Black Friday / Cyber Monday – how to make sense out of it, during shopping (your 1st DSLR)

What if you’re not satisfied with your smartphone photos, or have a once-in-a-lifetime trip planned to perfection, which you want to immortalize as best as you can with more serious photography, upgrade your hobby collection etc…there’s a camera for everyone out there.

If you are ready to enter next year with really creative ideas with your photography, then a DSLR is pretty much the first choice, offering a great blend of supreme image quality and polished performance options.

I will try to focus on simple solutions which can be described as enthusiast’s budget friendly components. Certainly there is going to be some extraordinary deals out there (in a few days) but don’t fall for the first big and loud add or paid commercial bubble on social networks.

So before you confirm your order, let’s take a closer look on details regarding equipment that is possible to appear during these few days. In that way you can easily pick your gear.

You will make the final decision before 24th & 27th November…

First of all, we must mention some rudimentary groups of photography devices: DSLRs, Compacts, Bridge Cameras, Mirrorless etc…


DSLRs are the top choice in photography usage.

With polished performance, durability and ruggedness and above all quality photo output with creative freedom to change lenses etc. we are coming to conclusion that you can really build your system out of these choices.


Compacts are made in plethora of shapes and sizes. Before smartphones those were the pocket-friendly cameras for fast snap&shoot situations. Nowadays, compacts are fighting difficult battle with smartphones, with some of models that have undeniably better quality photos.

When we compare compacts with DSLRs, the quality gap in photos is smaller yet there are few very expensive models that can parry sophisticated DSLR devices, like Canon G7 X Mark II.

Bridge cameras

Bridge cameras (aka SuperZoomer) comes closer to DSLR range of usability with larger lenses and off-shoot specs.  Bridge cameras work in much the same as any other digital camera that doesn’t use a DSLR-style mirror box mechanism. Bridge cameras were the first to introduce a tilting and swivelling rear monitor, which has over the past two years begun to also feature on CSCs and DSLRs.  Aside from that whopper of a lens, permanently attached to he body of camera, you basically own powered up point and shoot compact. Still it’s all-in-one solution.


Mirrorless cameras (aka CSC) are somewhat similar with DSLRs on the point where you can swap lenses, make fine calibration of system and interface…but they lack the ‘mirror’ from the DSLRs. That doesn’t mean that they will have subpar performance. No, that relates only with their size (much smaller), the absence of optical viewfinder and use of high quality screen instead. I personally use viewfinder a lot on DSLR. It makes me closer to the frame, and it lowers a lot battery consumption.

Some key features to follow

Image quality – Instantly I must mention what else then DSLRs & Mirrorless cameras.

With large sensors and Hi-Quality components, the huge DSLRs resolutions cannot be compared with compact camera packaging, with the ‘same’ 18, 24MP resolutions.

It’s not a gimmick but it’s not comparable either.

The large sensors in DSLR & Mirrorless cameras are having much better light-gathering, detail and responsiveness specs.

Some very expensive compact cameras can come closer to DSLR quality but you must ask yourself it is worth your money.

Viewfinder – As I mentioned above, all DSLRs have viewfinder, which are (personally) better for composing the shot. Mirrorless (CSC) cameras are offering Electronic (EFV) viewfinder, which on one side has flaw of draining your battery faster but it offers more accurate frame visibility and overall, final photo frame size.

Video –  Yes, something is very strange about this point, regarding modern photo equipment.
Throughout the years, middle-high class of cameras had only 1080p (full HD) resolution. Most of those cameras can capture that resolution as highest setting. Now you are probably asking yourself how come my smartphone captures 4K and this big stuff doesn’t?! it is mind-boggling for me too. Usually mirrorless cameras and high end compacts can deliver 2/4K but I would still stick to clarity of DSLRs FullHD.

Connectivity – while wireless transfer is considered a standard (for fast uploading to social networks or computers) Some models still doesn’t pack that feature. Take a good look on the specs of every camera you are planning to buy. There is possibility that some models without up-to-date connectivity modules could be much cheaper to buy.


Most important piece of whole camera are lenses. Look for bundle that comes with lens, because sometimes it doesn’t. Yes, there is a fact that in most cases those ‘Kit’ lenses are pretty much the lowest quality possible. On other hand, I kept my Canon kit lens 18-55 that is still very much usable in daylight conditions. They are inexpensive and robust, very reliable on the long run and even better for novice users to learn how to handle that piece of equipment. It’s still better than nothing, right?!

Just be aware that some of those lenses comes in various models like stabilized, non-stabilized etc. (for Canon look for mark IS, and VR for Nikon). It is good if you can buy that stabilized kit lens just to avoid shake of any kind during shooting.

Entry level class & deal breakers

Sometimes these Friday/Monday offers are mostly focused on beginners and savvy enthusiast’s, rarely professionals.

For example, in the Nikon corner there can be something like D3300 model, replaced by D3400 (with some Wi-Fi & Bluetooth upgrades). If you’re a beginner, this is the deal breaker. This device is neatly packing 24MP sensor and easy-to-undestand interface…

In the opposite corner there is Canon, which never fails to surprise with price range models.
EOS 750 (Rebel T6i in USA) is one model that I’m guessing will have unbeatable price-value package since it’s been replaced by EOS 800. There is nothing to add more since the latter one has almost the same specs as the aforementioned EOS 750 and that is quite a power pack (Wi-Fi module, vari-angle screen, NFC as well).

Mid-Range class

If you have DSLR camera already, this class is probably just for you. In case you need to upgrade from beginner model to something more advanced. Let’s say Nikon D7500 or even D7200 with 39 point AF system.

Canon can follow with EOS 7D MarkII, 20 frames per second controlled by 65-point AF system.


Let me be blunt about this…go4it. Even though we probably all know that top gear merchandise will not be equally discounted with the rest of entry-mid-range models. Much less. Therefore it will suit the budget of many. No reason not to, right?!

Maybe some suggestions come in handy, from each class?

  • Panasonic Lumix ZS100 – Compact
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II – Mirrorless
  • Panasonic G80 – Mirrorless (probably best one under 1.000$)
  • Nikon D610 – full-frame DSLR
  • Canon EOS 70D – APS-C DSLR
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 – Bridge Ultra zoom
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 –  Bridge Ultra zoom
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 – Compact
  • Sony WX350 – Compact with great price/value
  • Canon G7 X – Compact SLR quality
  • Fujifilm X70 – Compact SLR
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