Prime Day photography deals are almost as exciting as Black Friday deals. Or at least that’s what Amazon wants us to think this time of year.

I’ve watched Prime Day photography equipment prices for a few years now, and here’s what I’ve learned. You can get good prices if you are careful, but not all the “deals” are special. The strategy I’ve developed over the past few years is something like this:

  • Don’t be talked into impulse buys. Have a set list of photography equipment that you need and don’t be distracted by extras you haven’t been planning on buying.
  • Don’t ignore Prime Day – it’s tempting to write it off as pure marketing, but you can save money if you buy smart!
  • In most cases, I avoid kits. In the photography world, buying a camera that comes with extra cleaning supplies, filters, tripods, etc. usually gets you a lot of poorly made extras that cost more than they are worth.
  • Beware of words like “International Version” – these are the gray market cameras not optimized for English speakers or America warranties. “Renewed” and “refurbished” mean you are getting a used item – this isn’t always a bad thing. Do some research about warranties and whether they have the Amazon Renewed Guarantee before you buy.

Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are my predictions for what photography-related deals Amazon might offer this year.

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A Note about the Product Links Below

The image photos and links are products that I’ve chosen for you based on products that Amazon has offered discounts on in the past. If you don’t see pricing that indicates a sale, you might consider waiting until Black Friday. The Prime Day Discounts come and go quickly – if you see something you want at a good price, grab it before it goes!

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE AMAZON GRAPHICS BELOW DO NOT SHOW THE SALE PRICES. YOU ARE LIKELY TO SEE LOWER PRICES IF YOU CLICK THROUGH.

You also need to know that you have to be a Prime member to take advantage of the deals. Luckily, you can get a free trial membership and you can always cancel, even before your first charge.

Those of you who read my Black Friday article last year might laugh at me for this. As you might recall, I was asking Santa for an Amazon Echo. And I LOVE it!

I use the Echo in my kitchen. I love being able to ask Alexa to add something to the grocery list when my hands are too busy cooking to stop what I’m doing. She also sets timers for me, and lately she’s been reading audiobooks to me. I love that I can read them in the kitchen, the bedroom, and in the car.

In fact, I recently bought this cute little Echo Dot for my bedroom. I love shouting at her from the shower to add shampoo to the grocery list. Plus she reads to me while I’m getting dressed.

Lest you think I’m delving into a non-photography tangent, Alexa can do plenty of photography-related work. In fact, I recently started using a skill called Photography Prompts that gives you daily ideas for what to shoot. And you can listen to Podcasts using Alexa. You might check out Stay Focused, which is the podcast by photographer Emily Supiot.

The BEST Lightbulbs for Photographers

You guys know I love my special daylight balanced lightbulbs that help me avoid the ugly orange color cast in my photos. Buying LED, I don’t have to replace the bulbs too often, but I do discover lights I’ve forgotten to change over to the new bulbs every once in a while. These bulbs are a great investment for any photographer.

Since I’ve become so fond of Alexa, I’m also converting some bulbs to Alexa compatible bulbs. My favorite is in the pantry where I don’t have to touch the light switch when my hands are greasy. I’m testing whether this brand’s color balance is as good as the non-Alexa bulbs I have.

Flexible, Easy-to-Use Tripod

I bought this tripod about a year ago and LOVE it. Quite a few of you guys purchased it as well and I have yet to hear anything negative about it. It’s the apex of flexibility – you can shoot straight down (great feature for food photographers) or you can mount your camera under the tripod for low-down macro work. You can even convert it into a monopod for those summer hikes when you don’t want to carry extra weight.

Memory Cards

Another thing I like to stock up on this time of year is memory cards. There are so many options when it comes to buying cards – before you purchase, read this article about what to look for. My biggest piece of advice is that you don’t need a card with too much space – I don’t have anything over 32GB. More space = more photos to lose if a card gets corrupted. I’d rather switch cards in the middle of a shoot and have only half my images lost than use one big card and lose every photo.

Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements usually goes on sale this type of year. Why? Because Adobe usually releases the latest version of PSE in the fall. The past few releases haven’t been huge, and I don’t expect anything groundbreaking this year either. If you’ve been wanting to purchase Photoshop Elements, or upgrade your older version, summer is usually a good time!

A good price for PSE this time of year is $50 to $60. I wouldn’t purchase until you see a price in that neighborhood.

 

Photoshop & Lightroom

Adobe’s Photography Plan went on sale during Prime Day last year, I believe. I haven’t seen any indication that the prices will change this year, but you never know what will happen during the day. You probably won’t see anything much better than $99 for the year.

Cameras & Lenses

My secret hope is that this Olympus TG-5 will have a good discount – I’ve been watching its various versions for the past couple of years. It’s a compact camera (a point-and-shoot, in other words), but it would be great for vacation when you don’t want to lug around your big (and expensive) gear. While it doesn’t shoot on manual mode, it does work underwater and is nearly indestructible. It also has lens attachments to add fisheye or telephoto capabilities and shoots macro well straight out of the box. It even has special underwater white balance settings!

Do you mind leaving a comment or sending me a message if you see the price drop on this one? 😉 I have yet to see it lower than $399.

The Canon 6D Mark II was about $1500 during the spring. If you want a good entry-level full-frame camera, start here:

The Nikon D750 has come down from a high of over $2000 last year, and it’s gone for as low as about $1200. If you’re a Nikon shooter, check the prices on Prime Day to see what you think!

This Canon lens was selling for over $1000 about a year ago. It’s great for portraits, but only outdoor work – 100mm is generally too long for shooting inside. I’d consider a good price to be $750 or below.

I didn’t see anything that looked promising for either Nikon or Tamron lenses, but that could all change throughout the day. Tamron, by the way, makes lenses for either Nikon or Canon that are usually cheaper but still high quality.

Have you got any questions about whether a price you see is a good deal? Leave a comment below. I will answer it as soon as I can!