Review: Joby Gorillapod

It’s really not a question of whether you will have a camera with you when you travel anymore, it’s now more a matter of how to take the best possible photos with what you have. From the instant-upload cameraphone snapshots, to the compact crowd wanting some decent holiday photos, to the DSLR enthusiasts trying to capture the perfect shot, everyone is trying to get just the right angle. With the Gorillapod, the world is your tripod.

I received my Gorillapod as a Christmas gift, unfortunately just days after I had left a nice fat dent in the lens housing of my compact camera due to the ingenious move of trying to balance my camera on lava rock in the dark. I’d been pondering one of these compact, flexible tripods for a while, and now was clearly the time to start using one.

Generally if you want to be in the shot or even just keep the camera still, you’re either lugging around a tripod or trying to find the nearest flat surface which, as I so effectively demonstrated, isn’t exactly foolproof. The Gorillapod not only gives you the tripod, it can be put almost anywhere; I’ve used everything from small boulders to a reasonably sturdy shrub as a base in a pinch. The flexible arms ringed with grippy rubber hold it in virtually any position, even wrapped around a pole or tree branch.

While I haven’t tested any of the larger DSLR-focused models, the one issue that has detracted from it is with time, the joints have grown a bit loose, making the camera sag slightly after being set up in some of the more unusual configurations. Nonetheless, I don’t go anywhere without it.

Pros:
– Lightweight and easily portable
– Quick to set up and adjust
– Works anywhere, regardless of terrain

Cons:
– Imprecise, hard to level
– Joints loosen over time, requiring more adjustment with extended use

Price: $20 – 50

More info
– Gorillapod Product Info & Selector
– Buy it online at Amazon.com

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