JOBY GorillaPod SLR-Zoom Review

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Just got back from an amazing photo shoot around Townlake here in Austin.  The purpose of the shoot was to test out the Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom.   For those that don’t know, I love taking video and pictures and anything that can improve my skill as a photographer is always welcome.

A Little JOBY History

Based in Petaluma, CA, JOBY revolutionized the camera accessories market in early 2006 with its GorillaPod line of flexible tripods and continues to redefine the consumer electronics and photography markets with its GripTight, Camera Strap and GorillaTorch product lines.  In 2011, JOBY was acquired by the DayMen Group, an innovative manufacturer and distributor of photographic accessories including the Lowepro and Acme Made brands.

JOBY GorillaPod SLR-Zoom – THE PACKAGE ARRIVES

We recently received the Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and Ballhead X.  Together these make an amazing tripod setup, but unlike a traditional tripod, the Joby GorillaPod can be used in crazy locations like a pole or a railing or a tree branch.  As long as the GorillaPod can wrap it’s arms around something, you can usually set it up.

Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom and Ballhead 1a

Opening the box revealed the Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and the JOBY Ballhead X.  Also included was a bubble level, but it isn’t compatible with Ballhead X, instead it requires the JOBY Ballhead.

Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom and Ballhead 1b

Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom and Ballhead 1c

JOBY Ballhead X is designed for the GorillaPod Focus, but works equally as well with the SLR-Zoom.  It’s a nice heavy duty 3 dial Ballhead that feels super secure when the camera is attached using Ballhed X the camera plate.

Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom and Ballhead 1d

The Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom.  The packaging contained the GorillaPod and directions.

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Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom and Ballhead 1e

The Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom is designed for DSLR and Mirrorless cameras, but as you can see below it is well at home with a GoPro 4 Silver.  Just like a traditional tripod, the GorillaPod has 3 legs.  Each leg has multiple ball like segments that allow you to configure the tripod in all sorts of wacky positions.  I used it to wrap around a pole and also attached it to a bridge’s railing.

Each ball and socket segment has a rubberized ring for grip.  This grip is really useful when wrapping around slippery surfaces like a pole or railing.  The base of the tripod has even more rubber that really improves grip when facing a wall or surface.

Joby Lukes Locker Bridge Gorillapod

JOBY Gorillapod Bridge

You will want to match the GorillaPod with a ballhead and the JOBY Ballhead X is a perfect match.  It has 3 nobs that allow you to control a 360º pan, 90º tilt and position your camera at virtually any angle.  The locking adjustment knob: easily locks the ballhead into place, securing it tight.

GorillaPod SLR-Zoom (tripod only):

Weight: 190 g (0.42 lbs)
Packaged Weight: 330 g (0.73 lbs)
Capacity: 3000 g (6.60 lbs)

GorillaPod SLR-Zoom (+Ballhead):

Product Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 31.8 cm (2.36 x 2.36 x 12.52 in)
Weight: 340 g (0.75 lbs)
Packaged Weight: 470 g (1.03 lbs)
Capacity: 3000 g (6.60 lbs)

Connection Point:

1/4″-20 standard tripod mount, 3/8″ adapter

Materials:

ABS Plastic, Stainless Steel, TPE

JOBY Ballhead X

Holding up to 5kg (11lbs) this quick release ball head tripod mount is a must have for anyone with a pro DSLR or video camera. Supers smooth motion, a tight locking system and Arca Swill compatibility will make this your go to tripod head.

Features:

  • Arca swiss system compatible: Quick release plate stays connected to your camera for instant setup.
  • 360º pan, 90º tilt: Position your camera at virtually any angle. Get portrait and landscape shots with ease.
  • Locking adjustment knob: easily locks the ballhead into place, securing it tightly.
  • Anodized aluminum construction delivers durability and smooth movement.
  • Stainless steel 1/4” screw with 3/8” adapter: use with any tripod.
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Designed for:

DSLR, Pro DSLR

JOBY Observations

When your out and about around town, people notice your setup and want to talk or have you take their picture.  It’s rather funny, but you do stick out from the crowd.  I suppose they thought I was a professional photographer and I certainly wasn’t going to disappoint them.

JOBY GorillaPod In Action

Below is a video I shot showing the JOBY GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and the GorillaPod Focus using a Canon 70D and a GoPro 4 Silver.

Bottom Line

The JOBY GorillaPod and Ballhead X are a killer rig combo that gives you all sorts of shooting options for capturing sporting events or any type of outdoor/indoor fun.  I am really impressed with the overall design and quality of the GorillaPod and Ballhead X.  Both are pretty stellar pieces of equipment.

The small size of the GorillaPodSLR-Zoom, makes an excellent choice to travel with.

The only downside to the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom is it does tend to get dirty pretty fast.  The white rubber rings were already showing dirt spots from a few setups.  Having them in black wouldn’t show as easily.

Those who like a more traditional Tripod setup, will find the GorillaPod has a lot more uses, but may find certain situations where a traditional tripod is still preferred.  Examples may include performing portrait shoots or landscape shots.

Check out the  JOBY website for other fantastic products beyond the GorillaPod and Ballhead X.

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Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about running, cycling and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day. Location: Austin, TX USA

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