Review: JOBY GorillaPod

From the first moment I saw it, I was absolutely smitten with the idea of the GorallaPod but I wondered if it could really deliver. I wondered if I would find as much use for it as I should for such a largish piece of accessory to lug around.

In a word – yes!

I’ve had mine for over a year now and while it doesn’t suit every situation, it suits nearly everywhere my current tripod doesn’t or cannot.

I opted for the SLR-Zoom with Ballhead.

Gorillapod SLR Zoom Gorillapod SLR Zoom Ballhead

I liked the positional versatility the ballhead offered, along with the added stability should I get any heavier lenses/bodies down the road. There isn’t an eco-package version of the bundle, but it definitely wasn’t over-packaged either.

The gorillapod came with me on my recent trip to DisneyWorld in 2011 and there were several shots of my husband and myself that I would not have gotten without it. Awkward spaces that were great photographically but 1. bad spots to try and set a tripod and 2. times where I wouldn’t have wanted to bring a tripod with me. To be fair, I didn’t even bring my tripod on the trip, as figuring out space in the luggage (and trying to consider if it would see enough use to justify that lost space) just wasn’t happening. So as we walked around the resort complex, I had the camera around my neck and hubby kindly carried the ‘pod.

This picture – it was wrapped around a garbage can:

While technically I could have put a tripod in nearly the same place, it was nice knowing that the camera was secure – it wasn’t going to be knocked over by a gust of wind, or lifted by a less than scrupulous bystander. Not that I’ve ever seen or heard of someone picking up and running away with a fully set up tripod and camera, but hey, it’s still a tick in the pro’s column.

We also used it curled around the balcony railing with our camcorder to get a nice steady sweep of the view from our room.

The fun however ended when the quick release plate disappeared off the camera somewhere between our room and the car. Little and light, it unscrewed itself and bounced away never to be found again. While the ‘pod itself can be used without it – the ballhead could not, which was a bummer. I would like to see an update to this piece to give it some friction and stay on the camera better. A rubberized piece would be all that is needed.

ball head quick release plate

That would be the only tick in the con’s column however. I am overall very pleased with it and would recommend the line of Gorillapods to anyone interested.

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