Earlier this years I blogged about a Joby Gorilla tripod and how impressed I was with it.
Shortly after that I was directed towards the new range of tri-Pods by someone at Joby themselves. They very kindly sent me a couple of items to try out and having used them for a month or so this is what I think…
I’ve created a hybrid Gorilla tri-pod, for my iPhone 4S, consisting of ‘GorillaPod Video‘ and ‘Gorilla GripTight‘.
GorillaPod Video is designed for palm size video cameras and digital cameras. It has the standard screw mounted attachment with quick-release plate. It has several other features too but I’ll get to those in a second.
The GripTight comes with its own tripod (which for me is now surplus). Given the quality of the GorillaPod Video it would make sense to make the GripTight a stand alone product as I’m sure many users, like me, will want the best of both worlds. However…
GripTight, as you would expect, grips your phone – but it is also extendable. It extends to widths between 54 and 72mm. Of course this future proofs your purchase to a degree – no worries about iPhone changing size in the future or converting to another device altogether!
So, GripTight does just that. There is only friction keeping your device in place, so exercise caution, but it’s surprisingly strong and i’m always confident that my iPhone is genuinely secure!
So far, so ‘really’ good.
Back to the GorillaPod Video pod then.
Apart from the trade-mark Gorilla grip legs – that wrap around just about anything – this tri-pod, quite literally, has improvements from the top down!
Starting at the top we have the pan and tilt arm. Again, you can feel the quality in the build and it provides a very smooth pan. If the tripod is free-standing then it will need secured by your freehand while using the pan arm as there is a reasonable amount of resistance – but such is the quality.
There is a handy button that, while depressed, allows the tilt arm to move freely – once a suitable position is chosen then release the button and the arm remains locked in place.
At the neck of the tripod, just below the arm is an additional ball joint not found on other GorillaPods in this range and it allows for greater flexibility in positioning. (see below).
See the video captured here, below.
Finally, probably the most surprising feature – surprising because they work so effectively!
The feet on the Video tri-pod are magnetic. I honestly didn’t think I would trust my iPhone to three small magnetic feet. However, they are very, very strong. (Over 7lbs of pulling force – if that means anything to you?!) I would happily attach the tri-pod to something metal, 90 degrees to the ground, and be happy that my phone was secure. Even stood upright on a metal surface provides extra peace of mind that the device won’t be blown over. (Been there with a iPad :\)
So here (above) I put the magnetic feet to the ultimate test by dangling the camera upside-down from the metal housing of a projector screen. I filmed a time-lapse over 15-20mins, and, just in case, prepared a soft landing below. However, there was no need! The tripod stayed in place happily until I removed it!
So, while Joby Gorilla pods don’t come cheap I would suggest, given the value of the device you’re likely to be putting in it’s ‘grip’, the investment is valid and reasonable. This is a great portable product that I carry constantly with me. I found plenty of uses for the older model, (see the review) and I’m finding dozens more for this one, simply because it’s so versatile.
For ‘mobile’ film-makers then this is an essential tool! I say go for it – get a ‘grip’!
With Joby you’re literally in a good ‘hand’!