Product Type: Joby tripods
Newest Review: ... and supports the weight of up to 3kg. You can manipulate the tripod legs to wrap around objects such as lampposts or gates or sturdy object... more
Wrestling with the octopus
Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom
Member Name: dee778
Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom
Advantages: A good quality product that is strong and durable
Disadvantages: Difficult to stop playing with it
As soon as I saw a very miniature version of the Joby GorillaPod in action I was hooked. It was cute and very effective, and I quickly had a larger model earmarked for his birthday present.
Having researched the GorillaPod on the internet, I found several versions on Amazon, ranging from the very tiny original, designed to hold the smallest digital cameras, to the biggest SLR Zoom which claimed to hold the heaviest cameras. It was not clear from the information which one was right for my husband's Cannon EOS 40D, and some of the customer reviews had complained that the tripod was not strong enough to support the weight of their camera, causing a gradual descent for the lens.
I decided to go for some specialist advice and bought my GorillaPod from Jessops, paying about £3 more than the £32.95 it was advertised for on Amazon. Jessops reassured me that this size would be right for the Cannon EOS.
The GorrillaPod looks a bit like an octopus. Three very flexible legs are made up of a series of black balls with grey rubber rings around them. At the bottom of each leg is a round grey rubber ball for stability and traction, and at the top of the tripod there is a stainless steel metal plate with a 3/8" adapter screw to attach the camera or ball head.
Once the camera is screwed onto the tripod, the GorillaPod is extraordinarily flexible and versatile. The legs are very strong and can be wrapped around trees or poles, locked around chair tops or fences, or wedged in between rocks. The legs are quite difficult to move and it takes quite a lot of pressure to put them into the correct position.
The flexibility of each leg means that no angle is impossible, and the strength of the joints mean that there is no movement once the tripod has been placed.
The rubber balls on the bottom of the legs provide a very good grip, which means that if the tripod is placed on a slippery surface, such as a polished table, there is no sliding or movement when the photo is taken.
The SLR Zoom GorrillaPod measures 25 x 6 x 6cm (9.8 x 2.4 x 2.4") and weighs 241g (8.5oz).
It can carry equipment weighing up to 3kg (6.6lb). It is made up of over two dozen leg joints, each of which bends and rotates and are completely encased in a strong high quality Japanese ABS moulded plastic.
The grip rings are apparently made out of "durable German TPE" according to the Joby website.
Joby is an American company , who launched the GorillaPod Original in 2006. The GorillaPod claims to be the world's best selling camera tripod with over 1 million units sold a year.
I think this tripod is quirky and innovative. It is light and much easier to carry around in a bag or rucksack than the older style traditional tripods and is very easy to use. My husband has found that it is more than strong enough to support his camera and it has already proved its worth many times as he attaches it to balconies, furniture and trees to get the perfect shot.
Many of the web reviews have mentioned the need to buy the ball head that is an optional accessory. This is for two reasons: firstly to be able to attach the camera more quickly to the tripod, rather than having to fiddle around with the screw attachment each time; secondly to be able to make fine adjustments to the camera without having to adjust the tripod legs.
A ball head can be purchased for around £8.95, and is often sold as an inclusive package with the GorillaPod.
So far my husband has insisted on persevering with just the tripod, but I can see that it is difficulty to get perfectly horizontal shots without the fine adjustment provided by the ball head, so I am planning to buy him this accessory soon.
Unlike some of the other GorrillaPod models, the SLR zoom does not have an integral spirit level, so the task of levelling the shot without a ball head is even more difficult.
In conclusion, like many others, I would thoroughly recommend the GorillaPod. It is strong, robust and extremely good value.
Summary: Excellent value