Best Time to Buy


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Sep 6, 2015
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I plan to invest in my first DSLR camera and am eyeing the Nikon D3300 based on reviews and budget. I really don't need the camera until next summer, but would like to begin learning how to take photos with it before then. The package (camera with 18-55mm vr II and 55-200mm VR II lenses) is now selling for $649. Is this a good price? Or is a fairly standard price despite them being advertised as "on sale." Should I expect to see the price drop around Christmas? I don't mind waiting, but don't want to blow a good deal if now is the best time to buy. Thoughts?
Prices change continuously, and the D3300 by already be obsolete by next year ... such is the world of digital cameras.
Generally the best deals occur just before a replacement model is announced.
I would say that the best deals in Nikon occur once the camera is "two models outdated"! lol ! No, but seriously...Nikon has been stuffing the channel with product for several years now, and there are still brand-new cameras that are two models back, available at discounted prices. For those on a budget, buying well after a new model has come out is a good strategy. I am not that up on prices right now, but 15 to 20 minutes of web surfing ought to show you if $649 is a good price or not, but for a new D3300 and the 18-55 VRII and the 55-200mm VRII kit, that sounds about right, to me.

I personally would buy, and get to learnin' and shootin'!

Of course when comparing prices on camera packages and cameras in general, one needs to look very carefully at the exact models of the lenses, and the camera; the 18-55 lens is available in a VR model, and a non-VR model; same with some of the tele-zooms; the camera, and lenses: do they come with Nikon USA warranty? Or are they grey market items, imported unofficially, and sold with a warranty that would be honored by some third-party repair outlet? Are the items being sold as new? Or are they refurbished?

There are straight-up dealers, and darkly shady dealers, and some in-between. Look at B&H Photo and Adorama and The Nikon Store as representative of the actual, real "street" prices for Nikon goods.
While you're surfing the web looking at deals, see what your budget would get you if you went with a used camera and lens.

IOW: Check out Adorama, B&H, and KEH used equipment. Just start plugging in your proposed budget to see how far up the ladder you can get.

As for my own personal experience; I have both those lenses, including that 55-200mm zoom, and hardly ever use it. It's a perfectly fine lens, but I find that the 18-55mm is on the camera almost all the time, and I just don't feel the need to put on the other lens. That might seem strange, but that's my experience. I'm not suggesting that you don't go for the deal, because that is very nearly the same deal I went for, and I'm completely satisfied, but if I had it to do over, I would look for a somewhat higher model camera and a mid-grade lens.
If you're in N.America, Nikon seems to running a rolling late summer sale on current models with discounts and promos on various lenses and bodies, most of which are ending mid-month or the end of September. Anyone's guess what prices will be 2-3 months out. As noted up-thread, don't sucker for low-ball prices from dodgy dealers.

Cameras aren't investments, so don't pretend otherwise. You won't be had or embarrassed that badly if you buy now. I just put together a D7200 kit with an MB-D15 grip and the 35/50/85 "Poverty Primes" at a price that pleased me. I won't be slitting my wrists, though, if it costs 5-8% less at Xmas.
. . . the D3300 by already be obsolete by next year ...
Utter nonsense.
And saying that is a disservice to those new to doing photography using a DSLR.

My Nikon D50 that sold from June 2005 to November of 2006 isn't obsolete yet.
I had both of those lenses. Not bad, the 55-200 was slow to focus and did hunt a bit. But I got some good photos with it. And it is light/compact for a zoom.

If trying to stay on a budget, you could consider used from KEH, Adorama, or even here. There is a D3200/18-55 combo for 250.00 in the classifieds here.

I love buying from KEH myself. Good deals on nearly new gear is always a plus. And they buy used gear, too. I just sold them a body and 4 lenses for more than I was asking here.
Really simple concept. As Ken Rockwell wrote, in the camera business the word obsolete means only that there is a newer model that does the same thing...and most likely does it better. it does not imply that the obsolete item is useless...that's in the minds of those who worry about such things.

I can assure you...the D50, like the Nikon D2x, is obsolete. There are much,much better, newer current models that do the same things--but better. And they cost a lot more too.
Let say it this way, I rather have a D3200 with kit lens that I know well how to use over a D3300 I just bought and have no idea how to use.
Knowing your camera, your equipment and most importantly knowing photography will be MUCH more important to getting a good shot over getting the latest shiniest camera model.
Get it now and learn, learn and then learn some more how to use it so when you really need it next summer you will already have some know how and skills to get those wonderful pictures you want.

Good luck
OP you can visit Russia right now and buy absolutely new D3300 + 18-55 for US$321 or D750 for US$1450.:1247:

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