I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of that before, but epiphany sometimes takes centuries 🙂 I added a link in the Sidebar of the blog pointing to the latest Lightning Deals round-up post (this is the live link if you are reading in RSS or on mobile and want to bookmark it). This is using a WordPress Tag, so it automatically shows the latest active update. The previous posts are after-the-jump.
With two hours left before the self-imposed deadline, this brand new reference mega-post is ready! If you were curious to see a comprehensive list of benefits you get with an Amazon Prime membership, this post is ready for you, the Comprehensive Guide to Prime Benefits. This will be updated over time as benefits get added or get changed or on rare occasion get removed.
So, how many of these were you familiar with before reading or skimming that post? Opine in the Comments below or on Twitter…
All apologies for the slowness and performance issues of the website. I am trying to figure out the problem with the help of the hosting service’s support. As part of the troubleshooting I am switching to the default WordPress 2016 theme, which is a known entity and removes one possible unknown variable. The Categories and Tags are now on the left of each individual post, instead of below each individual post. This is a responsive design, so the website shrinks as you make the window/viewport smaller. The Sidebar eventually goes to the bottom of the posts if you are at phone/tablet viewports. The Menus converge together into a Menu hamburger type thing (without the hamburger).
In the meantime, if the website is down or slow to load, here are two alternatives:
+ The RSS Feed – it is hosted by Feedburner and does not depend on the website’s performance
+ our main Twitter account @1001noisycamera (without the final “s” – because of Twitter username max character limit) will be posting time-sensitive deals in case of technical issues
I went through the first two pages of this blog (100 posts) and marked all the expired offers as ENDED, and I also updated the Holiday Shopping 2016 Situation Room by removing all the expired offers. Its name has morphed as well, it is now “Holiday Shopping” since Black Friday and Cyber Monday are already in the rear view mirror timeline-wise. The “Situation Room” will continue until 12/31/16.
I will also begin some experimentation on how to do things in this post-MAP world. This blog was/is optimized for market-driven changes in prices. But manufacturers are controlling pricing more and more, so there are fewer market-driven deals, at least on the cameras and lenses many photographers are interested in.
The Cyber Monday Situation Room (née Black Friday Situation Room) has now been updated, with all the expired offers removed (if I missed any, please let me know). This will continue to be updated until the end of the year. After “Cyber Monday” ends, it will be renamed “Holiday Shopping Situation Room”.
I am keeping them all in the same post to make it easier for people who have bookmarks, so they don’t have to keep changing their bookmarks. Instead, the same link will work Black Friday to December 31st.
Do you find our Black Friday coverage useful or entertaining or practical? Then please tell your friends about it, online, by email, word of mouth, on social media, and so forth! The more the merrier! Here are some places to get them started:
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 Situation Room is now LIVE. It is a rolling summary of all the latest deals, a companion to this blog which will continue to post deals as they come out one by one. So if you want to get a summary or if you haven’t checked this blog for a few hours/days, you can quickly get up to speed with the “Situation Room”… See also the How to Make The Most Of This Blog post for more tips…
I just noticed that some of the links in the blue Menu bar at the top of the blog were broken, eg the “Manufacturers” and “Camera Types” menus. They are now fixed. If you spot any still broken, please let me know.
Reason they were broken: when I switched from Typepad to WordPress, I used redirection from the WordPress categories to the old ones to make it easier with the transition for people with bookmarks. Eventually I removed the redirection, but forgot those links were in the Menus.
Posts here are flying fast and furious at this time of the year. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this blog:
+ you can quickly check the most recent five pages of posts using the quick links under the HOME button (top left corner of the blue Menu bar at the top of the page). Page #1 is the home page, Page #2 is the previous, and so forth. Here are the links for convenience: HOME page (aka Page #1) and PAGE #2 and PAGE #3 and PAGE #4 and PAGE #5
+ our customary “Black Friday Deals Situation Room”, a summary of the latest deals organized by camera/product type will go live at some point later on Thursday [I will add a link here once it goes live; UPDATE: link ADDED]
+ the Black Friday Brick and Mortar Ads are summarized by camera/product type and price-checked versus the internet in the Black Friday Ads digest post
+ new posts here are automatically posted on the Twitter account of the camera deals blog @cameradealsblog
+ if the website goes down or has slowdown issues, use the Feedburner RSS feed as a backup. It is hosted by Feedburner/Google, so it works even if the website is down
+ Subscribe or check the Feedburner full-text RSS feed
+ NOTE: if you are subscribed to the Feedburner Email Subscription, it can only send a maximum of 25 posts per day. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday there are often more than 25 posts per day. The Feedburner by Email subscriptions are strictly controlled by Google, webmasters have very little control over them in terms of customization
+ maybe I’ll explore a separate emailing list option, since, since the proliferation of MAP pricing, we don’t have as many deals that only last a few minutes and then are gone; so perhaps email subscriptions could be effective in the post-MAP world
+ for feedback, errors, corrections, omissions, hot deals, etc, please leave a comment or use the online contact form or twitter. If you see a glaring error that doesn’t get corrected even hours later, the chances are I haven’t noticed it, and if I don’t notice it, I can’t correct it 🙂
If you find this blog useful or practical or entertaining, please help fund it by making your upcoming holiday shopping season purchases using the various affiliate links in the various posts and the sidebar here. We have very minimal advertising (just one Adsense ad box, no full page ads, no popups, no pop-unders, no advertorials, no in-text underline ads, no roadblock ads, no surveys, no clickbait “around the web” ads, no bottom of the page ads, no sticky ads, no expanding ads, no RSS feed ads), and most of the funding comes from people using the affiliate links in the posts. Unfortunately 2016 has been a very slow year, so the hope is that the 2016 holiday shopping season will help retroactively fund the whole of 2016. Thank you in advance 🙂
The majority of the published Black Friday ads that offer camera-and-photo related products have been “digested” at the 2016 Black Friday Ads Digest mega-post, including big chain stores like Best Buy, Target and Walmart. A few more stores will be added as they post their ads and also as I check semi-related stores that may have camera-related items (eg action cams or drones in outdoors stores).
This year’s post is organized by camera-type/product-type instead of by retailer, since most of the Black Friday ad scans you can find online (just use any search engine) are broken down by retailer anyway. So this is sort of a value-added re-organization of the offers.
The general trend is similar as previous years [see our 2015 breakdown for cross-reference], a few Canon and Nikon DSLRs are the main iLCs that get advertised along with fewer than before fixed lens P&S cameras. On the other hand, action cameras, drones, and instant film cameras are getting more ad attention. I may do a separate “analysis” post if there’s enough material to write about [most probably it will parallel/similar to our 2015 Grading the Ads].
Our annual Black Friday Ads Digest has began at the main blog! It will be updated multiple times throughout this week until all the relevant Black Friday Ads are digested. The “Latest Update” section will keep you updated on what was added.
This is an older post…
As of Sunday at 12:12am ET, most of the Sunday lightning deals are not loaded in the Upcoming section at the Amazon Gold Box, so I can’t do the usual “schedule” post until they get populated. I also have to sleep and such, so I will revisit these at some point on Sunday. In the meantime, you can check them at your leisure at the Amazon Gold Box, or filter them by looking at the Camera and Photo Deals or in general the Electronics Deals.
A new installment in the Price Charts series has gone live, it is the Serious Fixed Lens Cameras. The November 2016 series:
You can see the two previous years (mid-November 2015, and December 2014) by going further down in the Price Charts Archives.
A brand new series has gone live at the main blog, The Rantnoyances (rant + annoyance), pointing out consumer-related issues in camera (and general) shopping. We already had a couple of posts here earlier on (Jet and Triggered) but all the future posts will go to the main blog where it is a better place for longer and more reference-type material. Things fly off the page quickly here, so people don’t always see them, or can’t find them easily as time goes by (even I couldn’t find them quickly!). Rantnoyance #1 is an updated version of the Jet post, now with more details added!
The promised Price Charts series of November 2016 has began with the charts/discussion of 35mm Full Frame Digital Cameras. I won’t spoil the findings here, but it is definitely a different pattern from last year’s comparison. These will continue on a daily basis, with APS-C DSLRs, Mirrorless and finally Fixed-Lens Cameras getting their own posts. As usual please feel free to leave comments/corrections/omissions/etc. If I don’t notice a problem or error, I can’t fix it 🙂
This has now been resolved, categories are working as expected again. Refresh the page if you still see the issue.
If any of you run into this, there’s a simple way to fix it in WordPress, go to Settings, then Permalinks, and change or enter something under “Category base”. Reload the page to make sure it takes effect, and then go back and change it to what it was before (or empty it if it was empty). Then refresh the page again, and it should work as expected.
The original post describing the issue is after the jump…
It’s that time of the year again, and a new series of “Price Charts” will be posted this week. I have began the groundwork and these will be posted one a day starting with tomorrow. Please feel free to e-yell at me if I don’t 🙂
PS: if you want to get a feel of what to expect, check the Price Charts Archives with two sets of snapshots so far, mid-November 2015 and late-December 2014. The same categories will continue this year since there hasn’t been a dramatic change in the market. The longer and more reference-y posts will now go to the “main blog”, and the quick and time-sensitive posts will be here at the deals blog.
The Windows 10 update was successful…
This is a meta post, not an actual deal. It is the promised Post Prime-Day Post-Mortem Post, finally posted here 🙂 Please feel free to share your thoughts on Prime Day in the Comments!
Mapping the MAPs
With most of the major manufacturers going the way of MAP pricing, this presented a big opportunity for Rokinon/Samyang to offer a variety of different lenses for different mounts. With most of the bigger names sitting out, they got most of the Lensaholic attention, and getting people’s attention is half the battle for a not-as-well-known lens company.
Of what I spotted, there was the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens, the Sony a6000 two-lens kit late in the day, and a Nikon D3300 bundle that wasn’t sold by Amazon itself, but a Ritz Camera bundle. Among the fixed lens cameras, there was Ricoh Theta, a GoPro early morning bundle that got sold out before I woke up, and an action camera from the Kodak name holders.
The MAP thing, favored by most consumer electronics companies these days, also helped Amazon’s own products get more of the spotlight since more famous products from other manufacturers were not participating.
The Era of the Modest Doorbuster
Amazon has gotten way too big to offer really hot doorbusters. There are simply too many shoppers paying attention. Even on Prime Day, with a smaller percentage of shoppers participating, they still numbered in the many millions. Amazon increased the lifecycle of most lightning deals on Prime Day from the usual 4-hours to 6-hours.
Many of the offers were more of the pragmatic and utilitarian slow-burn kind. Sure, there were still offers that sold out quickly, offers that spent a lot of their lifecycle in Waiting List status, and there were some technical issues for some people earlier on. It was telling that coconut oil sold out faster than a lot of consumer electronics 🙂
Amazon had a bit of a twist this time. In addition to the customary Lightning Deals, they also offered a lot of “Add to Cart” offers where you got the discount by adding to cart, but there were no countdowns and no waiting lists, and the items did not get featured as prominently. Most people are trained to look for the Gold Box and Prime Day deals.
Their presentation and organization of things is getting better visually, it’s no longer just a long list of products. They’ve been struggling with this for many years. Some were a bit on the bloated size (unnecessarily giant images on bigger desktop monitors), but overall an improvement over previous years.
The Watching feature is finally getting more useful and featured more prominently, with reliable syncing between the various Amazon platforms, desktop web, mobile web, and apps.
For whatever reason, Amazon decided to remove the ability to sort Lightning Deals by time (it used to be the default way) in the main Gold Box. This was great for power users. They instead replaced it by an algorithm hotness/trending type of a sorting mechanism. This is great for people who check in once a day, but why not keep the Date sorting as an option in the menu? They have options to sort by price, which is rather ridiculous when you are looking at thousands of deals of products of every possible kind.
With too many items featured, there was a bigger discoverability problem. You basically had to go through each department kicking the bushes looking for deals. For example, the 20% off book coupon was not mentioned anywhere except for the physical books pages.
With so many different spin-off services, some items become a pain to buy on Amazon. If you are looking for consumable type of items, there are as many as FIVE different separate ways to buy them. Yes, FIVE! The regular Amazon, Subscribe and Save, Prime Pantry, AmazonFresh, and PrimeNOW. Different services, with different prices and quantities at each one.
While they offered a no-strings-attached free 30-day trial for non-members, whenever you have an event where some people are not allowed to participate, it can consciously and/or subconsciously negatively influence the opinions of non-participants towards the service.
Even though I was as productive as I could be covering Prime Day (absent cloning and/or army of minions), I still missed posting a number of good tech offers early in the day. A number of which got posted in the night wave when the camera and photo schedule madness finally slowed down.
There were fewer blog errors and typos and confusions than I would have expected for such a chaotic event. Or I didn’t notice them 🙂 The biggest goof was perhaps me accidentally starting a Kindle Unlimited subscription while trying to copy the url 🙂
The high-speed scrolling feature of the mouse proved to be the most useful technological thing in covering this. It was the best way to traverse the giant Situation Room post.
Speaking of which, according to WordPress, I revised that post 203 times 🙂
UPDATE: Prime Day is almost over but these tips are “reusable/recyclable” for both regular Lightning Deals and also the Holiday Shopping season…
This experiment ended successfully…
With so many new cameras coming out in May 2016, this was a good time to bring back the Stock Status Tracking page as an experimental feature. Out of the gate it is covering the Pentax K-1, Nikon D5 and D500 and Canon 1D X II. If you would like to see any others cameras or sellers added, please leave a comment or use the online contact form.
I just added a WordPress “Recent Comments” widget in the Sidebar of this blog so you can check the latest comments/opinions/corrections posted here.
I don’t want to add the more fancy third-party commenting systems since they add overhead and have their own tracking cookies and audience gathering data and such (which is probably why they are free for everyone to use).
I still have to figure out how to integrate the comment counter on the individual blog posts. The standard way of doing it with the Genesis theme would add a line to every single post and the posts need to get shorter (not longer) to make it easier for people skim and scan. In other words, I have to dive inside the Genesis theme to figure out how to do this and other theme-related things (or switch to a different theme). All options take brain-power and time, and I have neither 🙂
We have an opinion poll for you. Do you find the Fry’s Electronics deal posts useful? Most of their deals now are going through their email newsletters instead of having an “open source” weekly ad with various offers. They only have a small number of regional brick and mortar stores, so that reduces the percentage of our readers who have access to the stores. Also as one of regular readers pointed out a few days ago, they also mark as “online” offers that are “buy online pickup in-store”, which does not help the majority of our readers since Fry’s stores are only in a few cities/states.
If you have any answers that don’t fit the binary Yes/No, please leave a blog-comment or use the online contact form. The blog-comments are posted on the blog (unless you write in the comment “don’t publish it” or something along those lines – it has be clear enough for birdbrain me to understand it :)). Anything that is sent via email or the contact form is considered private (unless you indicate otherwise).
I am not quite sure how to post these updates, since lack of a post can either mean “no deal” or it could mean I didn’t get around to posting it, so this is a catch-all no-op type of a post, the Amazon Gold Box Lightning Deals continue to be very light compared to the Holiday Shopping season, both in terms of camera-and-photo items and overall. I will continue to monitor the situation. We are now in the Super Bowl to Valentines season, so the focus is more on salsa and bracelets 🙂
We have a brand new limited time promotion for you! Buy One Holiday Wish, Get 1000 Holiday Wishes FREE! Which is our clumsy way of saying Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hannukah, Happy Festivus, Season Greetings, Happy Saturnalia, FSM Day, and all the other holidays you celebrate from January 1st until December 31st every year!
If you are following the updates intermittently or want to see a summary of the latest deals during the holiday shopping season, we have now added Quick Jump Links to the Camera Deals Situation Room so you can quickly jump to your product categories of potential interest without having to page-down and page-down. This was added partially because that post has gotten longer and longer.
The latest deals summary aka the Holiday Shopping Season Situation Room has been updated with new offers and at the same time, expired offers have been removed (I think I got them all, but the bigger it gets, the higher the chances of missing something). Expired offers are deleted from the post in order to keep readable and editable.
The Latest Deals summary, aka the Holiday Shopping Season Situation Room at the main blog has now been updated, with the expired Cyber Monday deals removed (I hope I caught them all), and today’s new offers added. The summary is intended to be an executive summary, not include every single offer mentioned here. I am trying hard to keep that summary post simple and readable. In previous years, by December 31st, it would be almost as long as War and Peace 😉
Posts are flying fast and furious here during the holidays. If you want to quickly check a summary of the currently available offers, check the Holiday Deals Situation Room. It will keep going until the end of the year.
Alternately you can quickly check all recent posts here by using the Page links under the HOME button in the leftmost spot in the menu page. It has direct links to Pages #1 through #5. Open in new tab/window if you like, and peruse at your leisure.
There’s also the free full-text RSS feed, which also serves as a backup in case the website goes down (it is hosted by Feedburner, so it stays up even if this website is down).
One more note, a number of the offers are either for Cyber Monday specifically or were planned to expire at the end of day on Cyber Monday.
During the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and extended Holiday shopping period, deals (and posts here) fly at a much faster pace than usual. If you want an executive summary of the latest deals or if you are checking in intermittently, you can find some of the best deals currently available at the Holiday Deals Situation Room. Every year I vow to keep it simple and short, and every year it ends up becoming a big sprawl 🙂
A link to the new Situation Room has been added to the Sidebar of both this and the main blog under the “Black Friday Coverage” segment (which will change to Cyber Monday and Holiday Shopping eventually).
Another way to catch up with the latest updates here is to use the shortcut links under the “HOME” tab of the main menu here. They quickly take you to Pages #2 through #5 (eg open in background tab/window and digest them at your pace).
You can also catch up using the full-text RSS feed which also serves as a backup site in case the actual website goes down. The RSS feed is hosted by Feedburner, so it doesn’t depend on the website being up.
A quick note, I increased the number of posts shown on the front page of the blog to keep up with the increased volume of Black Friday postings and also increased the number of items to be shown in the RSS feed as we have been doing 20+ per day the last few days (and it’s only gonna get crazier). If any of these cause any issues technical or otherwise, please let me know in the comments or using the online contact form.
The Black Friday Ad digest (going through them and pointing out the camera and photo related items) continues at the mega-post at the main blog with even more additions. There are still more retailers that are being added as we speak. So far the Nikon D3300 and the Canon D-Rebel T5 are appearing in many of the ads, and in our MAP-controlled world, they have the same prices everywhere.
Now that we completed the Price Charts series we are climbing back on the Black Friday ad wagon, going through them and looking for camera and photo related items. This will continue in bursts in the next 24 hours or so. The newer ad digests will be added on top, and there’s also a “Latest Update” section giving updates. You can find them all in this sprawling Black Friday Ad Digest mega-post. A link to that is also included in the sidebar of this blog under the “IN PROGRESS” section, since it is … in-progress 🙂
Success! Our four-part Camera Price Charts series is now completed with the Fixed Lens Cameras price charts just posted on the main blog. You can find all of them in the Sidebar for future reference, or right below:
The Price Charts party continues with the Mirrorless Price Charts just posted at the main blog. This covers all Mirrorless (non-RF) cameras with sensor sizes ranging from 1/2.x” to 35mmFF… If you want to quickly reference this (and the previous ones, the 35mm Full Frame Cameras and the APS-C dSLRs), you can also find links to them in the Sidebar of this blog.
Silver lining of me procrastinating to do a new edition of the Camera Price Charts is that we have captured a fascinating pattern for 2015: most of the new 35mm full frame digital cameras released in 2015 filled the price-gap between $3000 and $5000 of 2014. What was a jump from the Nikon D810 to the Leica M-E is now filled with 2015 cameras. See the charts and discussion on the main blog’s new Camera Price Charts Episode 1: 35mm Full Frame… The rest of the charts are coming this week (DSLRs, Mirrorless, RAWsumers), hopefully one per day 🙂
This post rounds up a number of blog-related updates, to keep you abreast of what’s going on. Here we geaux:
+ a new Camera Price Charts feature will begin shortly (the last time we did this was December 2014)
+ already updated the Trade Show Calendar with the 2016 trade shows (a couple more dropped out or merged)
+ an easy to find and easy to use “Shop and Support” feature is coming soon. This was (to my surprise perhaps) requested by multiple people since it went away during one of the previous blog template incarnations/remodelings (more on that later)
+ you may have already seen an increase in blog-post productivity (more posts and some longer posts) thanks to the new blog-computer. Previously, the old computer couldn’t keep up with me, and it made posting rather frustrating at times. Now I can’t keep up with the new computer – which makes me feel old(er). You can’t win 🙂
+ as we are really now orbiting Planet Black Friday, if there are any items or product categories you are interested in, please let me know (so I can keep an extra eye on them) using the online contact form or leave a comment or twitterize
Two quick housekeeping updates before we start with the “PM edition”.
First, I am (finally!) switching to a new desktop PC. This will help a lot in the long run, especially for more long-form type of posts and more sustained burst-mode posts, but in the very short term, you may see some more inconsistency in posting patterns, as I try to get it fully operational. The priority here is to make sure all is well long before the Black Friday 2015 madness begins. Had I missed this window, I would probably have to wait until after CES 2016 🙂
The last few weeks we increased the number of posts, often 20+ per day. So if you are checking intermittently and want to make sure you don’t miss any posts, here’s some easy ways to catch up:
+ in the blue menu line, the “HOME” button has quick links to the first five pages of posts. These typically cover about a week of posts
+ filter by brand or product category – use the blue menu line to filter by “Manufacturers” (Canon, Nikon, etc) or “Camera Mounts” (Canon DSLR Gear, Nikon DSLR Gear, Fuji X, M43rds, etc), and “Camera Types” (DSLRs, Mirrorless, Lenses, Superzooms, etc)
+ if you are only monitoring by email, I believe the Feedburner email has a limit of 25 posts per day. I have to figure out a good service for email subscribers but I am all of the “departments” and there’s only so much I can do per day (if you have any to recommend to use (or recommend to avoid) please let us know. Given the time sensitive nature of many deals, once-a-day email is not an efficient way to keep up
This is an RFC (request for comments). What would you like to see in the Blog Sidebar and also below individual blog-post pages (which are currently fairly short)? What would you like NOT to see? Please feel free to use the online contact form or send an email (the direct email address is at the previously linked page), or leave a comment here or use Twitter. I have a long list of items I’m considering, but I won’t mention them here so they won’t influence this feedback process.
PS: in the next few days I will be experimenting with various things in the Sidebars and below blog-posts so in those two places, you may see items appear and disappear as they get tested out.
Unfortunately due to a problem with the web hosting company (hosting and database servers having latency issues), this blog was down for about 45 minutes in the middle of the madness. Bad timing 🙁
In case of future problems like this, there are two plan Bs to consider:
+ the full-text RSS feed for previously posted deals. It is hosted on Feedburner which caches the posts, so it works even if the website is down and out
+ new deals will temporarily get posted on the main Twitter at @1001noisycamera (no final “S” because 15-character limit)
+ both the RSS feed and the Twitter feed are posted on the main blog which is hosted by a different hosting company in a different state
All apologies for the inconvenience. Now I must try to catch up once again 🙂
The new WordPress theme is here, no more mega-font default WordPress ugliness! Thanks to everyone for the feedback! Over 75% of the votes were in favor of either the Test2 or Test3 options, while the bigger and bolder Test1 and the previously-current mega-font combined had under 20% of the vote. So the message you sent was clear, go for something compact and concise, which led to this theme! In some ways, it looks a lot like our previous-previous TypePad theme.
This is a responsive theme, works with desktops, laptops and smartphones. The responsiveness is not ideal with some tablets but it is still readable/usable [you can adjust the browser window on a desktop/laptop to partially simulate this]. More adjustments and customizations will happen in the next few days. The Main Blog will switch to a new theme next week. Please feel free to opine using the online contact form or the comments below or Twitter.
This is the TL;DR. If you are interested in more details about the making of this vegan sausage, there’s much and more after the jump…
UPDATE for Samsung S-Pen Users: you can use the S-Pen to hover over the menus on top (“Manufacturers”, “Camera Mounts”, “Camera Types”) and they automatically expand to show all the options. Then you just have to click on the option you want. (this works if the S-Pen hover feature is enabled – it’s somewhere in the TouchWiz labyrinth of menus).
The new WordPress Theme is now installed. A newer post has more details. This post was just an alert.
Continue reading “(ENDED) Blog Update: Template Change In Progress”
As of 5/17/15 at 1am ET, the new non-mega-font theme has been installed… The original post is after the jump for reference…
As of 5/17/15, the new WordPress Theme arrived. The original post is after the jump for reference only…
Continue reading “(ENDED) Blog Update: a new WordPress Theme is coming!”