A new - and improved - approach to
Joby Gorillapod has three bendable legs that not only can be
used to place a camera on a flat surface like with a normal
tripod, but can also be used to wrap the camera around a
pipe or to affix it in some imaginative way to all sort of
A traditional tripod works well
when there is a reasonably flat surface for the three legs to
The Joby Gorillapod does that
too, but goes much further than this. Its flexible legs
can be twisted and turned any which way, allowing it to wrap
around things in all manner of ingenious ways, greatly extending
the variety of places and positions you can have your camera
mounted to take pictures.
The Gorillapod both extends
your ability to take pictures of yourself and also to take slow
shutter speed photos of other objects in low light and other
It is affordable ($19.95 at
Amazon and elsewhere), light, and
easy to use. What's not to like about this clever little
The Joby Gorillapod - what
The Gorillapod comes in an
easily opened plastic 'shelf hanger' box. Inside is the
tripod itself and a display sheet of graphics and information,
which when you unfold it also provides the very simple and
straightforward instructions you need to understand how to use
Although no mention is made
of this anywhere in the package,
advises the unit has a one year warranty.
How the Gorillapod Works
The Gorillapod has three
legs, each of which has nine ball joints that can twist and turn
through about a 90° range (ie 45° movements
from straight inline in all directions). These means each leg can form a
complete circle (with an internal diameter of about 1").
Each leg is about 4.5" long.
diameter and unusually shaped objects can also be gripped,
although the bigger the object, obviously the more difficult it
is to completely wrap a Gorillapod around it.
other hand, it is seldom necessary to wrap the Gorillapod
completely around something in order to simply achieve a stable
platform on which to place a camera.
the ball joints is friction fitted into the next one, so as you
turn and move them about into different shapes, they hold their
shape, resisting reasonable amounts of force.
outside of each of these ball joint/knuckles has a nonslip type
of rubberized coating, as do the feet at the bottom, making it
easy for the unit to stay where you put it without slipping or
add all this up together, and you get a bendy, twisty, non-slip
sort of thing that can be used to create a stable mounting
platform for many different types of things, in places where a
stable platform may not otherwise be available, and in places
where a typical tripod would completely not work.
These days there are a large
number of different Gorillapod tripods.
Their 'original' model
(reviewed on this page) is
designed for compact cameras weighing up to 11.5 oz, and which
have a tripod mounting thread in their base. This unit
retails for $19.95, weighs 1.6 oz, and has nine pieces in each
of the three legs.
Most modern compact digital
cameras will weigh much less than 11.5 oz. The heavier of
my two, which is four years old, weighs almost exactly half that
(5.7 oz), and a more modern one that is only a few months old
weighs 4.7 oz.
Every compact digital camera
I've ever seen comes with a screw thread in their base to allow
them to be mounted to a tripod, and as far as I'm aware, they
all use the same standard screw. So you should have no
problems mounting your camera onto the Gorillapod.
Note that some other devices
may also come with compatible screw threaded bases. And,
for devices that don't have such bases, Joby also offers two
additional types of mount - an adhesive base mount and a suction
The original model comes in
seven different colors, the others are just in muted black/grey.
Magnetic Model Gorillapod
This is the same as the
original model, but rather than having plastic non-slip
rubberized feet, it has magnets in the base of each of the three
legs, allowing it and a camera on it to be magnetically mounted
on iron'/steel materials (but not stainless steel, aluminium, or
most other metals). You pay an extra $5 (ie $24.95) for
the magnetically enhanced Gorillapod.
Heavier Weight Model
Joby also make three extra
models capable of holding greater weights. The SLR model
will hold up to 1.75 lbs ($39.95), the SLR-Zoom holds up to 6.5
lbs ($49.95) and the Focus holds up to 11 lbs ($99.95).
Joby has also acknowledged
the growing reality that many people these days take pictures
and even video not with a camera or camcorder, but with their
They accordingly offer a
line of 'Gorillamobile' mounts, one with a custom fitted sleeve
for iPhone 3G and 3GS models (not yet a sleeve for an iPhone 4,
another for an iPod Touch, and another with generic mounting
accessories for all other phones and devices.
For the sake of
completeness, their product line also includes two small
flashlights mounted on their flexible tripods, one with a 65
lumen output, the other with a 100 lumen output.
These can be useful when
doing things at night and you need a 'third hand' - one to hold
the flashlight, and the other two to be working on whatever it
is you're needing to fix in the dark.
Using the Gorillapod
It was very easy and simple
to mount a camera onto the Gorillapod's quick release adapter,
then to slide the adapter into the top of the Gorillapod.
I played with the Gorillapod,
mounting it to all sorts of things around the house. Door
knobs of various sizes and shapes, stair handrails, kitchen
appliances, drawers, and anything/everything else I could find
that had the potential for the unit to be mounted onto, and with
my heavier weight camera on the unit too.
Everything worked fine with
Consider buying some extra
mounting adapters. As you become more familiar with the
whole new world of mounting capabilities offered by the
Gorillapod, the next part of the process is to expand the range
of things you mount with the Gorillapod, going beyond just
cameras and phones.
The Gorillapod compared to the
See our earlier
review of the ingenious Quik Pod - a
device that simply allows you to hold a camera slightly further
away from yourself when taking pictures.
The Gorillapod can be used
in a similar way, but you'll only get 3" - 4" of extension,
compared to the up to 18" of extension on the Quik Pod.
Yes, even 4" of extra extension is a slight improvement over no
extension, but it is not nearly as good as the 18" offered by
the Quik Pod.
For that reason, we don't
see the Gorillapod replacing a Quik Pod, and suggest you
consider having both items in your travel bag.
The Gorillapod is
inexpensive, light, and takes up very little space in your
travel bag. It is easy to use and versatile.
It greatly extends the
places where you can take pictures of yourself (or of other
things where you need the extra stability of a tripod).
It is a great stocking
stuffer/gift for friends, and equally good as something for
It is readily available at
Amazon and many other places,
typically for about $20.
If so, please donate to keep the website free and fund the addition of more articles like this. Any help is most appreciated - simply click below to securely send a contribution through a credit card and Paypal.
17 Sep 2010, last update
28 May 2011
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.