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Review of Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom

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What is it?

According to the Joby literature, the Joby “Gorillapod is a bendable, flexible tripod that secures your camera to nearly any surface. Its legs bend and rotate 360 degrees, while its rubbery feet provide extra gripping power. You can wrap the Gorillapod around a tree branch, hang it from a railing or perch it on a rock during your next hiking trip.”

First Impressions:

The Gorillapod Family

The company claims that it is the lightest and most versatile tripod available, and when I opened the package I was quite surprised by how light it was. It comes in three sizes, for cameras ranging from compact digital through to SLRs with Zoom lenses. I was testing out the largest, which retails at $54.95 on their site. It was light enough for me to have some concerns as to the usefulness of the product. It did seem well made, very flexible with rubber feet and rings of grippy rubber all the way up each leg. It’s certainly light and small enough to fit in a camera bag or large pocket, making it very practical for field trips.

The Gorillapod SLR It comes with a single printed sheet that is dominated by a photograph of it in use, and very little practical information other than what I quoted above. The back is taken up with a “which Gorillapod is right for you” which by this time is really too late, as you have presumably decided this prior to purchasing. (It is possible that the packaged Gorillapod comes with additional printed material. The website now is also very informative.)

In Use:

The Gorillapod has a 1/4″ screw with a 3/8″ adapter to enable it to fit to any camera tripod mount or small ball head. Although it will take a large ball head, that does add to the weight you are expecting it to support. I attached my 20D with a 24-105 lens and with a 70-200L lens and used it as a tripod to start with. With the legs bent slightly outward in the middle to give added strength, it is surprisingly strong. It took the weight of the combinations without a problem. It supported in my case 6 pounds 3 ounces – the Canon 20D with grip and the 70-200 lens in my tests.

The Gorillapod FamilyWhere this nifty little piece of kit shines is in its versatility in being able to attach itself to fences, tree branches etc. very securely. This would be great for timed shutter release shots, keeping the camera safe and steady – as steady as the support. It hooks to a car door or window, which could also be usesful.

It must be said that this in no way replaces a proper tripod, but given its very low weight you may well find it useful to carry it with you at all times. Its use is, of course, limited to a place that you might find to attach it. I did attach it successfully to the roof bars of my car, a branch of a tree approximately 3″in diameter maximum. You could attach it to gates or fences and the like. It would be rigid enough, for regular exposures, but if you were trying to do long exposures, you might end up with a blurred image if there was a strong wind for example. It is only as rigid as the support it’s attached to, of course. I was quite comfortable in hanging it upside down from a branch with my 70-200 lens on it and it felt very secure.


  • Very light-weight and small – fits camera bag or large pocket
  • More versatile than a regular table tripod
  • Strong construction
  • Very easy to attach to supports of all sorts including branches of trees etc.
  • Good for group shots where the photographer is usually out of the picture (as in holiday shots) or where a hand-held shot is not practical.
  • For those who have not invested in a tripod (and see no reason to do so) this would be an excellent accessory to throw in the camera bag to get shots you might otherwise not be able to get.


  • I would be interested to know if, after a period of time the joints loosen up. I have not had it long enough to have that happen.
  • A more comprehensive sheet of instructions might be useful for some.
  • It doesn’t provide anywhere near the stability and standard versatility of a regular tripod, but to be fair neither would you expect it from this type of accessory.


Whether you would chose to buy this would really depend a lot on the type of photography that you do and how useful you can see it being in the different situations you generally find yourself in. It certainly fulfills the manufacturer’s claims about it. You would not buy this as an alternative to a regular tripod but as an additional accessory it would be very useful in many situations. Any purchaser of this would be well advised to spend a bit of time just playing with it and using their imagination to see all the different possibilities. It is very versatile. A word of caution which is pretty much common sense, but make sure that the support you are using is strong enough to bear the weight and doesn’t risk falling over or breaking.

Company website for further information/purchase:

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Pingback from Shadows and Light » Review of Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom
Time: June 12, 2007, 4:22 pm

[…] I have been having fun lately testing out the interestingly named Joby Gorillapod and have a review of this photographic accessory published today on the site. You can go directly to the review from here or access it from the reviews page. The Gorillapod is a bendable, flexible tripod that secures your camera to nearly any surface. Its legs bend and rotate 360 degrees, while its rubbery feet provide extra gripping power. You can wrap the Gorillapod around a tree branch, hang it from a railing or perch it on a rock during your next hiking trip… read the full review here… […]

Comment from CheGordito
Time: November 6, 2007, 9:37 pm

Thanks for the review. Do you have anything to add to it a few months later? I’m interested in this as an alternative to a tripod but I am worried it will fall apart after a few months.

Reply from Steven:

Hi there. You are welcome. I would not consider this nifty little thing as an alternative to a tripod, for all the reasons that I mentioned in the review. But for what it was made for, it works very well. I have nothing more to add to the comments I made before. My Gorillapod seems to be holding up nicely, though I don’t get much use out of it, for the type of photography I do mostly.


Pingback from Selecting a tripod « The Weblog of (a) David Jones
Time: November 29, 2008, 2:17 am

[…] and one a little more restrained, but still […]

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