Product Type: Joby tripods
Newest Review: ... The cut out allows you to see the colour of the product inside - the bulk of all Gorillapod's is black, however each section has a... more
Hold on to it!
Member Name: Radusiq
Advantages: holds on to most surfaces, easy to store and carry around, great design
Disadvantages: not as sturdy as it looks like, quite expensive
Few years ago we had a bit of photographic mania (purely amateur) with my husband, we used to get home with every Saturday day out with hundreds of pictures. At that time we purchased a bigger camera (looks like an SLR but it's not) and we were thinking of getting a decent tripod for occasional use. Even though we usually went everywhere by car, we decided to go for what we thought would be most practical to carry around - Joby Gorillapod, SLR size.
It came in a plastic packaging that we removed and disposed of immediately, and as this was quite a few years ago, I have no idea how it looked like and what it contained. Our Gorillapod is about 30cms high and is made of what looks like sturdy, good quality plastic.
The idea of Gorillapod is, that you can attach it to anything - like stone or a tree branch when hiking. Its legs are made of small balls attached to each other and are fully flexible. Each "ball" has a non-slip rubber grip, the last balls have rubber bottom to protect from slipping when standing as a simple tripod. All plastic parts are black, rubber is grey (I believe more colours are now available, as well as metal Gorillapod, but I bought it in times when only this one was available)
At the top there is a ballhead with, again, rubber grip and a screw to which you screw your camera. The top part can be removed by twisting the grip on a ballhead (unlocking it), gently pressing the button with Joby logo at the back and sliding it away from the ballhead. Sometimes it's easier to attach it to the camera separately and slide back on to the tripod, but when you get more practice, you will screw the camera on the tripod directly.
Gorillapod certainly does the job and I cannot imagine I would be carrying a classic tripod with me on every trip - this easily fits into my bag (sometimes even a handbag). It holds firmly when attached to most surfaces, and it's ok (ok, not great) for use as a classic tripod on a flat surfaces. There are newer models with a level attached to a ballhead, which I believe is a great feature.
The problem is, it's not as sturdy as it looks like, and if you want to use it for a long time, don't let your kids (in my case a not-so-adult friend) play with it. Mine got damaged about 2 hours after it arrived - by trying what shapes it can be put into. A connection between two balls in one leg cracked and is a bit loose ever since. Tripod can still be used of course, you will still manage to put it in a position that will hold even a heavy camera in place, but it will take a while longer.
It is quite expensive part of equipment for amateur photographer I think, and not much use for a professional, but I think if you're after a tripod it's worth the investment. I paid about £50 for it 3 years ago, not even better models can be purchased for around £30-£40 I believe. Even though we no longer take that many pictures, when we're going out we would take Gorillapod with us, and usually we would as well use it...
I can definitely recommend!
Summary: Great tripod for non-professionals