In this article, we will be going over our full Zomei Z699C review. With more and more photographers and videographers starting to consider the Zomei range for their tripod of choice, we have seen a steadily increasing number of people reaching out for reviews.
Although we are planning on reviewing the full Zomei tripod range over the coming months, we decided to start our review series by covering the z699c. From what we have seen it is the most requested review from the community and we would like to help any of our readers who are considering picking this tripod up.
Our Zomei Z699C Review
This is evident in the excellent reputation the Z699C has within the photography community and the fact that it shows no sign of giving up its market-leading position within its niche. The tripod has an excellent build quality that also has a nice finish giving it a nice feel, unlike some competing mid-range tripods that feel cheap.
The Zomei Z699C’s weight is only 4.4 pounds with a collapsed size of fourteen inches making it ideal for any travel photography due to its compact size and lightweight. Don’t let this fool you though, the Z699C is able to support a maximum load weight of thirty-three pounds! This will allow you to use this tripod for the vairy majority of camera, lens, and flash combos out there with plenty of weight to spare.
You are also able to use the Z699C at various heights ranging from twenty inches all the way up to its maximum extended height of sixty inches. This allows you to use this tripod in any photography of videography situation that you can think of without the need to bring any additional tripods or support systems.
The Head Of The Zomei Z699C
The head of the Zomei Z699C portable carbon tripod is in our opinion at least, one of the main reasons it has been able to become so popular so quickly. It offers all of the functionality that you would expect while also being nice and smooth without any jitters that could potentially ruin any video footage you may be taking using the tripod.
Its fully adjustable ball head mount offers nice and smooth panning of your camera when mounted to allow for some lovely landscape panning videos or panoramic photographs. Although the tripod does not have a pan bar included, we feel that it is not necessary as Zomei has hit the nail on the head when it comes to smoothness and resistance of the rotary system on the Z699C.
Around the base of the tripod head are clearly marked and easy to see compass bearings to allow you to mark off your angles when doing any panoramic photographs allowing you to get a nice smooth transition between each angle.
The ball head also has a ninety-degree notch that you can use for any overhead photographs that you may require. The locking system on the head is easy to use and very secure unlike some competing tripods allowing you to rest assure that your camera, lens, and flash won’t fall and break when using the tripod in this way.
Simply position the tripod, angle the head as you require and then either manually, or remotely trigger your camera’s shutter to capture the photograph that you require.
As you would expect, the Zomei Z699C tripod comes with a spirit level bubble system included as standard as shown in the image to the right. It is easy to see, even in low light conditions allowing you to ensure that your tripod is as level as possible to help improve the quality of your photographs.
Unlike some tripods on the market, the spirit level bubble on the Z699C has been positioned so the vast majority of camera and lens combos will leave it visible instead of covering it up when you attach your camera rig to the tripod.
Although we were unable to think of a camera and lens combo that would be able to cover the spirit level bubble system, if by chance your go-to rig of choice does cover the system then we have a quick and easy workaround for you. Simply remove your camera rig while attached to the tripods easy to use quick release system, adjust the tripods positioning as required and then reattach your camera rig.
Thankfully, the included quick release plate on the Zomei Z699C is very easy to use and very quick to operate so doing this would only add a couple of seconds to your tripod adjustment time.
The Legs Of The Z699C
The Zomei Z699C carbon fiber portable tripod has some of, if not the best legs available at the mid-range tripod price point out of all products currently available on the market. All three legs come with a built-in ratchet locking system that is uncommon on tripods at this price range that adds additional stability and support for your camera rig when using the tripod.
The clicking of the ratchets activating is loud enough for you to easily hear it even in a build up city environment allowing you to know if it is working or not before adding your camera rig to the tripod. Additionally, unlike some tripod ratchet systems that have a fiddly and annoying release system, the Z699C works by a quick and easy thumb press.
The image above shows a single leg of the Z699C when fully compressed. As you can see, it uses twist lock legs rather than a press lock system as we know that some photographers really don’t like the twist lock leg system due to it taking a little longer to set up than a press lock system. In our observations, this is usually down to the photographer using the system incorrectly and massively inflating the time required to set the tripod up.
When the leg is fully compressed as shown in the image above, wrap your whole hand around the locks on the tripod leg so you have a solid grip on all of them at once. Then rotate all of the locks on the leg to open them at the same time rather than one at a time. We know it sounds basic but we are always surprised at how many seasoned photographers we see doing each individual leg lock rather than all at once.
We have no idea how they managed to do it but Zomei has managed to come up with a twist lock that can be fixed within a second too rather than the five seconds on cheaper tripods. This also helps to cut down on the time required to set up the Z699C and keep it inline with tripods using the press lock leg system allowing you to fully build, tweak or de-build the tripod within seconds.
The feet of the tripod are pointed rubber offering a stable, non-slip footing for the Zomei Z699C both indoors and out. This can help keep your camera rig safe and steady in a wide range of situations without issue.
The Monopod System On The Z699C
An increasingly common feature on tripods these days is the ability to quickly and easily transform it into a monopod or monopole system and the Zomei Z699C is no different. As shown in the image to the left, the Z699C can quickly be used as a monopod as and when required only taking a matter of seconds to set the system up.
When used as a monopod, the Z699C has the same minimum height of twenty inches and maximum height of sixty inches as well as many variable hights in between.
As the monopod is created from one of the three tripod legs on the Z699C it also has the same footing system meaning the monopod variant of the tripod offers you the same firm and stable grip both indoors and out while being much smaller and lighter weight.
As you can see in the image above, one of the legs of the Zomei Z699C has an additional ring attachment at the top of the leg. This is the detachment system for the leg that you use for the monopod.
Simply twist the locking system and release the leg from the tripod system within seconds. Next up, detach the ball head of the Z699C using its quick and easy twist lock system to free it from the tripod body. Finally, attach and twist the connecting system at the top of the single leg and base of the ball head to complete the monopod. This whole process can be completed within about twenty seconds and to debuild the monopod and rebuild the tripod, just repeat the process in reverse.
Freebies And Add-ons
Although a little basic, the zipper bag that is included with the Zomei Z699C gets the job done and provides a quick, easy, and safe place for you to store your Z699C. The zipper bag can then be quickly added to your photography bag or attached to the outside of your photography bag within seconds.
Sandbag Counter Weights
One thing that we would recommend that you also invest in if you haven’t already is a sandbag counterweight system (Click here to check for product prices and availability) shown in the image to the right for your Zomei Z699C.
These sandbags allow you to add additional weight to the base of your Z699C to increase its stability and allow you to photograph or record video while in very windy conditions while minimizing the possible risk to your camera rig attached to your tripod.
Zomei Quick Release Plate
Another addon that we would recommend if you are planning to use the Zomei Z699C with multiple cameras are additional Zomei Quick Release Plate (Click here to check for product prices and availability).
Having at least one quick release plate for each of your main cameras will allow you to quickly and easily swap between cameras during your photography or videography session helping to save you time and effort.
The Zomei Z699C vs Z818C
Our table above shows our comparison chart between the Zomei Z699C and the Zomei Z818C (Click here to check for product prices and availability). As you can see, the Z818C costs a little bit more than the Z699C while not really offering any additional functionality. Both tripods also have an excellent reputation within the photography community too making it a very close call.
The build quality between the two tripods is also very similar to each other so unless you are in a very niche type of photography, we would think that the majority of people would be fine using the Z699C and just keeping the money that the Z818C costs for something else.
The Zomei Z699C vs Z888C
Our comparison table above shows the features between the Zomei Z699C and the Zomei Z888C (Click here to check for product prices and availability). Again, the functionality between the two tripods is very similar just like their build quality but the Z888C again costs a little more than the Z699C.
Again, we feel that the majority of our readers would be fine just using the Zomei Z699C as their go-to tripod without needing to spend the additional money on the Z888C.
The Zomei Z699C vs Q666C
When it comes to the Zomei Z699C vs the Zomei Q666C we actually feel that the Zomei Q666C (Click here to check for product prices and availability) could be a better choice for some of our readers.
Not only is it cheaper than the Z699C but it also offers similar if not better functionality in some areas. The main downside is the slightly lower build quality on the Zomei Q666C but if you are an entry-level photographer or on a budget then we feel that you would be fine with the Zomei Q666C while also saving a little bit of money.