Underwater housings for Nikon D800 and D4 cameras in the making

Hugyfot underwater housing prototype for Nikon D800

Hugyfot underwater housing prototype for Nikon D800

Hugyfot underwater housing prototype for Nikon D800

Hugyfot underwater housing prototype for Nikon D800

The first underwater housing prototypes for Nikon D800 and D4 cameras are already out and they look slick. I was told that the Hugyfot housing for D800 will cost "only" €2,850 including VAT (around $3,700). Hugyfot showed also those 3D rendering for the D4 housing at the London Dive Show:

Hugyfot underwater housing prototype for Nikon D4

Hugyfot underwater housing prototype for Nikon D4

Hugyfot underwater housing prototype for Nikon D4

Hugyfot underwater housing prototype for Nikon D4

Nauticam already has a working prototype of an underwater housing for Nikon D4:

Nauticam underwater housing prototype for Nikon D4

Nauticam underwater housing prototype for Nikon D4

Via Wetpixel

This entry was posted in Nikon D4, Nikon D800 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • LOL


    • These will be perfect for our underwater wedding photography!

    • Jason

      yup, no real D800 yet, but a pixar like gizmo is ready…

    • CAD sketch is not an prototype imho

  • And i’m going to get one of those Hugies for my D800!

    • The Long Wait

      Thanks to Nikon you may have the housing before the D800.

      • MarcTR

        Agreed – I have had the D800 on pre-order for a while now, though no sign of it yet. Would love to add one of these Hugyfot housings too, though may wait for the arrival of the camera body first… 🙂

        • Not Surprised

          Only ignorance would ask for Nikon to not ship out orders until ALL orders can be met. In that case, everyone would be delayed.

          Nikon is filling orders as fast as they can. THANKS TO NIKON, at least a lot of people already get to play with this camera — even if not everyone yet.

          • Calibrator

            “THANKS TO NIKON, at least a lot of people already get to play with this camera — even if not everyone yet.”

            Since when do we have to thank a company who is only doing its job (making profit as best as it can)?

            Are we in the Apple church of commercial religion now?

            • LP

              Calibrator is right. Companies are all about capitalism, they offer something, then you buy it if you want, end. No thanks from either party. I preordered on feb. 27, however, found a D800 on a local Best Buy, only paid $150 “extra” for taxes. I got lucky, however, I’d recommend people to not just wait for your order to ship, you might be number 1 million… Try small known stores or something, they get one from time to time with no big fuzz and no monkey business… Regarding underwater housings more expensive than the camera itself… Not for me… Nice but shoud not be more than maybe 500 bucks, that’s how I see it…

            • PHB

              There is certainly more empirical evidence for the involvement of Nikon in the availability of D800s than any deity. So ‘Thank Nikon’ sounds rather more appropriate.

      • I was one of the lucky few to get a D800…

        • Calibrator

          I’m so proud of you, Udo! You are truly a magificient person!

        • Udo… I’m a huge fan of yours, bro.

        • Shawnino

          Wow Udo, your parents must be so proud!

  • the Hugyfots look hard to hold on to.

  • I have an underwater shoot in Vieques, Puerto Rico during the first week of May…bad timing, because I’m sure these won’t be ready by then. Looking forward to getting my hands on both.

  • Yo mamma


    • flies all green

      Which of course is the first thing you worry about when your at -30metres

      • iamlucky13

        Typically dismissive comment from a non-diver.

        There isn’t much in this world more humiliating than being laughed at by a clown fish. Come back and comment again after you’ve had that happen to you.

        • JLK


        • Calibrator

          > Typically dismissive comment from a non-diver.

          Now that’s a keen observation!

        • B!

          Clownfish is one thing but what about a trigger?

          LOL, just messin’ with ya.

        • sirin

          why, do clown fish shoot Canon?

    • Craig

      I will speculate you don’t think the housing is “pretty” because of ll the curved surfaces, and roundness.

      But… for a pressure vessel all the curved surfaces = greatness of holding out water and not collapsing.

    • Adam

      Don’t worry. Nobody will be laughing at your camera. They’ll be laughing at you in your wetsuit. ;-P

  • Gregory

    $3700 to protect a $3200 (CDN) Camera….

    Somebody, please explain how this makes sense. There’s apparently another $500 worth of R&D / Engineering in the housing than there is in the whole camera?

    • Trevor

      Are you looking for an answer other than “that’s what it costs to keep something dry at 100m?” Also, don’t forget these aren’t exactly large volume sales.

      I wonder what the NASA covering on the D3s costs…

    • This is nothing new…housings typically cost more than the camera. The housing that I WAS looking at for my (now sold) D3S is $6000. Add another $500 for ports and $200 for strobes. Underwater photography is an expensive specialty.

      • Sorry…typo. I meant $2000 for strobes

        • Foolishcfo

          I was about to ask you what kind of strobes you had for $200….I would have assumed flooded ones!

      • Dave

        And if you are paying $6K for a housing you must be talking Seacam, and then the ports should be much higher than $500. Unless you are only getting the cheapest flat port only, no dome.

  • Tom

    Let’s play a game. I didn’t look at the price yet. I’m going to guess, based on how badly the industry gouges its customers on things like $40 wireless adapters for $800. I’m going to guess that this device costs at least $1500 due to all of the material, somehow, this thing will cost more than a deep sea diving helmet……brb…..let me check above……..yep. Ha. It costs $3700. What a surprise. I’ll take 5!!

    • PHB

      I think the majority of the cost here is design rather than materials.

      If you buy a Cuisinart toaster they probably spent a million bucks designing it but that is a small part of their costs as they will make ten million of that model before it is replaced and the next one will share most of the old design. In fact the cost of designing the machinery and process to make the toaster is likely ten times the cost of designing the thing itself.

      That housing likely cost less than a million bucks to design. But tooling for the moulds and such likely cost them $50K or so. And they likely sell by the hundreds. So the design cost is a huge part of the total cost.

      • Richard M

        The more sophisticated aluminium housings don’t sell in significant volumes so development costs do impact on the price. I own three Subal housings for Nikons and I am waiting to see what they produce for my D800 (I’ve got mine – wow, what a great camera). Digital housings have a lot of controls and so cost several times as much as film camera housings did. This is probably the major factor determining the cost. Don’t compare the price of these specialist housings with the cost of mass produced injection moulded plastic housings for compact cameras. Also, the aluminium housings are typically rated to two or three times the depth of the plastic housings.

  • Duke of Edinburgh

    I don’t need those. just place the camera in a plastic bag. All the controls are easy to manipulate.

    • Tom

      I was just about to type this. Ha. I agree.

    • B!

      I’d like a YouTube video of you doing just that.

    • Foolishcfo

      Using that approach take the cash you were going to spend on the camera and lens and light it on fire. Bags and pressure don’t mix.

      • Obvious Troll

        Google: “trolling”

        • PHB

          No, the guy is right. This is designed to work at 100m. It is not a plastic bag.

          Though given the application, I think the whole approach is wrong. I would not mage a housing for a D4 at all. The Nikon V1 is a much better starting point. It is smaller and lighter and it is not like you can use majorly complex settings underwater.

          The downside would be the light response of course. But if you want to spend less that $10K on underwater photography you have to cut some pretty big corners.

      • Photdog

        Well, in the middle of the eighties -back in the film days- I had a plastic bag, sort of special zip-lock with a glove manufactured in. It worked – camera and lens kept being dry. Limit was of course 10m/30 ft. But below 5 m you can’t do much without strobe or extra lighting anyway.
        Focusing wasn’t easy in that sense, that under water you can’t rely on the distance scale and at the same time body and camera bag are floating – its not like you standing on the ground. But this world is so fascinating, that it is worth every effort!
        I wonder how nowadays AF holds up. Can anyone tell something on the hit rate of AF under water?

        • Rchard M

          Auto-focus generally works very well underwater. There are some problems when you are deep because the ambient light is very blue resulting in poor contrast. The AF has difficulty with something like a shark more than 3 metres away when focussing on the poor contrast of the shark’s skin. The camera usually manages to focus but may not confirm the focus as it hasn’t detected sufficient contrast.

    • notsobad

      It’s a great idea. If someone develops and sells such a bag I’ll be the first to use my credit card. Well done Mr Duke of Edinburgh, you deserve a medal.

  • Foolishcfo

    I am probably in the minority that thinks this is good news as I shoot more underwater than I do topside. I’m familiar with Nauticam and most of the u/w housing manufacturers although I must admit that Hugyfot is a new one. I can’t wait to hear from you that Sea and Sea has a new housing for the D800. I’ve got a ton invested in ports for Sea and Sea housings as I do lenses for Nikon so wait I must. Of course it would help if Nikon would actually deliver my D800…

    • Tom

      I totally agree, it seems like a great idea (not my expertise), it’s just the price is like wow.

      • Foolishcfo

        Wow is right. Because the housings are so expensive I can’t upgrade every time Nikon comes out with a new body. I also have to purchase two camera bodies as my contribution to the “flood gods” so that my housing doesn’t flood when I travel.

  • Sckmuck

    If I order one of those Hugies now, I will probably get it before the D4!!!

  • Steven Georges

    That’s a lot of R&D for a very small market. Not to mention the liability.

    • B!

      Liability? What? They don’t guarantee anything and there is usually a paragraph that you wont hold the company liable for any loses. Their liability is limited to replacement of defective device.

      • Foolishcfo

        Yep. Thats why I have flood insurance for all my gear!

      • Steven Georges

        That wouldn’t stop many people from filing expensive lawsuits, even if they go nowhere. Then there’s the class action lawsuits.

  • Al

    36 mp underwater would be amazing, especially at coral reefs.
    If you can afford the D4 or D800 and can afford going to multiple tropical locations to do photography while you scuba, then $3700 should not be a concern. Get a cheap one that fails and your out a D4 or D800.
    I don’t understand why everyone complains so much about prices. If its too much for you go buy a Nikon AW100 but don’t go past 10 meters.
    If your a professional underwater photographer, I’m sure this is of great value and the price is irrelevant.

    • Foolishcfo

      We’ll see how great it is underwater. This is where low-light cameras shine. I wish I had a D4 but I’m sure the D800 will do fine.

  • i love the cost only

  • T.I.M

    To celebrate the D800’s first release anniversary, Nikon deceided to make a special event in every country where Nikon products are sold.

    There will be a show case where people can see a real D800, and also a lottery contest, the winner will have the privilege to hold a D800 for one minute and 15 seconds !

    That’s what I call caring about customers !

  • WengerIsGood

    Its a bargain, especially with that “Bender” bit at the top.

  • Man, those are a chunk of money, and unlike lenses that carry over, when your body is obsolete so is the housing. There are advantages to shooting FX underwater, but not as great as on land. Most underwater photography uses flash to preserve color, so high ISO noise performance is not so much of a factor. Resolution is lost to the lack of clarity of the water and most underwater shots are not right for blurred out backgrounds.

    • Foolishcfo

      FX is great for wide-angle underwater but I still prefer DX for macro.

    • Dave

      One of the reasons DX is good for underwater wide angle is corner sharpness. Hemispheric domes used in wide angle photography often cause corner softness due to focusing on a curved virtual image (google it). DX bodies crop the outer edges of an image and you rarely have an issue with soft corners. This may be the only advantage though.

  • Snake

    I like how they are creating an ultra expensive case for underwater photography for a camera that practically doesn’t exist. Just sayen 😉

  • Srini

    It may be priced at £3000 in the UK. The camera itself costs £2600. Please correct me if I am wrong. It is not a good economics to buy an expensive protection to guard a piece that costs less.

    • Anthony

      @Srini, How many £2600 are you ready to kill and throw in the garbage each time you want to take a picture of a clown fish laughing at you for not protecting your gear? This is not like a LV hand bag just so you can carry it in the street.

      By the way can they find a better name than ”Hugyfot”? It does sounds like ”Ugly Fart” while the metaphor does look like one ugly bubble fart coming out of the water. LOL…

      • Srini

        fair enough!


      • Richard M

        Hugyfot is an old brand. They were big in the early film camera housings. A Pentax LX in a Hugyfot was the choice of many professionals. German, I think.

    • Tiger1050Rider

      You seem to have forgotten about the little thing that you stick on the front of a DSLR body.

      Ah yes, the Lens. Add that to the cost of the body and you can easily exceed the price of the housing.

      Unless, you are one of these people who can take magical shots without a lens??????

      • Dave

        You forgot to add the thing you stick on the front of an underwater housing.

        Ah yes, the port. These can run as high as $1500. And then there are the handles, strobes, arms, synch cords, diopters and other nicknacks that send an underwater rig into the stratosphere.

  • EnPassant

    I’m not a diver but wonder; Why build a underwater house for D4? I can’t see any significant advantage using a D4 instead of a D800 under water. At least not enough to use a twice as expensive camera.

    • Marc Pagani

      I have both cameras, and I agree. Although the D4 is a faster camera, I think I’m going to be happy with a housing for the D800, given the special needs presented by UW photography.

    • Dave

      The D800 should be better for compactness alone. The bigger the camera, the bigger the hindrance pushing it through the water. In the film days, Nikonos were famous for how compact they were without sacrificing quality.

  • Foolishcfo

    At least I won’t have to get in line behind the NPS guys to get my housing…


    30,000 effing D800s made per month – so that not many people have it yet.
    35,000 effing grips and 40,000 effing under water housings for the effing D800 per month – so that whoever has ordered a effing D800 and *NOT* received it yet, can throw more effing money at effing Nikon and get the effing grips and the effing housing.

    Those effing market researchers at effing Nikon must have been smoking effing *something*!

    Way to go effing Nikon! Get your effing camera out first, then give more of these effing crap! Or feed those effing a-hole morons on e-Bay who are jacking up their effing profits on your expense!! It is effing surprising that people are paying that kind of money to get this effing camera from those effing a-holes on e-Bay!

    Oh, too much of effing profanity! It is all because of you, you effing Nikon! I dont blame any of the effing resellers!

    • will

      Hi Brother don’t be to harsh on them (nikon) they had a pretty shitty couple of years
      so give em some slack

  • GrumpyDiver

    Must be a warm-water camera. I’m trying to figure out how one would be able to push any of those buttons wearing cold water gloves or mitts.

    On the other hand, too much detritus and othe suspended matter in the waters I dive in to even think about doing a lot of shooting in northern rivers and lakes…

  • looon

    I need a rich husband or better yet a winning lottery ticket.

    • Dover

      How very female of you.

  • glug-glug-glug-glug

    Hey… I have a housing for the canon s90…. and an old old Nikonos..

    I’m not going to get better pics underwater on my Nikon than on the S90, which takes remarkable pics…. Honestly.. let’s get real here…

  • hq

    I’d rather dive with an AW100 because B&H HAVEN’T SHIPPED MY D800 YET!!!!

  • Remedy

    It’s funny cause the underwater housing costs as much as the expensive camera LULZ… no, wait… it’s not funny at all. It’s idiotic that a piece of molded plastic costs as much or more than a highly complicated electronic device made of thousands of pieces. Good job world, you proved to be an idiot – again.

  • With such a housing you can get such results:


  • Roger

    I just threw out my Ikelite housing for my FE-2. Cost me $600 in the 80’s.
    I never did get to use it much. Using it was like swimming with a cinder block. Weighed about as much and was as big. But my cameras never got flooded. And thats the whole point of a housing. The EWA bags are cheaper, good for 30 feet of water and do a decent job within their limits.

  • Nat

    That’s actually a pretty cheap housing. You have to remember that underwater photography is like jumping into a big black hole of debt. I got the Sea & Sea housing for my D300 many years ago; that housing (from Taiwan) cost me $3000. Strobes were another couple of thousand. Ports: another couple of grand. Sync cord (and spare sync cord) plus spare o-rings and accessories: several hundred. In total, the camera body and housing/strobe combo was 9K. I was lucky to already own the lenses I needed, otherwise it would be closer to 12K. Oh, and I forgot the flood insurance: $250/year.

    BTW, whoever said it’s ridiculous to pay this much for “molded plastic”: these high-end housings are made of cast aluminum or other metals. Only Ikelite makes “plastic” housings, though they’re not actually plastic, and they’re subject to depth limits because they’re not able to withstand as much pressure as the metal ones.

    • Dave

      I have taken my Ikelite to 211 no problem, except for the narcosis.

  • jadekub


  • jadekub


  • Such an expensive area to get into professionally.

    • R

      You bet! Don’t expect to enter the water with less than $15k worth of kit if you are serious about taking professional u/w photos.

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