The Ultimate Fotopro C5I Review!

After posting a bunch of reviews of various tripods over the last few weeks, we have noticed a number of people reaching out asking for a Fotopro C5I review so we decided to publish one. We are hoping that this article will help any of our readers who are considering adding the C5I to their collection of camera accessories as we have noticed there is a distinct lack of content out there about the tripod.

Although the C5I is a solid bit of kit that is earning a decent reputation for itself amongst both photographers and videographers, it is in an awkward price range between the entry-level tripods and the intermediate tripods. Although this price range is difficult to compete in any way, it also has the Zomei Z818 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) that absolutely dominates the price range due to it being one of the best tripods available at this price point.

That said, we will still be fully reviewing the Fotopro C5i and giving it a fair shot to see how it compares to the Z818 as it is without a doubt the leading tripod in the C5i’s price range. At the end of our review, we will also share out thoughts on if we feel the C5i is a better option over the Zomei tripod or not and if it is worth your hard-earned money.

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User Interface And Control System

As we mentioned, the Fotopro C5i comes in with a price tag on the higher end of the entry-level tripod bracket and the lower end of the intermediate tripod bracket. Due to this, there is a decent chance that a number of the people who are considering picking it up and adding it to their camera accessories may be purchasing it as their very first tripod.

Thankfully, all the various locks and features on the Fotopro C5i are very easy to use and will allow a first-time tripod owner to get the most out of the tripod right out the box without having to waste time. If this is not your very first tripod then you will have used pretty much all of the various mechanisms on the tripod.

The photograph above shows the leg angle selectors on the Fotopro C5i that allow you to adjust the angles of the legs to meet the needs of your location. The tripod uses the standard press and release adjuster that is very common amongst tripods at this price range and uses a tooth based lock rather than an actual ratchet. Again, for entry-level tripods, this is a common system as it is cheap and easy to use while also providing the tripod with a great level of stability once the lock has been released.

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We have seen a few people mention how one leg seems to be stiffer or weaker to adjust when using the leg angle selector to adjust its position. This is usually not a fault with the tripod and is down to the screw through the top of the leg that joins the leg to the main central plate just needing a little tweak. Simply adjust the screw as required to adjust the pressure that the screw applies to the leg and the issue should be solved.

One thing that Fotopro have tried to do is tweak the leg lock system on the C5i. Although it is essentially a twist-lock leg locking method, they are trying to brand it as a quick lock leg lock with increased functionality. In all honesty, though, there is little to no difference between the locks on the C5i and a regular twist lock system in our opinion.

We know that some people do prefer to use a flip lock system on their tripods but personally, we prefer the ease of use and speed of a twist lock based system. In addition to this, the modern twist locks tend to age much better than the earlier generations meaning they offer pretty much all the benefits of the flip lock leg locks while also having the speed and easy of use of the regular leg locks.

Additionally, you can see the rubber feet at the base of each of the legs in the image above. These help to increase the stability of the tripod on wet or slippy surfaces and can be removed to reveal metal spikes for even more grip in these situations.

Although common at this price point in the market, the Fotopro C5i also comes with a counterweight hook as shown in the image above. Unlike some of the competing tripods out there that use a low-quality plastic-based counterweight hook the C5i uses a metal hook and actually has a screw thread rather than being attached directly to the central column.

This allows you to add additional weight to the tripod rig when using it in windy conditions to help minimize the chances of it falling over. As the hook opening is pretty large, you should have no dramas mounting your backpack on it allowing you to always have something available to add weight to the tripod if needed.

All in all, we really can’t fault Fotopro and feel that they have done an excellent job of making sure that the C5i is very easy to use. If you are looking at the C5i as a potential first-time tripod it is definatley a great choice.

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Performance And Functionality

One area that the Fotopro C5i does excel at and stand apart from most of the other tripods in this price range is its level of performance. It is easily able to hold its own against some of the intermediate tripods at higher price points in the market while offering you the advantage of having a lower price tag.

It can provide you with some excellent image stabilization for your camera rig and the locks and angle adjusters ensure that your kit is safe and secure once mounted. Additionally, we have made the bullet point list below going over some of the key features that we feel our readers may want to know about the C5i:-

  • Maximum usable height – 62.6 inches.
  • Minimum usable height – 21 inches.
  • Folded length – 19 inches.
  • Maximum load capacity – 33 pounds.
  • Tripod net weight – 3 pounds.

As you can see, the C5i offers you a massive 62.6 maximum usable height that is higher than the majority of completing tripods at this price point along with a 33-pound payload capacity. This should ensure that you are able to easily use the tripod to meet the needs of your session while also being able to support the weight of your camera rig.

In addition to the features listed above, the Fotopro C5i also features a detachable leg that functions as a stand-alone monopod as shown in the image above. The process to detach and reattach the leg is very simple and can be completed in less than 30 seconds with a little practice. This is a great little feature to have on your tripod as more and more cities and towns are outright banning the use of tripods on the sidewalk so the monopod allows you to get some image stabilization without having to take up much of the sidewalk when near famous locations.

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Build Quality And Design

As you would expect from its price tag, the Fotopro C5i is made from a high-quality Aluminum-Magnesium alloy rather than carbon fiber to help keep the costs of the tripod low while ensuring that it is robust and lightweight. Additionally, the tripod has then gone through an anodic oxidation process that essentially provides the tripod with a scratch-resistant coat.

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All in all, Fotopro really have done an excellent job when it comes to their C5i and they have knocked out a very robust tripod that we feel will be able to last the majority of our readers many years. If you are planning on traveling with the tripod then you can rest assured that it can easily take a few bumps during transit without breaking.

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Question – Do Fotopro provide a warranty with the Fotopro C5i?

Answer – Yes, Fotopro provides you a Five-year warranty for the product from the date of purchase when purchased from official outlets including their own Amazon vendor account.

Question – Are spare quick release plates available for the Fotopro C5i?

Answer – Yes, it uses the QAL-50 Quick Release Plate plate system.

Our Verdict

That concludes our review of the Fotopro C5I tripod and although it is a decent quality bit of kit that can make a great addition to your collection of camera accessories, we still feel that the Zomei Z818 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is the better choice. In our opinion, it offers better performance, a better build quality, increased functionality, while also having a cheaper price tag and a better reputation within the photography and videography community too.

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