The Best Time to Buy a Camera (Plus, How to Score a Deal Any Time)

However, there are still pockets of users who prefer the manual controls that only a dedicated camera can offer.

If you belong to this latter group, you're probably well aware that camera prices can run the whole gamut. You're also aware that camera deals don't get as much of the spotlight as say a 4K TV or shiny new laptop.

But if you play your cards right, you can score a fantastic camera for well below it's retail price. The trick is knowing when to strike. 

When are camera prices at their lowest?

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Unlike some manufacturers — which have seasonal or quarterly product announcements — camera manufacturers generally debut new cameras no more than twice a year. Many are announced during the Consumer Electronics Show, which occurs annually every January. These cameras make their way to retail and online shops by the spring, which in turn makes early spring a great time to find deals on previous generation camera models.

The second best time of year to buy a camera is during Black Friday season, which runs from November through December. Camera deals don't dominate the holiday season like TVs or laptops, but the sheer number of camera deals you'll find at the end of the year is noticeably higher than any other time of the year. You'll also find the most diverse mix of camera deals during this time frame, with discounts on standalone cameras, multi-lens camera body bundles, and camera gift card bundles.

Can you find camera deals anytime of the year?

With a little patience, it's possible to find good camera deals year-round. If you're shopping out of season, we recommend you look at camera specialty stores like B&H Photo Video and Adorama. In addition to being experts in the field, they also lead the way when it comes to camera discounts and promos.

Amazon and Best Buy also have reliable camera deals throughout the year, although Amazon doesn't traditionally shine a spotlight on their deals, which means shoppers have to dig a little harder to find those deals.

Finally, if you happen to catch a new camera announcement, rest assured that retailers will give the previous-gen model a significant price cut in  the coming days.

So whether you're looking for a slim, compact camera you can take on vacation, a multi-purpose mirrorless camera that can be used in various scenarios, or a DSLR for even better photos, rest assured in knowing that the right camera deal is always out there waiting to be found.

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor-in-chief at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets, appliances, and apparel. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. He's also always on the look out for the best coupon codes to use when shopping. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.