I saw some generic knock off at my local electronics retailer and decided it was high time to try the real deal first before giving the knock off a chance. Joby was kind enough to answer my request and sent me their wildly popular Gorillapod SLR-ZOOM, the flexi-bendy tripod that gets your camera into more nooks and crannies than you thought possible. Hit the jump for my review.
This isn’t a replacement for your traditional tripod. Tho the Gorillapod SLR-ZOOM is plenty strong to hold up an SLR camera, you’ll still want a traditional tripod for those glorious pro shots. The Gorillapod is about portability with the added advantage of getting you those unique shots that will have people wondering how you got it – say those two squirrels hanging out in the tree, or that beetle busily working away in the morning dew.
Each leg is made up of 10 ball joints that have 360º of rotational freedom standing 10 inches tall when fully extended. They’re a bit stiff to manipulate and didn’t get any looser after constant use, which is a good thing since the last thing I want happening is for the entire contraption to fail, sending my expensive camera smashing into the ground. There’s a universal screw set to fit any camera that’ll take a traditional mount. The Gorillapod SLR-ZOOM doesn’t come with the quick release mount found on the original Gorillapod which frees you from screwing it on/off. This was intentional since most SLR owners will want to invest in their own professional mount head.
Once you get the hang of manipulating all those ball joints, setting up your camera for that perfect shot is a snap. You’d be amazed at the angles you can get your camera in. Tho it’s entirely made of plastic and rubber, the Gorillapod is strong and very grippy. Never once did I feel like it would give out, even when I had the camera upside down. This would make an awesome gift for someone just stepping up to the digital SLR world. With 3 models to choose from (compact camera, SLR cameras, and big video cameras), they’re priced just right.
What we liked:
- Affordable, 3 models to choose from $24-$54
- Flexible joints provide an innovative way to set up shots in almost any angle
- Extremely strong and durable
- Joints don’t seem to wear out with constant use
- Very lightweight and compact
- Stands about 10 inches tall when legs are fully extended
What could be improved:
- Joints are a bit stiff, tough to manipulate
- Joby should develop their own mount head and include it with the SLR-ZOOM