Joby Gorillapod - Joby Gorillapod

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Joby Gorillapod

Summary

Our Score:

9

The secret of the Gorillapod's flexibility and grip is the construction of its legs, which are made from linked chains of nine ball-and-socket joints. The joints are individually very stiff and difficult to bend, but the leg as a whole is extremely flexible and can be bent into any shape quite easily. Each link has a thick rubber ring around it, so when the leg is bent around an object it grips with multiple points of high-friction contact. With three legs wrapped around an appropriately sized object the grip is surprisingly firm.

Obviously with such a complex structure the main concern is going to be durability, since each leg has at least nine possible failure points; however I've put a Gorillapod Original through several months of fairly vigorous use while testing compact cameras, and I can report that it's showing no signs of wear and still grips just as securely as ever. I've also used the Focus for a couple of weeks, and so far it seems to be even less likely to break.

The Gorillapod Original and Gorillapod SLR have two extra links above where the legs meet to provide a bit of extra flexibility, and give the option of positioning the camera horizontally while gripping vertical objects. They also both have quick-release camera platforms. The SLR-ZOOM and Focus sacrifice both the extra links and the quick-release platform in favour of greater strength, with the legs attached directly to the camera platform. However the Focus does come with an adapter converting its standard ¼-inch tripod fitting screw to the larger 3/8th-inch screw used to attach professional tripod heads, so you can use it with your favourite head for extra flexibility.

There are a number of accessories available for the Gorillapod range, including spare quick-release platforms for the Original and SLR models, and some vicious-looking spiked feet for the SLR-ZOOM. All Gorillapod models and most of the accessories are available in either conventional plastic blister packs, or in eco-friendly recyclable cardboard packaging for a few pounds less, which is a nice idea.

Verdict

The Gorillapod is an ingenious and highly effective lightweight alternative to a full-size tripod. All the models are exceptionally well made, highly portable and offer an exceptionally versatile means of supporting a camera in a wide variety of situations. They are a bit on the expensive side, but are well worth the money.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Build Quality 9

lifethroughalens

April 14, 2009, 6:42 pm

"well worth the money"...





Funny that, when I saw the price my jaw dropped. That's a joke. I had the SLR version...which I found next to useless since it would slip all the time and it was very hard to get precise & accurate framing and to adjust, and that was just with a 5D and 24-105. (not to mention it kept on pinching my skin..ouch!)





㿱.99 seems like a much more realistic price to me, but i'd still steer clear and spend the money on a decent tripod / head instead. Other than that, improvise with what's around :)

smc8788

April 14, 2009, 6:51 pm

You must be psychic, Cliff. I was looking at getting a Gorillapod SLR yesterday to go with my new FZ28 (an Easter treat to myself!), but read some mixed reviews about it on a couple of sites (which I don't trust as much as this one). I think I'll go ahead and get one now, though, so thanks for the review (also, it's only 㿅 on Amazon for anyone interested).

lensmann

April 14, 2009, 7:14 pm

The Gorillapod Focus costs $109.95 in the US, and 𧴰 here? These price differentials are starting to get ridiculous.

lifethroughalens

April 14, 2009, 7:35 pm

"The Gorillapod Focus costs $109.95 in the US, and 𧴰 here? These price differentials are starting to get ridiculous"





@lensmann - 12 months ago you would be right, but these days with the exchange rate being what it is, add on VAT and that's more or less equal.





@smc8788 - 㿅 on ebay? Are you sure it's the same model?!

piesforyou

April 14, 2009, 8:32 pm

Just a comment about the smallest original version, I gave one as a present to a friend and when they returned from tavelling, the locking ring had brocken at one of the joints. It's nothing that a dab of super glue can't fix but it does show that this could be a weak link. Since there's nothing actually holding the locking ring in place, it could have easily been lost. Otherwise, top class product.

AndyR

April 14, 2009, 11:32 pm

Had one of the original Gorillapods for our compact for about 3 years now and its still going strong!





Brought myself the SLR Zoom model last year along with a Manfrotto 484RC2 Ballhead for my Sony A200 DSLR and its the perfect combination! Plus, you can crunch it up enough that it goes nicely in a my small carry bag for trips out. Great product!

lensmann

April 15, 2009, 4:39 am

@lifethroughalens: The pound isn't at parity with the dollar (yet), it's still hovering between 1.4 and 1.5, so with VAT at 15%, the Focus should be closer to 䀆 or so. Or am I missing something?

lifethroughalens

April 15, 2009, 5:22 pm

@ lensmann - yes, you're right...I had become fuddled up with the Euro and the Dollar! There will come a time soon when we'll all be on parity, I suspect - the end of the Pound?!





Anyway yes, we're getting ripped off :)

Cub

April 15, 2009, 5:57 pm

Gorillapods are amazing pieces of kit. As much as I've always enjoyed photography, I've never wanted to have to lug a tripod around with me because of the extra weight when hiking up a mountain, or the extra time and effort involved in getting ready for a shot, it can lead to spending too much of your time behind a lens and not enough appreciating what's in front of you with your own eyes.





The Gorilla pod (I have the SLR version) eliminates this, regardless of which camera I have with me at the time, SLR or compact, it's legs wrap perfectly around the strap of the camera case meaning there's no effort involved in taking it anywhere you go, and is easily detached and quickly set up when needed. I've had it for about 3 years and there's hardly any noticable wear and tear on the rubber and the quick release still works perfectly. It's limbs still work like they did on the day I brought it.





I've given these as presents to most people I know who own a digital camera and have been thanked for the improvement in their photos.





Cannot recommend them enough!

Splogbust

April 15, 2009, 11:50 pm

Many thanks for this review - I've been wondering about these for a while.


I have 3 tripods - from a v. small 'compact' to a full sized one, and have long ago given up carrying them around with me.


This one sounds more practical.





Up until now I've tended to lodge the camera on a solid surface, a rock wall or whatever, which is one of the advantages of a fat zoom lens flush with the bottom of the camera. Should the ability to do this with a particular camera / camera pus lens be part of your reviews?

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