The Nikon d5600 is a great mid-level DSLR released in 2015. It has a nice, strong set of features that make it a good all-around camera for beginners or mid-level photographers. Of course, like any good camera, it goes best with a decent stabilizing tripod.
The Zomei Z699C carbon fiber tripod is a great recommendation for the d5600. It’s a reliable and lightweight tripod with a wide set of promising features. It can be easily set up and features a ball-head mount for a wide range of angles and shots.
The compact size and lightweight on the Zomei Z699C make it super portable, and the sturdy carbon fiber legs mean that you don’t sacrifice any stiffness or reliability. It extends out to a nice height and has a well-marked radial display around the base of the ball-head. The Z699C can also convert easily into a monopod for times when all three legs aren’t needed.
There is also a range of cool accessories and add-ons that you can purchase along with the Z699C to make it even more effective as a tripod. All-in-all, this tripod has an impressive range of features that make it fit really well with the d5600. It also has an excellent reputation amongst both photographers and videographers to boot.
Performance And Functionality
The full feature list for the Z699C are as follows:
- Fully adjustable ball head
- 60” maximum height
- 20” minimum height
- Storage dimensions 18.5” x 5.3” x 5.3”
- 4.4 lbs
- Max payload of 33 lbs
- Twist lock legs
- Compass bearings ; spirit level
- Monopod conversion
- Many accessories available
The Ball Head Mount
This is one of the main qualities of the Z699C that make it our recommended tripod for the d5600. The ball head gives you all the capability you could want while remaining nice and smooth. It won’t give you unwanted shakes while the camera is mounted, keeping your pictures and video nice and steady.
The ball head is fully adjustable and has very smooth panning capabilities while your camera is mounted. You can make some really lovely landscape videos with how smooth the panning is. There isn’t any pan-bar, but the resistance and smoothness on the rotary mechanism are top-notch and don’t really necessitate one.
Convenient Compass Bearings
Close to the base of the head, there are clearly visible compass bearings, allowing you to mark any angles you want to reference while you’re panning the camera. There is also a spirit level mounted beneath the head, allowing you to confirm the levelness of the tripod at a glance. The spirit level is nicely visible, even with a camera like the d5600 mounted above it.
There is also a right-angle notch if you want to get any overhead shots using this tripod. The locking system is very simple and secure, ensuring that your camera will be nice and safe while mounted on this tripod. It’s also just as easy to release the locking mechanism, making it easier to make adjustments as needed.
The spirit level is easy to see, even in low-light conditions. Although the d5600 shouldn’t present any problems as far as obscuring the spirit level, if you do run into problems with your lens combo or other accessories, there is an easy workaround. The camera can be quickly removed from the ball head and reattached with the quick-release system, allowing you to rotate the rig so that the spirit level is visible.
The legs on the Z699C are very sturdy. In fact, they are some of the sturdiest legs on the market for this price point. Every leg has a ratchet locking system built-in, and such a high-quality locking system is pretty rare on mid-range tripods like the Z699C. The ratchet system lets you really hear when the locks are properly secured, adding to the assurance that your shot and camera are safe.
The release system on the ratchet lock is a simple press-release. The leg extenders, on the other hand, use twist locks all the way down. Some photographers don’t like to use twist-locks on their tripods, since they tend to add a lot of setup time compared to press-locks.
User Interface And Control System
The legs are attached to the base of the tripod with a high-quality ratchet locking system, allowing for expedient and effective positioning of the three legs at a moment’s notice if need be. The ratchet system makes a nice satisfying noise when it locks in place, meaning you can be reassured of the lock before mounting your d5600 on top of the tripod.
The ratchet system also has a very convenient press-release that can release all three legs at once for readjustment. Overall, a highly efficient and effective locking system gives you a lot of freedom during a shoot.
On the Z699C, however, there is a good workaround to get the tripod fully extended quickly. You can actually use your whole hand across every individual twist lock at once to release them all at the same time. This saves you the trouble of loosening and then retightening every single twist-lock.
Even if you have to adjust the twist-locks individually once the tripod is set up, the twist locks are very effective and can be loosened fairly easily. Despite how easily they can be readjusted, they still lock back into place securely every time.
The feet on the Z699C are made of rubber and pointed for a non-slip effect. The rubber portion can actually be twisted to expose or conceal the point. This is great if you’re at an event and need to set up both outside and indoors at different times during the session.
The Rubber portion of the foot can be removed, as well, but it cannot be easily replaced by other types of feet, unfortunately. Even still, the standard feet are versatile and effective enough for a wide range of situations.
Another rare feature in mid-level tripods like the Z699C is the ability to easily and quickly convert into a monopod. In situations where you want some stability, but the full three legs are unnecessary or too bulky to get the shots you want, making the tripod into a monopod is a great solution. Converting the Z699C into a monopod is fairly simple and straightforward.
First, twist the locking system and release one leg from the tripod system. Then, detach the ball-head from the tripod itself using the twist lock on the bottom of the head. After detaching the head, you can attach the single leg to the base of the ball head to complete the monopod.
The entire conversion takes around 20 seconds to break down and reconstruct. If you want to make it back into a tripod, this can be achieved by reversing the steps just described. The monopod is just as robust and easy-to-use as the full tripod.
If you want to read more about the features and performance, there are plenty of excellent, independent reviews of this tripod online. In general, people mention the stability and ease-of-use as top-notch for this tripod. There are very few complaints from users online.
Build Quality And Design
The whole construction is very sturdy. The carbon fiber is very lightweight and retains plenty of stiffness after repeatedly collapsing and extending the tripod. The ball head and rotary system, also, continue to feel very smooth and robust after hours and hours of use.
None of the leg locks seemed to slip or lose effectiveness. They continued to hold just fine after repeatedly locking and releasing the legs in a variety of positions. The rubber feet hold up nicely, as well.
The 90-degree locking system, although more complex than the other locks and such on the tripod, is also very reliable. After a whole session of top-down photography, it continued to retain its sturdiness and ease-of-adjustment.
The entire construction also looks very nice. The carbon fiber legs are nicely shaped, and the gold trim on the twist locks are very sharp looking. Aesthetics are not an essential part of tripod construction, but they’re always a plus, especially if you’re at an event where ugly photography equipment might ruin the mood.
Adjusting The Rubber Feet
The one thing to make note of is that the adjustment of the rubber feet to expose the spike on the bottom can sometimes become loose or less effective. This is particularly concerning because the feet cannot be replaced with better ones. Although the feet are versatile and generally hold up well, it would be nice to be able to fit whatever feet you want onto the bottom of the Z699C.
Solid When Collapsed
On a lighter note, the whole tripod when collapsed is also very solid. On some lower-quality tripods, you can end up with a gap between the feet when they’re collapsed. This can cause some problems with bending and overall sturdiness of the tripod becomes compressed during storage or transport.
Luckily, the Z699C remains nice and solid when it’s collapsed down to its very portable storage stature. The stored tripod feels nice and solid and doesn’t weigh you down too much. At 18.5 inches, it fits into a wide range of photography bags or other storage solutions.
Like we mentioned before, although the Z699C is a very sturdy and well-constructed tripod for its price range, there is a wide range of accessories that are compatible with it. These can really make the Z699C a thing of beauty, so it’s a good idea to take a look at our recommendations and see if anything stands out.
First of all, There are counterweights. You have a lot of options in this department, but our recommendation is to use a sandbag counterweight system. The sandbags allow you to add additional weight to the base of the Z699C in order to increase its stability.
Sandbags are somewhat preferable to other forms of counterweight because they can be easily carried from place to place and don’t require some kind of advanced locking mechanism to attach them to the tripod. They also are quite versatile and can be used to weigh down pretty much anything you might need.
This is another great addon from Zomei. This one is particularly good for photographers who use multiple cameras over the course of a shoot. Basically, the quick-release plate attaches to the base of your camera and allows it to be mounted or removed from the tripod at a moment’s notice.
Unfortunately, you will need more than one plate if you want to quick-release a number of different cameras. Of course, even if you have at least one, it can save you lot’s of time during a shoot.
Overall, this is a great mid-level tripod. Even more advanced photographers would feel right at home using this tripod. The solid construction and wide range of features make it quite versatile for basically any niche photography.
The only real complaint is that the feet cannot be replaced with different ones. If you don’t like the twist locks on the legs, then this tripod may not be for you, but they can be used fairly easily and effectively if you’re willing to get used to them.
If the tripod seems a little too bulky for you, and you aren’t going to need as much stability, you can just carry the thing around as a monopod. The monopod is just as sturdy and easy to use as the full tripod version, so it gives you a lot of options if you want to travel light. Even if you need the full tripod, the 4.4 lbs weight and small storage stature is very portable and convenient.
The Zomei Z699C is a great tripod if you want photographer-level quality without breaking the bank too much. It’s a bit of a step up from simpler entry-level tripods, but it gives you a lot of extra stability and features that make it totally worth it.
The product also has a great reputation, which it lives up to beautifully. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to fire away in the comments section!