The Week I Dread (But You Don't)

We’ve left the traditional summer selling season and are now starting the upcoming holiday one. One thing people are trying to figure out is which cameras are actually be offered by which companies, and what should they consider.

As you probably realize, I’m aggressive in labeling cameras “current” or “older.” If a new model of a camera is launched (e.g. Mark III), then the older model data (e.g. Mark II) gets moved to the older camera folders on this site. 

But a number of camera makers overbuild products during their product cycles, and thus leave those older products on the market. Some keep making older cameras but reduce their price just to have lower cost products on the market. Figuring out what is actually truly considered truly available and not just an unsold relic that your dealer still has sitting around. 

So to answer that question, I did some homework for you. By brand, here are the models the manufacturer is still selling. In the bullets, below, I also indicate what I believe to be the true “current” models in bold. I’ve added parenthetical comments about likely inventory status and any real holiday discount as I write this.


Canon is all about generating market share, so they often keep older models on the market at low prices.

  • EOS M (APS-C)
    • M50 Mark II (mostly just creator kits with a US$100-130 discount)
  • EOS RF-S (APS-C)
    • R100 (US$50 to US$100 off)
    • R50 (US$80 to US$100 off)
    • R10 (US$100 off)
    • R7 (US$100 to US$200 off)
  • EOS RF (full frame)
    • RP (US$100 off)
    • R3 (US$1000 off!)
    • R5 (US$500 off)
    • R5C (US$500 off)
    • R6 (US$300 off)
    • R6 Mark II (US$200 off)
    • R8 (US$200 off)

As if to further confuse you, the model number in the RF-S line goes down as the camera gets more advanced, but for full frame a higher model number indicates a less capable camera.

What would I consider buying this holiday? The R7 and R10 are interesting APS-C cameras, though they need more lens support. The R6 Mark II and R8 are both comfortably in the state-of-the-art mid-range for full frame enthusiasts.


Fujifilm for awhile was cycling new cameras constantly, but is currently slimming down their lineup while pushing more up-scale for awhile:

  • XF
    • X-H2S (US$200 off)
    • X-H2 (US$150 off)
    • X-Pro3 (has been discontinued, but may be still available)
    • X-T5
    • X-T4 (discontinued, but may be still available in places)
    • X-S10 (US$100 off)
    • X-S20
    • X-T30 II (official status unknown, back-ordered most everywhere)
  • GFX (medium format)
    • GFX50S II (US$800 off)
    • GFX100 II 
    • GFX100S (US$1600 off)

What would I consider buying in the Fujifilm line? Well, I actually bought one recently, and it was the X-S20, a really solid basic APS-C camera. I'm less enthused about the 40mp cameras, the X-H2S still doesn't equal a D500 in focus performance in the hands of a trained user, and I've just had and seen in others too many inconsistencies (bugs, sample variation, etc.) that tend to take away the gains of the medium format cameras over a full frame one.


Nikon is relatively easy. At this point the original Z6 and Z7 are officially gone, which leaves a lineup with all current models:

  • APS-C (DX)
    • Z30
    • Z50
    • Zfc
  • Full frame (FX)
    • Z5
    • Z6 II
    • Zf
    • Z7 II
    • Z8 
    • Z9

For Nikon holiday pricing, see this article on My recommendations are also on that site.

Micro 4/3rds

The two m4/3 companies are a mix of old and new:

  • OMDS
    • OM-1 (US$300 to US$400 off)
    • OM-5 (US$200 off)
    • OM-D E-M10 Mark IV (old Olympus product, likely on its way out)
  • Panasonic
    • BGH1
    • GH5 Mark II (US$300 off)
    • GH5S (US$300 off)
    • GH6 (US$500 off)
    • G100 (US$250 off)
    • G95 (US$300 off)
    • G85 (made a comeback, but low stock, US$150 off kit)
    • G9 (US$400 off)
    • G9 II 
    • G7 (US$150 off)

It was strange to see the Panasonic m4/3 lineup sort of resurrect. I'm not sure what happened there, but the lineup is once again full. If you're looking for performance in an m4/3 camera, you have two choices now: OM-1 or G9 II. The problem with the "I want small" choices that remain is that they're not state-of-the-art in many ways, including autofocus.

Panasonic Full Frame

  • S5 (US$800 off)
  • S5 II (US$300 off)
  • S5 IIX (US$100 off)

In some ways, the S5 II is the Oldsmobile of the full frame mid-range choices. A bit different, basically good, but seemingly not a choice most would make. It's a highly competent camera. It's holds up well against the Nikon Z6 II and Sony A7 Mark IV, and may even slot in between those two. At discount, it becomes a camera you should consider, particularly as the L-mount lens set keeps growing.


Sony’s is one of the worst offenders in keeping products around. In particular, several older A7 and A7R models are malingering on the market. Moreover, there’s a sneaky bit hidden in plain sight: the new models were increased in list price, thus making any sales markdowns on the older ones look even more tempting.

  • APS-C 
    • A6100 (US$200 off)
    • A6400 (US$150 off)
    • A6600 (US$200 off)
    • A6700 
  • Full Frame
    • A1
    • A7C
    • A7CR
    • A7 Mark II (US$600 off)
    • A7 Mark III (US$500 off)
    • A7 Mark IV (US$200 off)
    • A7 Mark IIIA (US$200 off)
    • A7R Mark IVA (US$200 off)
    • A7R Mark V (US$400 off)
    • A7S Mark III
    • A9 Mark II
    • A9 Mark III (new camera available at end of February)
  • Vlogging
    • ZV-E1 Mark II
    • ZV-E10 (US$100 off)

Personally, I'm less thrilled by Sony's lineup than I used to be. There's nothing wrong with most of them, but Sony now has the old Nikon problem of lineup inconsistency and too much model generation hangover. I can recommend an A1. I can recommend an A7 Mark IV. Once I've completed testing, I'd probably recommend the A6700. From there we get into handling choices (the C and E type models), and speciality use. The one thing I'd tend to recommend against is buying any of the non-bold models. They might have been state-of-the-art when they first appeared, but all of them are now well behind that. I'd need even more discount than Sony is given to consider them.

That’s basically the current camera situation. I’d characterize bold entries as “safe to buy,” while non-bold would be buying at the tail end of a product’s life cycle. There’s nothing wrong with buying at the tail end of the lifecycle, but you should be getting a significant discount for doing so, in my opinion.  

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