November 26, 2010, 9:46 AM — There are quite a few bargain-hunting strategies for Black Friday. For instance, earlier this week, Ian Paul rounded up some of the best Black Friday camera deals available, based on net savings. For the present list, however, I took a products-first approach: I made a list of some of PCWorld Labs' highest-rated cameras from the past couple of years, and then I tried to find the best deals being offered on them on Black Friday.
I used the excellent BFAds.net Website to scrounge up all of these bargains. Frequently, the best deals come in bundles: Many highly-rated DSLRs are being sold as package deals with multiple lenses, a memory card, carrying bags, and other accessories, and the price for the whole package will save you quite a bit in the long run.
Here are some of the sweetest deals around the Web and in stores on some of our top-rated DSLRs, interchangeable-lens compacts, pocket megazooms, and compact point-and-shoots. As always, read the fine print and call the store to ask for details before you camp out in line at the store. Sometimes, what looks like a terrific deal turns out to be a turkey.
Olympus PEN E-PL1 | Full review
The merchant: Staples
The Black Friday deal: $500 as a kit with a 14-42mm zoom lens, a backpack, a Corel editing suite, a $25 gift card, and $250 in coupons for Olympus accessories.
Price when released: $600 as a kit with a 14-42mm zoom lens.
Quite simply, the Olympus PEN E-PL1 is one of the best interchangeable-lens cameras we've seen for beginners. In addition to standard controls for aperture, shutter, and exposure settings, it offers on-screen guides in iAuto mode that teach you the ropes of using manual controls. The E-PL1's Diorama Mode art filter is especially fun to use, as it simulates the effects of a tilt-shift lens and make full-size buildings look like scale models.
Nikon D90 | Full review