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I've wanted a Joby Gorillapod tripod for my compact camera for quite a while now. I love the quirky gimmicky look of the the Gorillapods, with the black balls with the brightly coloured stripes, and the fact that they are flexible tripods. My husband says that's all that they are though - gimmicky tripods and that they are not worth the money, £20 - £25. I think because I've gone on and on about wanting a Gorillapod he decided to buy me something similar - this Hama mini flexible tripod. He said that this was only £5, and that it will basically do exactly the same things as a Gorillapod at just a fraction of the price.
The Hama flexible mini tripod is the perfect size to use with a compact camera, it's really small and very lightweight and is a really convenient size to easily fit into a pocket or a handbag. I can easily fit this into all of my handbags along with my camera, I would only really struggle in a small clutch bag when I'm limited for space anyway, and I'd much rather take my lip gloss than a mini tripod! This even has a little clip on the tripod so that you could even attach it to your belt or shirt pocket, or maybe your camera case so that they are both kept together and you would always have it to hand.
This is a sleek and stylish looking little tripod, and it's black in colour, this does actually blend in really well with my camera which is black. It's made of metal so it's a sturdy little tripod, it's not cheap and nasty. It has the screw thread (I'm sure that's not the proper technical term for this!) on the top of the tripod which you screw into the little hole on the bottom of your camera. It seems to fit most compact cameras, it fits both mine and my husbands which are both Panasonic Lumix's but both different models, and I've had a number of friends use it with many different makes of compact cameras on nights out and it has fitted every single one. It is only suitable for compact cameras, it won't support the weight of a DLSR.
So after you've screwed your camera onto the tripod then you would then open the tripod legs and position the tripod on a table or a flat surface, or actually with this flexible tripod you could position it anywhere to get your shot. The little tripod legs are easily adjustable and the tripod will go from a minimum height of 10cm to a maximum height of 14cm, each tripod leg is flexible and independently adjustable so if you have the tripod positioned on an uneven surface then you can flex and adjust each leg accordingly to get it level, and to get it to stand steady. You can even twist the little legs and wrap them around something, such as maybe a chair back or a pole. The little tripod legs have sturdy black rubber balls as feet on the ends, so that it won't slip or slide on the surface you have positioned it on, they will create a steady hold for your camera. Your camera is safe and secure on the tripod, all you need to do then is just shoot your picture.
My two main issues however with this flexible tripod are; firstly, the 'top part' of the tripod where you screw your camera into isn't adjustable, it doesn't tilt or turn in other words. To adjust the angle of the camera you have to flex the legs. This just seems a bit odd, and the tripod just doesn't seem to be able to achieve the same range of angles that I would have expected. For instance you can't take portrait shots using this tripod. And secondly, although the little tripod legs are flexible, they don't flex as much as the Gorillapods legs, and so you can't use this in as many quirky situations, and it doesn't feel quite as secure as a Gorillapod when wrapped around something. I have used a friend's Gorillapod as well, and so I have compared the differences.
I do think that this little tripod is good value for just £5, however it isn't quite as flexible as the Gorillapods. It does work well as a mini tripod though if you are happy to just take landscape shots, and just need a small amount of flexibility with the legs. It certainly helps to take clearer, crisper photos, as obviously it takes away 'the shakes' factor, and it does create 'a steady hand' to take your photos. It works especially well for taking shots with the self timer feature, group shots, self portraits, time delay pictures etc. It's easy to use and to adjust, and it's very handy to have and use on the go, it's great for holidays, nights out etc.