Yes, you do need a standalone camera
Anyone who wants halfway decent quality in their photos shouldn't rely only on their smartphone camera.
Close-ups, moving images… let me count the ways we all still need a real camera.
Even the scads of sub-$100 point-and-shoot digital cameras you’ll see in stores starting Thursday night (the real start of Black Friday) can do a better job than your phone.
Click ahead for some higher-end doorbusters you’ll want to check out.
Best Buy: Nikon Coolpix S9050, $130 (reg. $260)
Model: S9050, Silver
This easy-to-use 12.1MP digital camera has decent image quality and is essentially a 15X optical zoom version of the Nikon Coolpix S9300.
The Nikon Coolpix S9050 sports a CMOS sensor for low-light situations, image stabilization, 1080p video, and a 3-inch LCD screen.
It’s a doorbuster item, which means Best Buy only has it in limited quantities, there are no rain checks, and they’re handing out tickets to people standing in line up to two hours before the store opens at 12 a.m. Friday—the tickets guarantee you’ll get one so there’s no need for pushing and shoving.
Target: Canon EOS Rebel T3 bundle, $500 (reg. $750)
The Canon EOS Rebel T3 is a Black Friday darling with retailers but this year Target and Sam’s Club are the stores that have the best bundles. Along with the Canon DSLR camera body and 18-55mm lens, you get a 75-300mm zoom lens, a 4GB SDHC card and a Canon camera bag.
This is a great gift for DSLR first-timers—Canon’s T3 offers excellent image quality, and the extra lenses, card and camera bag give entry-level DSLR users everything they need to get started.
Target’s Black Friday sale starts at 9 p.m. on Turkey Day. Sam’s Club opens at 7 a.m. Friday, but only for members.
Kohl’s: Polaroid 21X zoom, $150 (reg. $300)
Models: Red -IS2132-RED-KHL, Black-IS132-BLK-KHL
This 16MP Polaroid digital camera features HD video, 21X-optical zoom and 84X-enhanced optical zoom, a SD card slot, a 3-inch display screen as well as face auto-exposure and blink detection.
To sweeten the pot, Kohl’s is giving customers $15 dollars in “Kohl’s Cash” for every $50 they spend. (Technically, this deal is one cent short of $150 so you’ll have to grab a pair of socks or a lint roller to score the full $45 in store credit.)
Best Buy: Nikon D7000 bundle, $1250 (reg. $2050)
The 16.2MP Nikon D7000 is a digital SLR camera that delivers impressive image quality and includes some features that would otherwise only be found on professional-level cameras.
The kit comes with an 18-105mm lens as well as a 55-300mm zoom lens, a free 32GB memory card, and a free camera bag. Not only is this bundle an excellent deal, the Canon EOS Rebel T3 is a good option for DSLR first-timers, especially with the large-capacity SD card and two lenses thrown in.
Best Buy opens at 12 a.m. Friday.
Target: Canon A3400 bundle, $90 (reg. $160)
This deal includes a 16MP Canon A3400 camera with 5X zoom, an SD card and a carrying case.
While this is a simple point-and-shoot camera, Canon’s A-series compact cams have great image quality for the price. If you want this bundle, you’d better hurry back to Target’s electronics department Friday between 4 a.m. to noon, the window of time it will be on sale. After that, or maybe before, you’ll be out of luck.
Walmart: Nikon Coolpix S3200, $69 (reg. $180)
This slim 16MP Nikon Coolpix compact camera with 6X optical zoom might just be the best deal going, especially since the only other places you'll find it are at online retailers such as Buy.com or eBay for around $180.
Get it at Walmart starting at 10 p.m. Thursday night. (Walmart runs its Black Friday deals in staggered time blocks, which start at 8 p.m. Thursday.)
Staples: Canon PowerShot, $80 (reg. $140)
Staples is throwing in a free 8GB SD card (worth $10) with this PowerShot A2300, bringing your total value saved even higher.
This affordable Canon compact recognizes 32 shooting situations and automatically picks the correct settings for what you’re trying to do. It also takes 720p HD movies with the touch of a button, sports a 16MP image sensor, a 2.7-inch color LCD as well as 5X optical zoom with a 28mm wide angle lens.
Best Buy and Walmart: Nikon D3000 with two lenses and more, $450 (reg. $800)
This valuable Nikon bundle is only available in limited quantities so if you’re worried about missing out you might try Walmart first—it will start selling this deal at 10 p.m. Thursday, which is two hours before Best Buy.
Here’s what you’ll get: The 10.2MP Nikon DSLR and two lenses—a 19-55mm and a 55-200mm zoom—plus an 8GB memory card, two instructional videos and a camera bag. This is an excellent entry-level DSLR body with a lot of value-adding options.
Shopko: Fujifilm AX550 Bundle, $50 (reg. $120)
Good luck finding a cheaper point-and-shoot camera that doesn’t feel like a toy, especially considering it comes with a 4GB SD card and a case.
For no-frills, straight-up photos this 16MP camera with 5X zoom and a 2.7-inch screen does the trick. In a twist, the Fujifilm AX550 takes two regular AA batteries, which you might find convenient.
This is a doorbuster item, so if you want it, make sure to get to Shopko by 9 p.m. Thursday, when the store’s Black Friday sale begins.
Target: Nikon Coolpix L310, $100 (reg. $200)
Model: L310 (Store Number 056-10-0930)
This one is a steal—in fact, Target says it’s the lowest you’ve ever seen this 14.1MP point-and-shoot digital camera.
In addition to mighty fine photos for the price, it shoots 720p HD video and boasts a 21X zoom lens. Not only that, the Nikon Coolpix L310 runs on four AA batteries, which is a good feature for travelers who don’t want to keep recharging.
Don’t forget, Target opens at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, so if you want this limited quantity item, you might trot out directly after you wake up from your post-turkey-dinner nap.
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