Here's The Best Time Of Year To Buy A New Camera

You may not think it if you aren't a photographer, but a high-quality camera can be a surprisingly big investment, with the really good ones going for around the same price as a new smartphone, if not more. It might seem strange to drop so much money on a device that, at least compared to a smartphone, only does one thing, but you have to remember that high-grade cameras are lovingly crafted to offer the highest-grade optical features and best possible fidelity. If you fancy yourself a shutterbug, you can't really go without it.

If such an investment is a bit too much to make at the drop of a hat, you can mitigate the cost a bit by shopping around. Much like telling a good joke, the secret to getting a fancy camera on the cheap is in the timing. Depending on the time of year you hunt for bargains, you may be able to find something that's usually a little harder to get, and potentially at a better price than you'd normally pay.

When are the best times?

Generally speaking, there are two times of year when you'll have a better shot at getting the camera that you want at a discount. Both of these times will sound kind of obvious, but there is some surprisingly consistent logic behind both.

The first time of year is right when a new camera releases to the public. Obviously, the precise time can vary wildly around the year, though as a frequent rule of thumb, many camera manufacturers will drop their new products around February after unveiling them at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. To clarify, we're not talking about buying the new camera, but rather older models. When new stuff comes out, older stuff typically gets discounted in an effort to clear out manufacturer stock and make room for the new. That's your golden opportunity.

The other major time of year for camera shopping is the winter holidays. As you may expect, you can find some pretty excellent deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but if you don't mind rolling the dice a bit, you can also try waiting for after Christmas in January. Once the actual holidays pass, manufacturers will usually discount whatever's leftover to get rid of it. You might not be able to secure the exact model you wanted if it was really popular, but if you shoot a little lower, you might just get lucky.