Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
davichin

Hugyfot D300 review

Recommended Posts

Every time a new camera is thrown to the fast underwater photography market we “suffer”, we ask ourselves the dreaded question: should I upgrade?

In this case I was lucky enough to have someone take that decision for me… May 19th, my birthday, I arrived home and found that Luisa had bought me a D300 so, what could I do?

I started to search for a housing (I use a D200 Hugyfot and this was my previous review: http://www.digideep.com/english/info/html/...y-david-barrio/ ) and these were my PERSONAL thoughts:

 

Subal: Very nice but very expensive, some fitting problems read in the web, friends with drown or semi-drown cameras, would need new expensive ports. I do not like the bayonet system.

 

Seacam: Probably the most expensive out there although very good and I have happy friends with them. A new system (glass dome included…) is out of my budget.

 

Sealux: I do not know anyone who uses them although I like their new conically tapered flat ports and the 150 degrees viewfinder look very good.

 

Aquatica: I liked it very much (viewfinder and D200 to D300 honest conversion kit) and it was one of the contenders until the end.

 

Sea&Sea: Very improved piece of kit over the D200 and very good value for the price.

 

Hugyfot: I had used my trusty D200 in a lot of dives and never failed me. If you read my D200 housing review you will see that I had a problem with zoom knob; Hugyfot´s Spain dealer Jordi Chias (http://www.uwaterphoto.com/ )was always helpful in providing a fix. The D300 housing was expensive but I got a deal that made me choose Hugy again and I could use my ports with both housings (I will maintain my D200 kit). I also got a 45º and 180º Inon viewfinders that I have not used yet.

 

Now, to the review:

 

 

2753231424_4eca042ea2_o.jpg

 

 

2752396825_3579afa6e1_o.jpg

 

 

2752398163_43e0366d49_o.jpg

 

 

2752397769_4acf9a218f_o.jpg

 

 

 

The housing comes as you see in the pictures but with only the left handle (when seen from the back) and the ball on top. It includes several allen wrenches for all the bolts you may want to play with, one battery for the alarm, one extra main o-ring, one extra port o-ring, a cloth, grease, a back up strobe circuit (more on this later on), a cover for the front port, a CD with the instructions and a towel.

 

As an oddity, the housing comes with two strobe connectors plus a third one that is “empty” so you can use hugy´s pump to check for leaks. I intend to adapt this connector to a remote shutter control.

 

 

2752397375_bb63344987_o.jpg

 

 

Being used to the previous Hugy I was supposed to get used to it very fast but I had to play with the shutter release shaft for a while until I got the feeling I wanted (now it is perfect). In this housing the camera is held in place by tightening a small bolt that stays with the camera or can be screwed in another hole in the base plate (I think this bolt could easily get lost).

 

 

2752396561_723835db6b_o.jpg

 

 

Anyway, the camera is very easy to place in and out and the closing system with two Allen bolts give a secure feeling but not a fast access to the camera. Non Hugy users tend to dislike this closing system but I would not change it for any other. My recommendation is to have several wrenches in different places, such as car, dive equipment bag, etc. The camera’s USB and memory card are accessible without having to take out the camera but the battery is not. Other details are having the control functions marked on the housing (not painted or with stickers) and its 100m/300ft (in reality it should say 100m/330ft or 90m/300ft…) depth rate.

 

The balls on the handles do not have o-rings and you can see the wear on its surface from having to tighten the clamp much harder (this should be improved because it is very easy to machine a groove). The ports give a secure and very tight feeling (even though there is no lock) once in place and I have never had a problem with them.

 

Hugy seems to listen to reviews because now the front knob (speed in my case) works very fast and well (in the D200 that control required too much turning). Zoom seems to work fine with this one but the pieces are still plastic and I would like to have some made out of aluminium. Another difference is the ISO-QUAL-WB control: now is with three typical buttons (in the D200 there was a turning knob that kept pressed the camera button selected) and sometimes I miss the previous kind. The rest of the controls work just fine and I really like the handling of the housing in the water. The stock viewfinder is very good and proof of that is that I have not even tried the Inon viewfinders yet.

 

Not supported controls are: Flash control, shutter mode (no Live View access), metering mode wheel, AF-ON button , depth of field button and custom button in the front part of the housing. The only one I miss is the flash mode button.

 

 

2752395919_d8cd827bec_o.jpg

 

 

The housing comes with a loud leak alarm that has a built in strobe control circuit board so you can use an iTTL converter by just plug´n´play (both the alarm and the circuit board work out of the same battery).

 

 

2752398605_91bd11a773_o.jpg

 

 

The problem is that in my case and my strobes (Subtronic Novas and Sea&Sea 250pros) the strobes will not fire (even though I do not have the iTTL converter installed and I only need direct connection between the camera and the strobes). And this is when the provided back up circuit board is useful: Since one could run out of battery while on a trip (and the main alarm-circuit board would stop working) Hugy provides a small circuit board that “jumps” the main one and makes the needed direct camera-strobe connection. My Hugy dealer is getting me a new main circuit board so I do not have to squeeze the backup in the housing:

 

 

2752396231_3fcd3cc148_o.jpg

 

 

Hugy offers a good combination of ports-lenses and, in my case, with only a dome, a flat port and a 35mm I use: 10.5mm, 16mm 10-17mm, 10-17mm+1.4x, 10-20mm, 17-70mm, 60mm, 60mm+1.4x, 105mm, 105mm+1.4x plus the use of an Inon wet macro lens with any macro combination.

 

Here are some pics taken with the Hugy D300 that I cannot link because I exceed the limit:

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3117/275239...65823f3f1_o.jpg

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3138/275323...61005d16d_o.jpg

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3296/275323...870c09b31_o.jpg

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3235/275323...741f5df26_o.jpg

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3259/275240...6877f6727_o.jpg

 

 

Now a little about the D300… It has been said a lot about its capacity to handle sunbursts and, in my experience, this is not true. I went through all the previous examples and they were mostly done at around 5 meters and in very clear water where almost any camera performs well. In deeper waters it performs worse than my D200 or maybe I have not found the correct settings but back to back pictures show this.

Focusing ability is something that has also been given a lot of hype but, again, I think there is no reason for this. Focusing speed and accuracy is the same or maybe a veeeery little bit better than in the D200 but since the new camera does not support AF group mode (it has AF-Dynamic-Area but it just does not work as well) I prefer the D200´s focus. Maybe it is just a matter of getting used to the new gear but believe me, do not expect a wooohaaa! change in those matters.

All this said, the image quality and the 100% cover viewfinder are very nice and the screen is great but I would like the camera to use all of it when reviewing an image as it wastes part of the screen with two bottom lines of info that I can live without and a frame…

 

 

After reading the review I think that I may be a little bit demanding and picky but I wanted it to be a truthful and useful review. I must add that I am very happy with the kit and I do not think (you never know but…) I would be more comfortable with any other combination of camera/housing…(no, I do not like FF but that will be another story!!!)

 

Go ahead and ask all the questions you may have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David,

 

I found this an interesting comment:

Now a little about the D300… It has been said a lot about its capacity to handle sunbursts and, in my experience, this is not true. I went through all the previous examples and they were mostly done at around 5 meters and in very clear water where almost any camera performs well. In deeper waters it performs worse than my D200 or maybe I have not found the correct settings but back to back pictures show this.

Care to expand?

 

post-713-1218455011.jpg

 

Alex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi David,

 

I found this an interesting comment:

 

Care to expand?

 

post-713-1218455011.jpg

 

Alex

 

Hello Alex!

 

Just look at the sunburts from these two straight jpgs from the D200; there is no cyan in them and I have not been able to do that with the D300:

 

07_5_07_6__DSC8509.jpg

 

 

10_3_DSC7226.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are the examples pics that I could not post because of the limit:

 

 

2752399795_065823f3f1_o.jpg

 

 

2753234358_561005d16d_o.jpg

 

 

2753233334_b741f5df26_o.jpg

 

 

2752400345_16877f6727_o.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks David.

Sunbursts are such a frustrating thing. Sometimes when you expect better results the results are lousy, and visa versa.

Seems like their are some obvious variables like shutter speed, depth, water clarity etc, and the other variables that are more difficult to explain or predict like sun angle, water color - probably Alex can have more input on this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks David.

Sunbursts are such a frustrating thing. Sometimes when you expect better results the results are lousy, and visa versa.

Seems like their are some obvious variables like shutter speed, depth, water clarity etc, and the other variables that are more difficult to explain or predict like sun angle, water color - probably Alex can have more input on this

 

 

I have some new settings to try this weekend and I just installed the 45% inon viewfinder so we´ll see... :bananashark:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...