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Reviews > Cameras > Photography Accessories > Joby Gorilla Pod > Owner Review by Jamie DeBenedetto



GorillaPod Original

by Joby

Owner Review

by

Jamie DeBenedetto

April 30th, 2017


Report Contents

Reviewer's Information

Product Information & Description

Collective Use and Field Conditions

Pros and Cons


Reviewer's Information Back to contents

Name Jamie DeBenedetto

Me and the Saguaro

Age and Gender 44 year old female

Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Weight 175 lb (79 kg)

Email JamieD1005(at)gmail.com

Background/Experience

I spent many hours of my youth fishing, rafting, creeking, and dayhiking in the wild places of Arizona. I caught the backpacking bug in high school. Presently I work as an exPAWdition leader so I'm in the field, usually with a pack of dogs, at least sixteen times a month. Primarily I'm a dayhiker with the occasional family camping trip mixed in throughout the year.
I prefer hammocks over ground sleeping and I gravitate toward multifunctional gear that enhances my comfort level with minimal fuss and weight. My total pack weight is typically less than 25 lbs (11 kg).

Location

Phoenix, Arizona - The Grand Canyon State - USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Product Information Back to contents

Manufacture URL

JOBY - www.joby.com

Year of Purchase

2013

Made in

Not sure

MSRP

US $19.99

(Listed Specifications - Taken from the packaging and/or website)

Listed Weight
1.6 oz (45.3 g)
Dimensions 1.18x1.18x5.91 in (3x3x15 cm)
Camera Types Point and Shoot styles
TriPod Mount Size 1/4" to 20 standard
Weight Capacity 11.5 oz (325 g)
Materials ABS plastic, Stainless Steel, TPE

(Specifications as received and observed by this writer)

Weight (taken with a digital office scale) Confirmed
Dimensions Confirmed
Color Black/Lime Green

 

Product Description Back to contents

The Joby GorillaPod Original is a lightweight tripod designed for small Point and Shoot type cameras. Each leg is made up of ten plastic ball joints so the tripod can be bent into several different stand-up configurations or securely wrapped around various objects. There is a rubberized ball or "grip foot" on the bottom of each leg, which helps with stability. The top of the tripod has a female part called the "lock ring". This part accepts the male Quick Release Clip which screws directly onto the tripod port on the underside of a camera. The two can then be merged in one step and locked together. Locking and unlocking is as simple as twisting the lock ring or pushing a little button respectively.

Collective Use and Field Conditions Back to contents

In the four years I've owned the GorillaPod I estimate I've used it at least 30 times. In that span I've used the tripod in a variety of locations across Arizona like Grand Canyon National Park and Sedona in Northern Arizona, and Sabino Canyon in Southern Arizona. But the majority of my hikes take place in the Sonoran Desert near Phoenix where I have several lakes, creeks, mountain preserves, and desert arroyos surrounded by riparian areas within an hour drive of my home. Elevations range from 1,200 ft (370 m) in the lower deserts up to 7,000 ft (2,130 m) on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Since the GorillaPod is attached to my camera when in use, I don't often bring it out in inclement weather so I think it's safe to say weather conditions were usually sunny or cloudy but without precipitation. Temperatures most definitely fell between 40 and 110 F (4 and 43 C) degrees as I rarely hike in temps outside of this range.

My Experience Back to contents

In general, I try to only carry things in my pack that have more than one use; the GorillaPod is one of the few items for which I make an exception. I have found the little tripod to be so handy for photography purposes, it's worth the minimal weight penalty. I'd like to think I've utilized every conceivable configuration but there are so many creative ways to use it in the backcountry, I'm not sure I've exhausted them all yet. Certainly the standard three-legged position is the one I use most often but I've also had good success with sticking it into cracks, wrapping it around three limbs, propping it on or dangling it from fence posts, attaching it to the end of hiking sticks or poles, or even simply holding it to get the camera away from my body just a few inches more for a better group "selfie". For adaptation to environment, it's super effective.

All of that positional versatility wouldn't really matter, however, if the tripod wasn't stable or safe with the camera attached. It is, as long as I've used it properly. Each ball joint is surrounded by the same rubberized material as each "grip foot". This minimizes the amount of slippery plastic that actually comes in contact with surfaces. Additionally, because of all the joints not only can each leg be bent into various poses, the neck of the tripod can also be angled to ensure the camera is sitting level even if the surface or attachment point is anything but level. I've not always been as careful as I should have been to wrap it around things securely or widen the three-legged stance for optimum stability but thankfully it's a pretty forgiving device.

The only part of the GorillaPod I've ever not fully trusted is the Quick Release Clip. I once had a situation where I was planning to hang my camera upside-down from a branch because all other options were obscured with leaves but I was too distrusting of the clip to try it. I understand Joby has attempted to make the screw on the clip universal so that it will work with a variety of brands and therefore it is not going to fit perfectly for some cameras, maybe none of them. On my little Canon Powershot it slips ever so slightly over time. I have to regularly check the clip to make sure it's still secure. I also have to be careful not to twist the camera when I'm manipulating its position atop the tripod. This will loosen the clip immediately, making the camera far less stable.

As simplicity goes, the GorillaPod gets an A+ for sure. It's not complicated to use in the slightest. I typically attach my camera first. This takes only a few seconds to check the Quick Release Clip to make sure it's tightly fastened to my camera, then I slide it into the locking port on the tripod, twist the locking ring to the lock position and that's it! After that it's a simple matter of manipulating the legs into a position that allows for the shot I'm trying to get. My nine year old son had it figured out in seconds. I especially like that there isn't anything to lose, unless the Quick Release Clip falls off the camera, which hasn't happened yet.

Given its plastic exterior, the GorillaPod is obviously waterproof, although I've never used it in inclement weather simply because my camera is not waterproof. I have, however, set it on wet rocks for creekside pics without any issues.


Pros and Cons Thus Far Back to contents

Things I like...

Lightweight and easily packable
Versatile and stable when used correctly
Compatible with my Canon Powershot

Things I think could be improved...

It'd be great if the Quick Release Clip could be modified for a more secure fit


 


JJD-2017

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Reviews > Cameras > Photography Accessories > Joby Gorilla Pod > Owner Review by Jamie DeBenedetto



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