Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 sales in Australia: the best camera deals

Whatever your photography needs – whether you want to step away from smartphone photography (iPhonography?) or want to upgrade your old compact camera to a DSLR, need a new snapper for an upcoming vacation or whether you’ve decided to go pro – there’s a camera out there for everyone.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday here, it’s the perfect time to find the kit that suits you best, with plenty of savings to boot.

Listed below are the best camera deals you can find on over the Cyber Weekend sales. If, however, you haven't found what you're looking for, scroll down to the page and find out what you need to look for when shopping around for a new shooter.

Best camera deals on Black Friday  2017

Sony RX100 III compact camera ($848; save $250): It might be a couple of generations old, but the RX100 III is still a darn good compact shooter that fits perfectly into a pocket. It boasts an electronic viewfinder (EVF), a great lens and a superb sensor. If you’re not that big on 4K video capture, this is a great little shooter, plus there’s $200 to be saved on Sony’s website. So snag yourself a Sony RX100 III for $848, down from $1,099.

Sony RX100 V compact camera ($1,348; save $351): The latest in the RX100 lineup of Sony compact cameras is the best of the lot. With a built-in electronic viewfinder, an impressive autofocus system that can match a mirrorless or DSLR camera, the RX100 V produces excellent images and records 4K video. It carries a hefty price tag, but this is your chance to save $351 on the Sony RX100 V with the shooter on sale for $1,348.

Sony Alpha a7R II mirrorless camera ($3,185; save $1,314 + bonus $500 gift card): With a 42MP backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor producing some amazing high-resolution images, you can print your photos to any size you want without a single thought. Plus it’s fast and feature-packed, with a sharp AF system. What makes this camera even more enticing is the whopping $1,314 saving. So if you’ve been looking for a brand-new shooter, give the Sony Alpha a7R II a consideration for $3,185. And when purchased before January 31, you can register your claim on Sony’s site to receive an bonus $500 gift card to spend, perhaps, on a G-Masters series lens.

Sony HD 1080p action cam ($199, save $100): For those who love to capture everyday moments, this little handycam from Sony is perfect, especially given it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. It comes with an underwater housing, so take it with you on your next snorkelling adventure or just film the kids growing up and watch it back in 1080p resolution. The Sony HD 1080p action cam is only $199, saving you $100 on the usual RRP of $299.

Olympus E-M10 Mk II single 14042mm EZ lens kit ($678; save 15%): With a compact and stylish body and coming kitted out with a 14-42mm lens, this interchangeable lens mirrorless camera in Olympus’ OM-D range is an excellent choice for prosumer photographers. You can read our E-M10 MK II review to find out just why we like it so much. And, for Black Friday, you can save plenty on this cool little shooter by heading to The Good Guys and applying the code BFCAMERA at checkout and snagging the E-M10 Mark II single lens kit for $678, down from $789.

GoPro Hero5 Black 4K action camera ($399, save $70): GoPro has become synonymous with action cameras and, as a company, has listened to its fans, coming out with some of the best rugged, go-anywhere cams on the market today. The GoPro Hero5 Black is a sturdy little camera that shoots 4K videos at 30fps and 12MP still images. You can save $70 if you grab it from JB Hi-Fi, so get yourself the GoPro Hero5 Black for only $399.

How to find the best camera deals

Given that there’s so much choice out there, with cameras available in every budget, it can be quite overwhelming when deciding on a purchase. That’s where the TechRadar team comes in – we tell you what features to look for in a camera so you can make the right decision when shopping during the Black Friday sales.

Compact vs Bridge vs Mirrorless vs DSLR

As a starting point, it’s important to figure out what type camera you’re looking for. Cameras today come in four different types: compacts, bridge cameras, mirrorless or compact system cameras (CSCs) and DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex cameras).

Compact cameras are a dime a dozen, coming in all shapes and sizes. They’ve had it tough lately, what with smartphones giving them a run for their money, but manufacturers are fighting back. There are plenty of compacts now that have excellent sensors that produce great images – some even rivalling DSLRs – while packing a plethora of creative features to make your photos pop straight out of camera.

Bridge cameras are like compacts, just resembling DSLRs in their body design and with larger zoom lenses. They are still, however, an all-in-one solution.

Mirrorless cameras are lighter versions of DSLRs, in that they use interchangeable lenses. They do, however, lack the bulk and weight of a DSLR as they come sans the internal mirror box – meaning they use optical viewfinders either.

DSLRs have traditionally been the purview of the enthusiasts and professionals, or anyone looking to get serious about their photography skills. DSLR cameras offer the best image quality with a very polished shooting experience. Manufacturers offer a plethora of lenses to choose from, alongside other accessories like filters.

Key camera features to look for

It’s not just the number of cameras flooding the market that can be overwhelming, the spec sheet for each is just as confusing. So ease your way into making the right choice, we’ve picked the most important features you need to look for when buying a camera.

1. Pictures speak a thousand words: Mirrorless and DSLRs typically have larger sensors, thus offering the best image quality. Just because a compact camera comes packing a 24MP resolution sensor, doesn’t mean it can match the picture quality of a 24MP DSLR. It’s the physical dimensions of the sensor that makes the difference – larger the sensor, better the light-gathering capabilities, sharper the details on the image (especially at higher sensitivities). That said, you shouldn’t discount compact cameras. Some premium models, like the Sony RX100 V, offer 1-inch sensors which, despite being physically smaller, offer superior image quality. Cheaper compact cameras often come packing sensors that are smaller than a fingernail and deliver less-than-satisfying photos.

2. To viewfinder or not to viewfinder: The benefit of having a viewfinder on a camera is it shows you exactly how an image is being framed. Optical viewfinders on DSLRs are typically some of the best you can find, but the electronic viewfinders (or EVFs) that are part of the mirrorless camera kit are now so good, they’re able to match optical viewfinder performance. These days, some compacts and bridge cameras also feature EVFs, but usually have lower resolutions, meaning you could experience some lag. In our experience, however, a camera with an EVF is better than one without a viewfinder.

3. Shooting 4K video: If you’re after capturing 4K video, then mirrorless is the way to go. Most DSLRs, with the odd exception, only feature 1080p video capture. Some premium compacts and bridge cameras, however, also offer 4K shooting capabilities.

4. Staying connected: A lot of new models, be it compacts or DSLRs, support some of wireless transfer, making it relatively easy to share images amongst your handheld devices or upload to social media directly. Most older models that are still brilliant options could well be heavily discounted come Black Friday, so if wireless connectivity is important, make sure you check the spec sheet for the camera before purchase.