Product Type: Joby tripods
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Joby Gorillapod SLR - does it live up to the hype?
Joby Gorillapod SLR
Member Name: matthewD
Joby Gorillapod SLR
Advantages: light, versatile, go-anywhere tripod
Disadvantages: Slightly unstable, not quite robust enough for SLR's
The joby Gorillapod is a much heralded camera tripod designed for the purpose of positioning a camera in otherwise awkward places/circumstances.
I tested this tripod in a variety of situations over a fairly long period of time (a year + backpacking trip) and although useful, the Gorillapod didn't quite live up to my expectations.
The design itself is rather ingenious - 3 legs have multiple ball and socket joints that enable the user to position the legs any way they like, which means it can be wrapped around poles or branches and placed on uneven surfaces. The feet and joints are rubberised which enables it to 'grip' although in test it did slide a little when wrapped around poles. It has a removable head with a locking mechanism that prevents the head accidentally being removed whilst in use and it works fairly well.
I travelled with this tripod for well over a year and for a lightweight alternative to a heavier, fixed-leg tripod it's perfect providing you can find somewhere suitable to attach it to. In fact it's so light I even thought I had lost it at one point only to find it buried in the bottom of my backpack.
My first serious gripe is with its size. It's simply not big or sturdy enough to effectively support a DSLR camera (I tested it with a Canon 400D but didn't dare test it with my bigger, heavier Nikon) unless it's positioned on a fairly even surface and if positioned horizontally with an SLR mounted it won't stay put for very long - annoying for long or timed exposures. If used with a compact/point and shoot camera then gorillapod seems to cope very well. Still, it's meant for use with SLR's and there is another, smaller gorillapod for use with compacts that is half the price.
Joby now seem to cashing-in with other versions such as the 'Gorillapod Zoom'. Most DSLR users will use a zoom lens at some point so I think a tripod billed as the 'Gorillapod SLR' should already have this capability.
All in all it's a good product, fairly cheap, versatile and fun although it's somewhat fiddly and it lacks any real elegance.
Summary: A light, functional but slightly gimmicky camera tripod. Perfect for holidays and/or activities.
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