Black Friday camera deals have just started to arrive, which is good news for anyone who’s looking to either treat themselves to a new model or wants to snap up something for a Christmas present. Below, you’ll find all of the discounts we’ve rooted out from the web.
This year, some of the best cameras for astrophotography have been discounted, with models like the Nikon D850 and the ever-popular Sony A7 III having their prices slashed. We’re also seeing savings on some of the best lenses for astrophotography, along with other accessories like tripods, batteries and memory cards. In brief, there are plenty of deals out there – but they are disappearing quite quickly, so do snap up discounts before they go.
Below are some of the best deals we can find on cameras from Nikon, Sony, Canon and others. We’ve also compiled some buying advice, along with a quick guide to some of the best cameras to look out for in the sales this year.
Looking for more deals? Check out our round-up of the best Black Friday deals for space fans, which includes everything from Lego to telescopes. Keen photographers might also be interested in our round-up of the best Black Friday drone deals.
Today’s best deals
Exactly what constitutes the best cameras for astrophotography is a matter of some debate. Some like a standard DSLR or mirrorless camera. Others prefer a camera that’s been modified for astro use, with its IR filter removed. Still more choose a dedicated astro or planetary camera that connects directly to a telescope, but which is no use for anything else.
What you choose depends on your budget, and the amount of astro imaging you think you’ll be doing. If you’ve got the time and patience to take multiple monochrome images of a deep space object through coloured filters, tracking it as it moves across the sky, and piecing the images back together afterwards in specialist software, then you can produce remarkable images, cloudy skies allowing. Then again, leaving the shutter open on an off-the-shelf camera with a fast lens attached for 30 seconds can also produce a remarkable view of the night sky that doesn’t necessarily look anything like what you saw with the naked eye due to the amount of faint light captured.
If you scroll down you’ll see some of our favorite cameras, to suit a range of budgets. These won’t all necessarily be discounted at the moment, but they will be displayed next to their lowest prices.
Canon EOS RP
The entry-level camera in Canon’s new mirrorless range, the RP offers a 26.2MP full frame sensor, 4K video, and access to Canon’s magnificent RF lens range.
It’s a smaller camera than many, but its size and weight (or lack of it) don’t stop it being well thought-out and very usable. Whether you’re looking for something to carry in your pocket with a small zoom attached, or something to mount on a tripod with a fast prime, the RP is a fine all-round choice. If you want a modified astro camera, a version of the RP’s older brother, the Ra, was discontinued in September 2021, so should still be available.
Canon EOS 850D/T8i
One of Canon’s smaller DSLRs, the T8i offers 24 megapixels in an APS-C sensor, 4K video, and has a tilting LCD touchscreen on the back. While it’s true that DSLRs are being nudged out of their traditional hunting grounds by mirrorless interlopers, they still have strengths such as optical viewfinders and longer battery life. The T8i has an excellent 45-point autofocus system and can bang away at 7fps for 170 fine JPEG images with tracking AF – easily enough to bag an action shot.
Despite being small, the T8i is compatible with Canon’s complete range of EF and EF-S lenses, which includes some excellent glass.
A 24.5MP full frame mirrorless camera, the Z6ii is proving popular with all kinds of photographers thanks to its ability to shoot continuously at 12FPS and take 4K video too. Its 273 AF points mean your images will always be in focus, while excellent high-ISO handling means you can shoot in the dark – all it lacks is a tilting touchscreen.
Nikon’s Z mount is new, and the lenses built for it can be expensive, but it’s also possible to use any of Nikon’s F-mount lenses via an adapter. Nikon’s Z cameras exhibit all the benefits mirrorless cameras have over DSLRs, including being light enough to attach to a telescope or star tracker easily. If you want to save a little money, the original Z6 is still available for a bargain price.
Well-known for being a beginner-friendly DSLR, the D3500 brings 24MP to the table via its APS-C sensor. Continuous shooting is 5FPS, and it can only manage 1080p video, but you get an enormous battery life and access to all the F-mount lenses.
What the D3500 excels in is user friendliness. It’s ideal for beginners who want to get a firm grounding in the PASM modes without having to comb for days through the menus to find a particular setting. Being APS-C, you’re able to use the smaller, lighter lenses designed specifically for the format, as well as their full-frame brothers and sisters.
It may have been replaced by the Z6ii, but there’s no need to feel down about the original Z6. It was hugely popular for a reason. You get in-body stabilisation, an excellent 12FPS burst rate, and enough resolution for making large prints. Video features are excellent too, with 4K oversampled from the 6K produced by the sensor, and touchscreen controls.
The ISO dial goes up to 204,800 on its expanded setting, and can produce a usable image from 12,800 – it’s right at the forefront of high-ISO noise reduction, and the results are remarkable.
High speed cameras tend, at least before mirrorless wonders like the EOS R5 came along, to be slower. So this 45MP monster from Nikon busted the trend, allowing you to blaze away at 9FPS and at full resolution, dropping to 8MP and an electronic shutter for 30FPS capture. There are a few caveats though: you’ll need the optional battery grip to hit the highest speed, and the buffer fills after just 51 shots, placing a lot of importance on fast memory cards to clear it quickly.
The sensor lacks an anti-aliasing filter for optimum sharpness, meaning you’ll want only the best lenses too. However, if you can meet its demands, the D850 is one of the most capable DSLRs on the market today.
Sony A7R IV a
The A7 models are a little self-contained family of cameras, and the A7R IVa is its king. A whopping 60MP full frame sensor and an AF system that sticks to its target like glue means that, with the right lens (and the right person behind it) the camera is capable of some highly impressive images. The high megapixel count also means you can crop into your images tightly without losing too much quality.
It has its drawbacks – you can’t shoot at anything other than 60MP, for example, so processing can take some time – but with 10FPS shooting, 4K video, and five-stop integrated image stabilisation, this is a mighty photographic tool.
The ‘a’ designation here doesn’t mean it’s a dedicated astro camera like Canon’s EOS Ra, but refers to a slightly updated body with a better LCD screen resolution and USB 3.2 connectivity instead of the slower 3.1. The older version is still available from some dealers, as are the rest of the family: A7 IV (34MP), A7 Compact (26MP), A7S III (12MP), and the older A7R III (42.4MP).
Compact yet packed with features, the A6100’s APS-C sensor means the body and lenses can be smaller and lighter, making for a camera it’s easy to carry with you. It may be Sony’s entry-level mirrorless camera, but it doesn’t feel like it. You get 24.2 megapixels, 4K video, a 3.5mm microphone input, and Sony’s excellent tracking autofocus with 425 points.
What you don’t get is sensor-shift image stabilisation, but the decent burst speed of 11FPS and the tilting touchscreen, plus full wireless connectivity, make up for this single omission, especially given the price.
Sony A7 III
An older model, having been released in early 2018, but a dependable all-rounder, the Sony A7 III has enough sensor resolution for most people, and a fast enough burst rate too. One of its major selling points is its excellent autofocus system, which remains unbeaten by subsequent releases.
Unfortunately for Sony, there are plenty of rivals breathing down the A7 III’s neck. Some of these come from Sony itself, in the form of other A7 family cameras, while others, such as the Canon EOS R6 and Nikon Z6II, come from names steeped in photographic history. Any Black Friday deals on the A7 III should be looked into with keen interest, however, as the E-mount lens range is becoming formidable, and the image quality it produces is hard to beat.