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Hugyfot D7000 review


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#1 davichin

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:20 AM

Hello all!

Last Christmas I was lucky enough to get a D7000 as a present from Luisa (three years ago she was "responsible" for my D300 upgrade :) ). Even though I have always been a Hugyfot shooter (but I have no relation with the brand at all), for this camera I also considered Nauticam but I thought that their general price was not as good as it used to be and that it did not offer anything beyond the Hugy so Hugy it was...

Previous Hugy D200 and D300 reviews: http://wetpixel.com/...=hugyfot review

I contacted Jordi Chias www.uwaterphoto.com once more to get the housing and, as always, it was a pleasure to deal with him (he even delivered the housing in time for the Bodrum World Championships).

The housing comes with all of this:

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Which is: Two handles, a neoprene soft handle, a third strobe ball, allen wrench kit, spare o-ring, grease, cloth, hugycheck battery, manuals, hugycheck, fiberoptic connector and a memory card container.

The arms are a new design that fixes some previous housings problems (hard to tighten, not rechangeable ball, no customizable handle separation) but somehow adds some beef to the bottom of the housing which I donīt like (the closer the camera to the ground the better IMHO). One thing that has always annoyed me is the use of balls without o-ring. I guess 90% of the community use ULCS, or clone, arm system so I donīt understand why the three balls included are o-ring less... at least I can now buy ULCS balls and change them (or use a lathe). All in all I think the new design is better overall and at least it includes all three balls.

Some views:

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The housing comes with access to all controls but: Shooting mode selection (S-Cl-Ch...), BKT button, Fn button and L lever. All useless to me except, maybe, the shooting mode selection. What I do is dive in Cl mode with only one shot per second and, if I want action shooting, I just dial up to 2,3,4 or 5 fps in the menu... easy fix.

Externally, the housing comes with a port dust cup, the functions are engraved (not painted) and it also has the top window. The main back window is big enough to see the screen completely and the hugycheck bottom leds. This back window is were the viewfinder is located (I will not comment on the viewfinder as I have never used it) and it is very easy to swap it with one of the inon viewfinders I already own. The bottom of the housing comes a tripod screw.

The connections are one of the strong points of this housing. I chose one electrical 5pin nikonos connector and one optical connector. The optical connector is good for two strobes:

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Detail with only one of the slots used:

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http://farm6.static....8cc3d94bc_b.jpg

http://farm6.static....e861000b9_b.jpg

But I can also change very fast the optical for another electrical and use the swithboard to choose the configuration (ttl and or manual in both or one of the strobes...read the manual later).

Probably the main strength of hugyīs housings is the Hugycheck. I could try to explain it but it is better to read it from the manual and, at the same time read about the possible strobe configurations:

http://farm6.static....52781ce9c_b.jpg

http://farm6.static....3db92208b_b.jpg

http://farm6.static....b09ac3916_b.jpg

http://farm6.static....ee83b8ee1_b.jpg

http://farm6.static....4b39d07d3_b.jpg


About the hugycheck, I think it is a great idea and I recognize that I thought it was just hype etc... But it is very easy to use and gives confidence but (there is always a but...) I had a partial flood with no camera or lens loss during my first dive with the housing... I even heard the alarm but I thought it was some diverīs computer etc... After this dive I never had another problem so... NEVER USE A CAMERA ON THE FIRST DIVE ON ANY HOUSING...

The camera feels good in the water (I only use one handle and the neoprene strap) but it feels a little bigger than the D300 probably due to the strobe mount and the extra bottom room. All controls work perfectly and the camera is easy to mount/dismount although not as easy as with other brands plate system.

I think hugyfot has done a great effort with this housing, improving some of the old time flaws while maintaining a good price. It is hard to find further cons (maybe the odd open/close bolt system that I personally like or that the new handles flex due to their cross section design) than the ones I already wrote about but it is very easy to find advantages like controls access, arm and handle customization and strobe configuration.

I am open for any questions you may have :uwphotog:

I cannot link some of the pictures because I exceed the limit.
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#2 Drew

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:40 AM

About the hugycheck, I think it is a great idea and I recognize that I thought it was just hype etc... But it is very easy to use and gives confidence but (there is always a but...) I had a partial flood with no camera or lens loss during my first dive with the housing... I even heard the alarm but I thought it was some diverīs computer etc... After this dive I never had another problem so... NEVER USE A CAMERA ON THE FIRST DIVE ON ANY HOUSING...


David, I'm a little confused. Are you saying the Hugycheck gave you the ok seal but it still flooded? It's just a vacuum seal right? Do you know where the leak was from? Any explanation why a vacuum seal system would fail?

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#3 davichin

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 01:03 PM

David, I'm a little confused. Are you saying the Hugycheck gave you the ok seal but it still flooded? It's just a vacuum seal right? Do you know where the leak was from? Any explanation why a vacuum seal system would fail?


There was a button that was "hard" to press underwater and I think it had a "static" seal. It felt like a dry o-ring and when I used that button underwater I broke the seal... Somehow I knew there was something wrong with that button. Now that it has been used and "moved around" in its own grease it is smooth as it should be.
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#4 Don in Colorado

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 09:48 PM

Thanks for the very informative review of the Hugyfot D7000 housing. It looks like a really nice housing.

#5 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:21 PM

Davechin,
thanks for your great review and i agree fully.
I would like to add that the housing with 2x 2 8'' ulcs arms, 2 INON Z240 strobes and Tokina 100 mm macro with the corresponding flat port is slightly negative,
i estimate e few hundred grams and i found it not disturbing at all. Adding 2 little floats will correct that and a small lead band around the flat port will correct a slow tendency
of the housing to flip over and swim with the port upwards. Not a big issue for photographing while a perfect horizontal buoyancy is recommended for video.
I will build a stabilizer wing out of a approx. 1/10th inch thick sheet of aluminium for it to limit the movements of the camera while recording videos under water.
I just got yesterday the first time in the water with my Hugyfot D7000 housing and the new Tokina 100 mm macro and will do another 2 dives with the dome port this morning.

Chris

P.S. after the first dive with the dome port i have some thoughts:
1° The 8'' dome port works also perfectly with the rectilinear Tokina 12-24mm and don't show signs of soft corners. :-) :-)
2° The acrylic glass window for the camera screen is very reflective and make seeing the screen with high ambient light difficult
3° The dome port has less buoyancy than i expected but more tendency to flip the housing upside. A lead band on the lower shade should correct that.
4° The camera is difficult to hold steady, a stabilizing wing should help to dampen quick movements.
McDiver (my nickname) is developing a system to bring the housing to a neutral buoyancy and the best working and coolest looking stabilizing wings with
holder for battery packs

Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 19 July 2011 - 06:05 AM.

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#6 jefdriesen

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:38 AM

All controls work perfectly and the camera is easy to mount/dismount although not as easy as with other brands plate system.


Hugyfot is working on a new tray system for mounting the camera in the housing. It consists of a removable tray that attaches to the camera and then slides into the housing. Pascal showed me a prototype when I visited the Hugyfot office for some info on the D7000 housing. Last time I pinged Pascal, I was told it should be ready soon...
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#7 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:50 AM

When I tried this housing one thing I felt could be improved was the position of the primary control dial (shutter speed) which was much more difficult to reach than on other D7000 housings I had used. The rest of the controls I liked.

I thought that the D7000 Hugy did have a new camera mounting tray compared to older Hugys?

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#8 jefdriesen

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:21 AM

I find the secondary control dial (aperture, the one in the front of the camera) difficult to use with one finger. Due to the rounded shape of the housing, the knob needs to stick out a few centimeters to have enough room. But as a result, when you try to rotate the knob with just one finger while keeping your hand on the housing, you slightly pull the knob sideways causing enough friction to prevent the knob from rotating eadily. So I have to release my hand from the housing and use at least two fingers to rotate it.

I can't compare with previous Hugyfot housings (or even other brands), because this is my very first DSLR housing.

My only other complaint is the limited view of the standard viewfinder. I kind of expected to have the same field of view I have on the D7000 on land, but that was a huge disappointment. However I was assured this problem is not unique to the Hugyfot viewfinder, but also the standard viewfinder of other brands. At Hugyfot, Pascal showed me the straight and 45degree Inon viewfinders, and that's indeed a world of difference. I tried other people's housing before buying, but they all had the improved viewfinder. Now I know why, unfortunately I have no budget anymore to buy one myself at the moment :-(
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#9 tangler

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 06:47 AM

Hey Davichin.

Nice review. I was going to post one myself as I have this housing too, but you beat me to it :) I agree with you about the lack of o-rings on the balls. It's not a big deal, but IMO they sure clamp better with than without. I also agree with Alex and jefdriesen's comments about the control dials, but mainly the front side one (aperture). It's a bit awkward to use and I have to move my hand so I can grab it between thumb and forefinger to turn it. This needs to be improved so it can tweaked easily with a finger while the hand is still gripping the handle (or in the neoprene strap).

The standard viewfinder is much like all other standard viewfinders: an abomination. Unless you need it for 75m+ tech dives or have masochistic tendencies, the 180 or 45 finders are essential kit and should be at all times! I use the Inon 180 and love it.

I will note some other things.

Firstly, I read somewhere it's possible to suck out air through the Hugycheck valve with your mouth in the event the pump fails or runs out of battery. I tried this, and at the risk of my head imploding I could not reach a sufficient vacuum to make that hugycheck LED turn green. My guess is this is near impossible, although someone comes to mind who might be able to achieve it. I also tried removing a port while the housing was fully vacuum sealed. I was able to rotate the port but not pull it out. You could probably do it, but it would take considerable force. So this is good.

As far as handling goes, much is made of the one-handed operation of Hugys, so I will comment on my experiences.

With the standard flat port, 60mm micro, 2 x UCLS arms, and 2 x Inon Mega Float arms (390g buoyancy each), the rig is slightly negative, nicely balanced, and easy to use one handed. A joy. Also, the extra mounting ball allows the option of attaching a strobe arm to the top and removing a handle. If a single strobe is enough then both handles can be removed. This makes it a bit easier to shoot recalcitrant subjects in tight spaces (tasselled anglerfish look out!) or get right down low in the sand.

With the acrylic FE dome, Tok 10-17, and no float arms, the overall buoyancy is much like above, however the rig wants to flip dome up, making using the neoprene strap uncomfortable (the rig is trying to turn your wrist back). In my experience it's necessary to revert to gripping the handles, which is fine. Adding some counter weights to level it out is the way to go. A big glass dome might be a different story, and I suspect a Zen mini dome would handle nicely as-is. I should note the when shooting vertically there is no flipping problem and it's quite easy to shoot one handed.

My only problem with the housing was the review lever slipping out of adjustment after a couple of uses. Pascal sent me some new locking nuts for the control and so far so good.

Overall a great housing and I'm very pleased with it. All the other controls are fine; it's quite ergonomic; very sleek design, and I really like the shutter lever which has a nice action and I have no difficulties doing a half press.

#10 usub

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 10:30 AM

Hugyfot is working on a new tray system for mounting the camera in the housing. It consists of a removable tray that attaches to the camera and then slides into the housing. Pascal showed me a prototype when I visited the Hugyfot office for some info on the D7000 housing. Last time I pinged Pascal, I was told it should be ready soon...


Hi,
Do you know if exisiting D7000 housings can have the new removeable tray fitted ?

regards
Ulrik

Edited by usub, 15 August 2011 - 10:42 AM.


#11 owfotograaf

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 02:50 AM

Hi,
Do you know if exisiting D7000 housings can have the new removeable tray fitted ?


I have heard that the new tray will be made compatible to the D7000 housing and maybe even the other housings.

I agree about the controls that they are too round, but in the past they have had complaints from customers that the dials where too sharp. ?!?!?

#12 Nicool

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:50 AM

Hi all,

As I also own this housing I'm adding my contribution.
I've moved from an Ikelite housing to this Hugygfot, and have felt a great improvement on all aspects. I still think that Ikelite has good value-for-money, but I think the additional Euros I've paid for Hugy were worth it.

I've had a lot of hesitations with the Nauticam one, but the Hugycheck feature was a great USP for me (I had experienced a flood with my previous housing).
Also, I like a lot the ergonomy of this housing, especially the strap to use it one-handled (the aperture/speed knobs are not a big annoyance to me).

I'd be very interested in this removable tray, indeed I thought my housing would have one, and the current camera mounting system is a bit complex to use, and is probably my only disappointment on this housing.

With a mounting tray it will just be heaven :)

#13 jefdriesen

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 03:28 AM

Do you know if exisiting D7000 housings can have the new removeable tray fitted ?

Yes, according to the info I have from Hugyfot, the existing mounting plate can be replaced with the new removable tray. And that's exactly what I'm waiting for. I called Hugyfot today, and the locking mechanism of the tray isn't ready yet, so I'll need some more patience. I'll post a few pictures as soon as I have the new system installed on my housing.

BTW, one other (very minor) annoyance I discovered with the Hugyfot housing is that the Hugycheck battery needs to be installed before the camera. Usually I realize that only afterwards, and I have to restart all over again. Maybe I should place a warning sticker on the tray to remind me :-)
Nikon D7000 - Nikon AF-D 60mm - Tokina 10-17mm - Hugyfot housing - 2x Sea & Sea YS-110 optically triggered

#14 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 05:25 AM

jefdriesen,
i leave the battery half way out in the compartment so that there is no contact but i have to press it in the compartment to screw on the camera.
You may cut a stripe of plastic to isolate the battery from the contacts, so can leave the battery inside the compartment
and if you forget to pull it, you may grab it and and pull it out with the camera mounted.
Chris

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#15 usub

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:02 AM

Yes, according to the info I have from Hugyfot, the existing mounting plate can be replaced with the new removable tray. And that's exactly what I'm waiting for. I called Hugyfot today, and the locking mechanism of the tray isn't ready yet, so I'll need some more patience. I'll post a few pictures as soon as I have the new system installed on my housing.

BTW, one other (very minor) annoyance I discovered with the Hugyfot housing is that the Hugycheck battery needs to be installed before the camera. Usually I realize that only afterwards, and I have to restart all over again. Maybe I should place a warning sticker on the tray to remind me :-)


That would be interesting to see. I'm quit pleased with my hugyfot, but the mounting of the D7000 inside can be a bit difficult

#16 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:15 PM

I found the camera mounting plate not very comfortable for the first 2/3 dives,
but following the instructions of Hugyfot how to position the power lever, the AF/MF lever and the strobe pop-up lever,
i don't have any particular difficulties anymore to crew the camera on the mounting plate.
This Hugyfot plate is probably not such comfortable as a sled or similar system, but it makes it possible to position the camera
so that all wheels and knobs are perfectly aligned.
My Patima G11 housing has some slight play in the sled, leading sometimes to troubles using the wheels due to a insufficient contact.


Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 19 August 2011 - 11:10 PM.

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#17 tangler

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 10:19 PM

BTW, one other (very minor) annoyance I discovered with the Hugyfot housing is that the Hugycheck battery needs to be installed before the camera. Usually I realize that only afterwards, and I have to restart all over again. Maybe I should place a warning sticker on the tray to remind me :-)

Haha yes I've also forgotten a couple times. Actually I've left the lens cap on too and only realised when I was already in the water! Just got to develop a routine and stick to it. However it would be nice if the hugycheck had an on/off switch so the battery could be left in place, though no big deal.

#18 alessio

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 04:44 AM

Hi, someone know if it will be possible to purcase the "the optical connector" alone, I was thinking to use it in my sea&sea housing so that I can have both the ttl and fiber optic cable to fire strobe, even if my housing only have a "hole" for nikonos 5pin.

Any suggest?

Thanks

Alessio Simoncini

Edited by alessio, 22 August 2011 - 04:44 AM.



Alessio Simoncini, Italy


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#19 davichin

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 05:22 AM

Hi, someone know if it will be possible to purcase the "the optical connector" alone, I was thinking to use it in my sea&sea housing so that I can have both the ttl and fiber optic cable to fire strobe, even if my housing only have a "hole" for nikonos 5pin.

Any suggest?

Thanks

Alessio Simoncini


Hello Alessio,

I see that you use nikon D70s therefore, even if you can buy it, you will not be able to use it unless your housing allows for the camera strobe to be completely "up" (this is a nikon problem, canon does not have it and shoots without a complete deployment of the strobe).
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#20 owfotograaf

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 02:10 PM

When I tried this housing one thing I felt could be improved was the position of the primary control dial (shutter speed) which was much more difficult to reach than on other D7000 housings I had used. The rest of the controls I liked.

I thought that the D7000 Hugy did have a new camera mounting tray compared to older Hugys?

Alex




Just went on a 14 days liveaboard Maldives trip with this Hugyfot D7000 housing after adapting a few things before i left :D, 33 dives and no problems at all.

That is my solution for improving Alex his remark. Now i can control them with one finger because off the bigger edges in the dials!
DSC_4581xs.jpg

And personalise my housing by painting the inscriptions milled in the housing.
DSC_4592xs.jpg


And off coarse the new camera slide!
DSC_4605xs.jpg


Also put a switch to turn off the battery if not needed.
DSC_4621xs.jpg