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By: Hoan K. Trinh

Everyone wants a good deal and luckily, in the world of electronic, the prices usually drop as time goes on.  Now the question is when is it the best time to buy a camera?  Now, I can only speak from my own experiences so do keep in mind that this is not the gospel, but it can give you guideline as to when there is a good deal out there.  Also keep in mind that price also fluctuate so you should really keep an eye out on the market for a while since good deals doesn’t always last.

So when is the ideal time to buy a camera?

The best time to buy a camera is shortly (not right after) after the announcement of the replacement model of that particular camera that you have been eyeing to shortly after the actual release of the replacement model (don’t wait too long after the release).   For example, the Nikon D4 has just been announced, but it will it not be available in stores until February 16 ( a few places has been sold out with pre-ordered).  Since the D4 is a replacement model of the D3s, I expect the retail price of the D3s to start dropping shortly after the announcement of the D4 until probably a couple of months after the actual release of the D4.  After that, there will be no more brand spanking new D3s on the market so it will be tough to a get a really good deal out of them.  The reason for this price drop is simple, people know that the new model of the camera is coming out so they are going to wait for the new model.  The store want to clear their shelves for the new model, and owners of the previous model will flood the market with their previous generation which bring down the worth of that model.   Since technological advancement between camera model is usually quite gigantic, the serious photographers will most likely upgrade.  While I used the Nikon D3s and D4 as an example, this phenomenon occurred with every single model of camera.  Probably more so with DSLR than point and shoot though as people don’t really follow point and shoot model as much.  So in short, if you want to buy a cheap camera, wait until they announce the new model.

The second best opportunity to buy a camera is slightly less define but it is a good tip as far as when to look through the market for good deals on camera.  The worst time to look for deals on camera equipment is when it is first released since the whole world will be clamoring over it.  However, the prices are not always the lowest at the end of a camera model’s life either.  Sometimes, the price is the best when midway through the cycle.  The Nikon D90 for example started out with a price of $999 for the body only and held on that price until for quite a while and then the priced dropped to the low to mid $700 after a couple of years on the market but then stabilized to the high $700s to mid $800s until the announcement of the Nikon D7000 as its successor.

Just so everyone know, I purchased my Nikon D40 with two lenses for $500, the Nikon D60 which was the replacement model at that time would have cost $850 for the same package.  I purchased my D90 for $799 a little while after the release of the D7000 which is on the market for $1200.  I hope this help anyone out there who want to purchase a camera.  Now some of you might asked if it would be worth the money to buy  the more current D60 or D7000 instead of the yester-model D40 and D90?  NOPE, not in my case at least, I will cover the photography investment in a future article.


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