JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom Review


Lately we have been on a roll reviewing photography gear and you might be wondering what does photography gear have to with fitness and exercise.  Well…we have been wanting to get more proactive with the website and not only write articles about fitness and health, but to actually show you through pictures and video.  As a result our attention turned to looking for the best ways to capture and document things we would love for you to see.  To this end we started contacting companies we felt made quality products to help us out.

One such company is JOBY.  They make those really cool 3 legged Gorillapods that are bendy and can be positioned in all sorts of weird locations.

JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom

JOBY was kind enough to send us out another Ballhead to test called the JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom.

JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom 1 GorillaPod Camera 2

JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom 2 GorillaPod

The Ballhead box didn’t come messed up.  Olaf had something to do with possibly eating the end of the box.

JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom 3 Camera GorillaPod

You can see the difference in size between the Ballhead X (Left) and the Ballhead SLR-Zoom (Right)

JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom VS JOBY Ballhead X

The JOBY Ballheads are basically the JOBY Gorillapod’s best friend.  They allow you to level off the camera or video recorder after setup.  Normally it’s a two step process.  You first position the GorillaPod and once positioned, you simply level off the camera or rotate it using the ballhead’s tilt and pan.


JOBY Ballhead SLR Zoom and Ballhead X
JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom and Ballhead X

Below is a typical setup using the JOBY BAllhead SLR-Zoom combined with the JOBY GorillaPOD SLR-Zoom and the quick release Ballhead plate.

JOBY GorillaPod JOBY Ballhead SLR-Zoom

Here is a picture I took using the above GorillaPod combined with the JOBY Ballhead X.

JOBY Gorillapod Bridge



Attaching to all GorillaPods and standard tripods with a ¼”-20 thread, this ball head tripod mount offers smooth motion, a tight locking system and a quick release plate with a bubble level. This is a must have for any photographer.

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  • Quick release plate with bubble level: For level shots every time.
  • 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.
  • Stainless steel 1/4” screw with 3/8” adapter: use with any tripod.

Designed for:

DSLR, Mirrorless

JOBY Ballhead X vs Ballhead SLR-Zoom

OK so you may be wondering which Ballhead I prefer and it is sort of a toss up.  Both Ballheads have their pluses and minuses.

For me the Ballhead X is a more professional ballhead.  The 360º pan feels much more precise when turning.  It’s Arca-Swiss system compatible, which means it should work with any other Arca-Swiss plate holders and it’s quick release plate system is much more secure.   The Ballhead X is also rated to hold much heavier equipment 5000 g (11.00 lbs) vs 2948 g (6.49 lbs) with the SLR-Zoom.

Where the SLR-Zoom shines, is the fact that it comes with a bubble level, it has a much faster quick release, it’s cheaper $39 vs $69 and it is a bit lighter 150 g (0.33 lbs) vs 262 g (0.58 lbs).

JOBY Ballhead X

Retail Price: $69
Weight: 262 g (0.58 lbs)
Carrying Capacity: 5000 g (11.00 lbs)
Locking: Metal pin lock and a plate lock mechanism
Number Of Adjustment Dails: a 360º & ballhead combo dial.
Bonus: Arca-Swiss system compatible
Negatives: No leveling bubble

JOBY Ballhead SLR Zoom

Retail Price: $39
Weight: 150 g (0.33 lbs)
Carrying Capacity: 2948 g (6.49 lbs)
Locking: plastic locking mechanism
Number Of Adjustment Dials: 3 including a 360º pan dials, ballhead nob and camera plate nob
Bonus: Level Bubble
Negatives: No secure locking mechanism

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Ballhead SLR-Zoom Overall Observations

JOBY has done a great job creating a ballhead that is inexpensive and does just about everything you could ask for.  The quick release plate is easy to use and the integrated bubble level is very useful.

Is there a downside?  The only thing I could come up with is the possibility of accidental plate release.  While I didn’t experience any issue with the plate coming out, it could happen if you were to bump up hard against the release mechanism.

I found the Ballhead X 360º pan dial to be much easier to work with for panning than the ballhead/pan combo dial that comes with the SLR-Zoom.

My plan is to use the Ballhead SLR-Zoom with the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and attach either a GoPro or a smaller point and shoot camera.  I will use the Ballhead X in combination with the GorillaPod Focus and our more expensive Canon 70D rig.

Definitely check out JOBY’s website for other cool products like the GripTight Gorillapod and the Action Bike Mount.

Incoming search terms:

  • Ballheads
  • Joby Ballhead X
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,,, 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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