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Joby Flexible Tripod Review

Updated on September 19, 2014

So many images saved by my Gorillapod

How many arms do you need to hold a camera at any angle? Three!

What's the difference between a Gorilla-pod and a tri-pod? Tripods have legs (rigid, cumbersome, a bit clumsy). Gorillapods have arms (flexible, dexterous, helpful). Need more be said?

I used to carry a traditional tripod. It was a nice carbon fiber model but it often got left at home because it simply took too much room, weighed too much and frankly had limited uses. Then I got my first Joby. Long story short - it changed my view on things.

Gorillapod versions I have used are the big GP8 Focus to hold my large dslr, but since I downsized to a mirrorless camera system I recently bought the one shown here - the GP3 - which can hold any gear I currently own. I also have a tiny GP1 for holding remote flash.

Click to see all Gorillapod versions

How much weight can a Gorilla Pod support? Depends on the model. Mine shown here is a GP3 SLR and will hold a camera kit of up to 6.6 pounds! When you actually hold it in your hand the first thing you think is how lightweight and small it is.

This thing easily fits in a regular camera shoulder bag, it fits into a messenger bag, it fits into a woman's handbag, it fits into the kid's backpack. In short: it doesn't take up much space and in my opinion, this is the best travel tripod for backpacking and city vacations.

Images by me

Gorillapod - the flexible camera support - More robust than it looks.

My Joby SLR tripod in action
My Joby SLR tripod in action

Lightweight tripods for different camera sizes

JOBY GorillaPod Hybrid. Multiuse and Flexible Camera Tripod for up to 1 kg (2.2lbs)
JOBY GorillaPod Hybrid. Multiuse and Flexible Camera Tripod for up to 1 kg (2.2lbs)

This GP is bigger than it looks. The Hybrid supports up to 2.2 pounds of weight on paper (and more in reality.) Enough for most systems these days.

 

This is a good example of how i use my small flexible tripod. The first time you use one of these and wrap its tripod legs around something, it makes you wonder how you ever could have been without one.

What kind of things can you attach a Gorillapod to? Easy: anything.. a light-pole, a tree, neighbor's baby stroller, car window, or like here - a porch door. Unless you are in a flat plain or desert, there is always some form of support to squeeze those arms around. And- if you really can't find anything - straighten the legs and use it as a regular mini tripod. It does a great job in the city and as a backpack tripod for hiking, but falls a bit short if you are serious about landscape photography.

A brilliant piece of gear - A tripod with twisting legs.. pure genius!

My Gorilla-Pod GP3 SLR at rest.
My Gorilla-Pod GP3 SLR at rest.
Joby Gorillatorch Adjustable and Flexible Tripod Flashlight, Gray
Joby Gorillatorch Adjustable and Flexible Tripod Flashlight, Gray

This is a LED flashlight, not a camera flash, but it works great for softening shadows on sunny days.

 

Video shows the Joby Hybrid version. Perfect size in my opinion.

Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro Snap-On Lens
Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro Snap-On Lens

This is the classic Raynox macro lens attachment. Works with any kit lens and has truly excellent optical quality.

 
Joby GP3
Joby GP3

Using whatever is available as support

The magic of 3

It is amazing what a firm grip three points of contact can achieve.

This here is simple, just hook over the planks of a bench... but twist and turn and those arms will grab a hold of anything.

But it works like a normal tripod too. One of my favorite types of photography is closeups and macro and for that I usually just straighten and extend the legs and push down the middle until I get close enough for my shot.

My review score of the Joby GorillaPod is 4.5 out of 5.

This is a excellent piece of equipment for all types of photography. If you read Joby reviews on shopping sites you'll soon see that these gadgets have consistently been getting good review ratings. The half-point I left out is because it isn't all that good if you want to shoot video and pan, or if your camera equipment is large and heavy. For that, a normal leg-standing support is better.

Macro bug photo tip: get a remote trigger for your camera. Set your tripod up close to some bee and butterfly-attracting flowers. Set camera to manual focus / manual exposure on your point of interest. Step back and wait until the bugs settle down. Trigger your shots from a distance. You'll get a lot of keepers this way compared to trying to chase the bugs.

Here's one of my bug pics where the Joby was involved:

What you need for the macro bug shots.

Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Controller for Canon XT/XTi, XSi, T1i and T2i Digital SLR Cameras
Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Controller for Canon XT/XTi, XSi, T1i and T2i Digital SLR Cameras

This remote Canon trigger works with almost all Canons. Range about 16 feet.

 

What do you think about this gadget?

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