly seen among the best Black Friday camera deals and this sale brings it down to the levels we saw in last year's event. You get Fuji's charming instant camera in either sky blue or lilac purple, plus a pack of Instax film that's good for 10 shots, a photo clip holder and ideas booklet. You can also get it without the bundled items for $59.  

Sony ZV-1

Sony ZV-1 was $798 now $695 @ Walmart
The Sony ZV-1 is aimed squarely at vloggers and YouTubers, and does a very good job of serving them. That's thanks to features such as a flip-out 3-inch touchscreen, directional 3-capsule mic and the clever Product Showcase Setting, which expertly switches focus from face to product. This deal slashes $103 off the list price.

Panasonic Lumix GX85

Panasonic Lumix GX85 w/2 lenses was $999 now $599 @ Best Buy
The GX85 is getting a little old now, but its attractive rangefinder-style body hasn't dated at all and its specs still compete with far more modern models. There's 4K video, for instance, plus in-body stabilization and a sharp 16MP micro four thirds sensor. And the price is certainly right: $599 for a kit with both 12-32mm and 45-150mm lenses will give you all you need to start snapping away. 

Manfrotto Compact Advanced Smart 65" Tripod

Manfrotto Compact Advanced Smart 65" Tripod was $99 now $79 @ Best Buy
Every photographer needs a tripod and Manfrotto makes some of the best. This 65-inch aluminum model has a quick-release plate so you can swiftly add or remove your camera, plus two levers for adjusting the angle. Also comes with a carrying case.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB SDXC UHS-I Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB SDXC UHS-I Memory Card was $34 now $22 @ Best Buy
You can never have too many SD cards, and if your camera is capable of fast burst shooting or 4K video then you'll want a card that can keep up with it. The 64GB card from SanDisk's Extreme PRO range has a read speed of 95MB/sec and a minimum write speed of 30MB/sec, meaning it'll capture everything you want it to.

Black Friday camera deals — what to expect in 2021

Black Friday cameras deals are a mainstay of the holidays, with many models seeing hefty discounts. Kit deals, in particular, are well worth looking out for — you'll often see packages with one or two lenses bundled in, plus accessories such as bags and SD cards, for a super-low price.

The biggest savings are usually to be found at the top end; last year, we saw an incredible $2400 off the Canon EOS 5DS and $800 off the Sony a7R II. That's good news if you're looking to buy a high-resolution full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera, particularly if you don't mind a model that's a year or two out of date.

In fact, that's our first bit of advice: don't only look for deals on the newest products. Camera tech doesn't change as quickly as, say, smartphones, and a full-frame camera from a few years back will still take amazing photos. With that in mind, we'll be hoping for some discounts on anything from the Sony A7 range, or perhaps Canon's RP, R5 or R6.

If you'd prefer a mid-range shooter with an APSC or micro four thirds sensor, look out for deals on Olympus' OMD EM-1, EM-5 or EM-10 mirrorless cams, Nikon's Z5, or Fujifilm's X-T3. The X-T3, for example, has been superseded by the X-T4, but it remains a superb mid-range camera with wonderful handling and a beautiful colors.

At the cheaper end of the scale, we saw a lot of deals last year on instant cameras, while if action is more your thing then keep an eye out for GoPro deals; the GoPro Hero10 Black arrived recently, so the Hero9 could well see some discounts this Black Friday.

And of course the best Black Friday camera deals also offer the perfect opportunity to pick up some new lenses or accessories. There's certainly no better time to buy an SD card — and though it might not be the most exciting purchase, it's something all photographers need.

When will Black Friday camera deals begin in 2021?

Black Friday falls on Friday, November 26. However, Black Friday camera deals will start way before then, with November 1 marking the point at which sales really ramp up. If you're determined to bag yourself a big bargain this Black Friday you'll want to bookmark this page and also our main Black Friday deals hub, to make sure you don't miss out.

Marc McLaren

As U.K. Editor in Chief on Tom’s Guide, Marc is responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output as well as overseeing all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage. He previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, games and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun, and on a car magazine. An avid photographer, Marc likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). When he gets time, he also enjoys gaming (console and mobile), cycling and attempting to watch as much sport as any human can (particularly cricket).