Though I’ve been having a hard time coming to grips with it, the holiday season keeps creeping up on us. The malls are already decked out with garland and Santa’s chair is set up in the food court. But thankfully for those of us in the video world, the beginning of the holiday season typically means the beginning of unbelievable sales on some of our favorite gadgets and must have video accessories. Walmart just released their 2011 Black Friday Ad. We’ve taken the time to dissect it for you so you know exactly what to buy for that video nerd in your life.

Video Cameras

JVC HD Everio Flash Memory Camcorder 

Found on Page 5 of the Walmart Black Friday Ad

 JVC GZ-HM30AUS camcorder

Normal Price: $179

Walmart Black Friday Price: $129

Features: 40x Optical Zoom, Memory Card slot, 1920×1080/60p output resolution, 2.7” LCD screen

Our Opinion: This is a pretty good bargain for what you’re getting. It’s not a super high quality camera, but it will do a great job if you’re using it to record home movies, performances, concerts, etc. Since the lens is nice and the camera includes an image stabilizer, it will do a good job shooting things both far and away.The memory card will make it super easy to drop into your computer and edit or simply convert to DVDs. Plus, it is a small and sleek design so it will be easy to travel around with. For the casual videographer in your life, this is a great gift at a good price!

Samsung HMX-W200 Camcorder 

Found on Page 5 of the Walmart Black Friday Ad 

 Samsung HMX-W200

Normal Price: $159

Walmart Black Friday Price: $99

Features: Shock proof up to 6 feet, waterproof up to 10 feet, 2.3” LCD screen, built in USB arm, 3x optical zoom, 1080p resolution

Our Opinion: If you have a teenager on your list that has been begging for a video camera, this may be the one. It is virtually indestructible and has everything they’ll need to post to Facebook and YouTube. However, if you’re looking for some higher quality video, I would recommend you spend the extra $30 and get the JVC mentioned above. This Samsung is basically a flip camera with some extra durability. It will not shoot well from distances, lighting may become an issue because of the small lens and it requires a micro memory card so that may cause complications when shooting and editing. So while this camera isn’t for everyone, it would be perfect as a starter camera for a young one in your life.

DSLRs with Video Capabilities

Canon EOS Rebel T3 

Found on Page 5 of the Walmart Black Friday Ad

Canon EOS Rebel T3 1100D Digital SLR Camera resized 600

Normal Price: $549

Walmart Black Friday Price: $479

Features: 12.2 Megapixels, 2.7” LCD display, HD Movie Mode, 30 frames per second continual shooting

Our Opinion: A perfect camera if you’re just looking to get your feet wet with shooting on a DSLR. If you’re planning on using this mostly for video, though, this is probably not the camera for you. Yes, it shoots in HD, but it does not shoot at full 1920×1080 resolution. Because of that your quality will be sacrificed. If you’re mostly looking for a still camera with the occasional need for simple video (ie, home movies), this will be great.

Nikon D3100 DSLR 

Found on Page 7 of the Walmart Black Friday Ad 


Normal Price: $649

Walmart Black Friday Price: $649

Features: 14.2 Megapixels, 3” display, full 1080p HD video capabilities, ISO 100-3200

Our Opinion: You may be scratching your head right now thinking, “why is this camera in the Black Friday ad? It isn’t reduced in price at all” or “in the ad it says the camera is $799. What gives?” Well, Walmart is trying to be tricky with their ad for this camera. If you read closely, you’ll notice that the camera, sold alone, is the same as your typical manufacturer’s listing. The reason why this is considered a “deal” is because they’ve bundled it with an extra lens, a camera case and an instructional DVD. Sure, these are all great things, but I urge you to think about if you really need them. This is a very nice camera and is probably best suited for someone who has some prior experience operating a DSLR. If that’s the case, then chances are that your intended gift recipient already has a case and an extra lens or two. Moral of the story: make sure you only buy what you actually need. Don’t get suckered into this deal if you don’t need the stuff in the bonus pack. You can just as easily buy the camera off of Amazon (and probably for cheaper).

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