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
Wrap around-legs are always good!
Member Name: RTWJuju
Advantages: Great price, hardy, really useful.
Disadvantages: Not so fantastic on awkward camera angles.
The Joby Gorillapod is a great piece of kit for the amateur photographer. It comes in two sizes, 'Original' and 'SLR.' The latter is obviously designed for bigger, heavier cameras, and the former is for small/medium hand-held cameras. I have the 'Original' in blue colour. I bought it a few years ago before a holiday to Turkey as I knew I would be going to Ephesus and I wanted to have good quality photographs - unfortunately I suffer from that condition which is terminal to great photography; a shaky grip!
The Gorillapod is very affordable at just over £10 (look on Amazon and Play.com for the cheapest price, as they seem to undercut each other from time to time), and it's conveniently small in size. Mine measures in at 15cm tall, and it can be folded or squished into any number of shapes to fit into empty space in a bag. I've even had it stuffed into my back pocket from time to time!
A small clip attaches your camera to the Gorillapod, and it's screwed into the tripod fixture that most digital compacts have. This clip can be detached from the Gorillapod and left into your camera - it just clips right back onto the tripod again when you need to use it, and the clip is small enough to not be inconvenient when attached to your compact.
The major appeal of the Joby Gorillapod is the completely versatile legs. Unlike a traditional tripod which has straight, fixed legs which need to be carefully adjusted on uneven ground to hold your camera level, the Gorillapod is a quick and easy alternative which is really simple to steady. The legs are very pliable and easy to adjust to any stance. It doesn't have to be stood on a surface, either - it's great when the legs can be wrapped around something such as a railing or a tree branch. I've had some really great photos with this little gem, I couldn't be without it!
While the Gorillapod is fantastic, it does have its limitations and I find that it only works with consistency while holding my camera on a 'level' angle. If I try to tilt the camera and Gorillapod to hold my camera portrait, for example, gravity generally wins this battle and my camera is small and light. I can easily imagine it being more difficult with a larger camera! If your camera is quite bulky or heavy, consider the stronger SLR version of the Gorillapod perhaps. It is considerably more expensive (about three times the price) but if it's going to provide more strength and protection for your valuable camera then the expense is secondary, isn't it?
One really good plus of the Gorillapod is its hardiness. As stated above, I've had mine for a few years. I bought it in 2008 and I use it regularly. I reshape it very often and the leg joints are all still sturdy and stable. They haven't loosened at all, and still retain the shape I push them into.
I'm thrilled with this item, and consider it to be a savvy and useful purchase. It's not expensive, and I get great use out of it. Brilliant results for a brilliant price!
Summary: An inexpensive way to experiment with tripod photography - try it, see how much your results improve