Your Virtual Shopping Guide

There are so many options for the equipment we need to do food photography, it’s overwhelming! This page is an in depth guide to help you make the right purchasing decisions for your budget for Black Friday.

This page is all about the best Black Friday deals for food photographers from reputable sources. 

I have spent a LOT of time curating this and putting this together for you. I will be featuring cameras, lenses, and lighting that is great for food photography.

Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post and I’m not being endorsed by any of these brands. Some of these links are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission should you purchase the item at no cost to you.

B and H Photo in New York is running some great sales this year. To see all their holiday sales in one place go here:

Black Friday Deals For Food Photographers 2021


Image Canon 5D Mark III Camera

Here’s the deal, there are so many cameras now that are absolutely awesome for food photography. It’s hard to make a bad decision here. 

So, I suggest you figure out what your total budget is first with your camera AND the lenses that you need (notice I did not say lens, but lenses, plural). One lens will not work for all types of food photography images that we need to make. 

If you still have questions about all this, just post in my free Facebook Group, the Food Photography Club your question and we will help you figure things out.

Please remember I am only listing Black Friday deals here so if what you were looking for is not listed, I haven’t found a deal for it. So if this list seems random and incomplete, it actually is! I’m not going to list something unless it’s a good deal.

Here is what I look for when buying cameras:

  • Cropped Sensor VS Full Frame sensor. For my “for fun stuff” I can use the smaller cropped sensor cameras. For jobs, it has to be a full frame sensor.
  • File size – now most cameras have big sensors but for my commercial jobs, I need the biggest file size I can get.
  • How many focusing points does the camera have? This is a huge deal for me, might not be for you. The more points you have, the more focus options you have in auto focus modes.
  • How high of an ISO can the camera do without too much digital noise being added – this is very expensive and only very high end pro cameras can shoot at high ISO cleanly.
For more info on cropped sensors and what you need to know when buying a camera, click on this post: What is the best camera to buy on a budget.

Some of these links are affiliate links. Should you choose to buy any of these items, I will receive a small commission.

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The least expensive cameras are usually the kit cameras that come with at least one lens and sometimes, all kinds of other things. With these kits, you are not getting the best quality lenses or accessories but it’s a great way to start out to see if you really like this whole food photography thing. 

See if you can find just the camera and one lens to save more money. Also many of these kits come with lenses we don’t use for food – like a cheap telephone 70-200mm lens for example. Don’t waste money on that.

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Canon Rebel T7 Kit $450 – The least expensive kit that is great to start with. B and H Photo has the best price on this for $450. It comes with the standard 18-55mm kit lens.

There is another kit with the 75-300mm lens. Don’t get that you’ll never use that for food photography.

This camera has a 24mp cropped sensor, 9 focusing points, and built in Wi-Fi and makes a great starter set up.


Here are some great deals for the holiday on these mirrorless cameras. The manufacturers are slowly making lenses for these cameras that are great for food photography – but we’re still missing some lenses in this category for certain brands.

Take note: Most of these cameras use their own lens system. That means if you had a traditional DSLR, the lenses for that camera most likely will not work directly on the mirrorless cameras. You might find a lens adapter though. For the lens adapter, make sure you get the fully electronic version of that adapter to make sure you get full functionality of the lens.

If you don’t see a brand or product represented here – it’s because there wasn’t a good enough deal for this Black Friday. Their pricing will be the same as any other day.

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Nikon Z5 Kit With 24-70mm Lens $1596.90 – Nikon has several models in their Z mirrorless product line. When this happens you can get great deals on the older models. Their newest Z model is the Z9.

This has a 24mp sensor, and an amazing array of 273 focusing points – you can basically set anything in your image to be in focus with that many points.

This is the Z5 kit for $800 off the regular price for the holidays. 

Click image to see listing

Sony a7R IIIA $1998 –  Sony has been in the mirrorless camera game for quite some time now and they finally have some great lenses for food photography.

This has a huge 42mp full frame sensor and a whopping 399 focusing points! If  you slap their 90mm macro lens on this bad boy, you’d have an awesome set up for food photography.

This Sony camera is $800 off for the holidays. 


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Nikon D850 $2697.95 –  This is an excellent full frame camera. A lot of my photography students have this camera.

This has a huge 45.7mp full frame sensor and 153 focusing points. Put Nikon’s 105mm macro lens on this for awesome close ups that are tack sharp.

This camera is $300 off for the holidays. 

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Canon 5D Mark IV $2049.95 –  This was Canon’s flagship camera for many years. They just discontinued it this year so you can now get this camera used for a great price.

This camera is used so that is why it’s over $500 off the list price. I totally trust B & H with their used gear. I’ve been buying from them for 36 years. 

This has a large 30.4mp full frame sensor and 61 focusing points. Put Canon’s 100mm macro lens on this for awesome close ups that are tack sharp.


Every manufacturer has several types of lenses, Pro series, an Amateur series, or Consumer grade series, and now a mirrorless set of lenses as well. Pro lenses are sharper and cost more money. Consumer grade lenses are cheaper and not nearly as sharp as the pro lenses. It’s like diamonds people, the more money you spend, the better clarity, color, and sharpness you get.

Zoom lenses are known for being softer (not sharp) than fixed lenses and if you want a zoom lens, you really should invest in a Pro zoom lens, if you can afford to. The cheap zooms are a waste of money.

For every brand of lens, pay attention to every single letter and number in the title of the lens. Just one letter can mean the difference between the pro lens and the consumer grade lens. Canon uses the L for their pro line. For Canon nomenclature see the Canon Lens Abbreviations on Photography Life.

Nikon doesn’t have one specific naming convention for their pro lenses. They do use DX for cropped sensor lenses and FX for full frame lenses so that’s handy to know. For a full list of all the Nikon nomenclature see Nikon Lens Abbreviations on Photography Life.

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Canon 17-40mm Lens $499This is a great price for this lens. I use this all the time for restaurant architecture images. 

This lens is for full frame DSLR’s.

The holiday price is $300 off full price.

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Nikon 24-70mm Lens $1596.95  This is a great lens for doing overhead/flatlay images. Instead of having to move your camera up and down, you simply zoom in or out to get your framing right.

This is for Nikon’s full frame DSLR cameras. 

This holiday price is $500 off full price.

Click image to see listing

Sony 24-70mm Lens $1798 Just like the Nikon above, this is Sony’s version for their mirrorless system. Great for doing overhead shots. 

This holiday price is $400 off full price.


When selecting tripods, you have to consider three things. Also check out this post about tripods for more information.

The legs – how high they will go, and how sturdy they are.
The center column – geared is much better, as it won’t fall when you loosen it and possibly damage your camera.
The head of the tripod – the part that screws into your camera.

Some tripods come with a tripod head, but most do not.

Be very careful falling for a cheap tripod that’s called a compact travel tripod. This will not be heavy enough to hold your camera, unless it’s a very small point and shoot camera. If the tripod is under $100, chances are it will not be heavy enough to hold your camera. I repeat – DO NOT BUY A COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT TRIPOD!

When selecting tripod heads, you have to consider three things as well.

Do you want a quick release head? – this means there’s a small plate that screws onto your camera, then that plate snaps into your tripod head. You will have to keep a screw driver handy or a quarter as these will loosen up while shooting sometimes. The other kind has your camera screw directly into the tripod head plate, my preference if available.
Do you want a ball head or a 3- way head? A ball head uses a pistol grip, and when you press it, you can move your camera in any direction. A 3-way head enables you to move your camera in one direction at a time – horizontal, vertical, and swivel left or right. This is my personal favorite.
Will you be shooting video? If so, you will have to get a smooth fluid head enabling you to move the tripod head very smoothly during video shooting. These are always more expensive, and a lot of these video heads will not enable you to shoot stills in a vertical format, fyi.

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Manfrotto 055 Aluminum 3-Section Tripod $369 This tripod price changes all the time and can go up or down by $100 but today, Black Friday it’s $100 less than normal. I have this tripod and tripod head –  it works great. The center column allows you to do an overhead shot. 

You do need to counter weight the tripod when you set it up for overhead, but that’s quite normal. 

This comes with the tripod head as well.

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Sand Bags $21 Get sandbags to help stabilize your tripod. I’m always kicking my tripod so setting sand bags on the tripod legs can help.

When shooting overhead, you can use a sand bag to counter weight the camera.


There are all kinds of options for lighting and it can be overwhelming. You’ve got two types of artificial lights, Constant Light, where the lights are always on and Strobes, where you have an explosion of light.

 For more detailed information about artificial lighting, please see this post.

Adorama is another store I buy a lot of gear from. So a lot of these specials are from their store. Keep in mind these are the Black Friday sales so if you want more lighting options go to my main Best Equipment page here


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Godox SL-60 Watt LED Daylight Balanced $99 There are all kinds of awesome options now. Godox has really dominated the market for good quality LED lighting. 

This is an LED light. There isn’t a bulb. There is a cluster of cells that emits the light. This light comes with the reflector – no stand, you have to buy that separately. 

For an LED, 60 watts is on the very low side of brightness. So if you are in  a room with other lights that can’t be turned off, this will not be bright enough for you.

The modifier mount is a Bowens mount so it will take a lot of different styles of softboxes and attachments. And it claims to have a CRI of 93+. 

For most lighting, the higher the wattage (brightness) the more money you will need to spend.

Click image to see listing

Godox SL150 Watt LED Daylight Balanced $239 This is the 150 watt version of the light above. So it’s much brighter AND if you don’t need that much light, you can power trim it down on the back of the unit. 

You can always make your lights less bright. If your light isn’t bright enough, you’ll have a problem so I always want more wattage with my artificial lights. 

If you go to the product page, you’ll see there are 2 wattage options total. There is also a 200W version, but that one is not on sale for Black Friday

Click image to see listing

Godox VL300, 300 Watt LED Daylight Balanced $499 This is a 300 watt LED. So it’s much brighter than the two above AND if you don’t need that much light, you can power trim it down on the back of the unit. 

You can always make your lights less bright. If your light isn’t bright enough, you’ll have a problem so I always want more wattage with my artificial lights. 

As soon as you start working with LED lights, you’ll very quickly outgrow the lower wattage lights so if you can afford it, get the highest wattage LED you can afford.


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Flashpoint Xplor 600 HSS Monolight $349 This is a great little light and an awesome price for this. I’ve been doing a lot of editorial work lately and I have to do portraits of chefs quite often. This light is just bright enough. I am often shooting outside and have to overpower the sun. 

With this light AND the HSS trigger below, I can shoot with my shutter speed set to 1/1200th of a second and use the light at full power to overpower the sun outside. 

If you want the high speed shutter sync feature you MUST buy the special trigger for it below.

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Flashpoint R@ Pro Mark II Transmitter For Canon $69 This is wireless trigger you need to use the Flashpoint strobe above. You can use other triggers with this – but NOT if you want high speed shutter sync! 

What’s nice about this is that it is wireless so I can have my light up high and control the light from the camera with no cables.

You must match your camera model with the right trigger! There is one for each camera brand. Go to the product page link above to pick your option.

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PBL Heavy Duty 10foot light stands $80 You absolutely MUST use heavy duty light stands for the lights I am recommending here. These lights are heavy! Don’t cheap out on stands! Your light will fall over and break. 

This comes with two sand bags and a carry case. 

These are not on sale for Black Friday but the lights mentioned above do NOT come with light stands so you need to put them on something.


Click image to see the course

My 4 Figure Day Rate Plan $67 As it’s Black Friday I have to mention my course!

This course is over 1.5 hours long and will guide you through how to get better paying clients so that you can actually be profitable with your food photography. 

Click here for more info.



If you are looking for something no listed here, chanced are I might have it on my main Photography Equipment Page but I didn’t find a good Black Friday deal. Just click this link here to see that page.



In this guide I will tell you what you need to consider when buying each type of equipment.