The tripod has been with us for practically as long as photography has. For those of you who aren’t that into photography, the tripod is an essential part of the photographer’s kit. It is mostly used to stabilise and elevate the camera and its accessories. As smartphone cameras continue to improve, fewer people are carrying point & shoots and bulky DSLRs but more of us want to take quality photographs, quicker and easier. Joby has become a well-known manufacturer of their travel friendly table-top tripods. Que the Joby GorillaPod Hybrid.
The Joby device is 33.5 cm in length (13.2”) and weighs a measly 211 g. The tripod’s three legs are each made of 9 ball and socket subunits, allowing the legs to be shaped into whatever form you desire. Each globular monomer is lined with a rubber surface lining for increased grip and gives the GorillaPod a firm, quality feel to it. The leg joints all fit into each other very snuggly which means that the legs and upper mount do not move unless a substantial, purposeful force is applied on them thus keeping your smartphone secure and in place.
The mount surface sports a standard tripod mount (¼”) and a horizontal quick-release button for the smartphone mount. A bubble-level on the ball head joint, is vastly helpful in taking level images. The mount surface itself sits on top of a ball and socket joint which allows for full 360° panning. Furthermore, the device can be tilted 90° in either direction in a 180° in a plane, for switching between portrait and horizontal shots.
All In The Legs
So why the weird legs? Well the interesting ball and socket arrangement of the legs isn’t just there for the sake of design. Their easily adjustable form increases functional use to a wide range of different scenarios. The adjustable capabilities of the legs, means you can take level photos on extreme and rugged terrain. More importantly, the legs are able of twisting themselves around the circumferences of bodies.
I tried attaching the Gorillapod to as many things as the legs could go round and I’ve run out of ideas on what to try it on. From street poles, to banisters, to citrus trees and even my arm (then again, who’d twist a tripod round his or her arm?). The rubber lining on the legs does a fine job of clinging on to anything you can get it onto. That being said, first make sure that you attach the tripod firmly before attaching your device to minimise any risks of accidents.
The GripTight Mount
The GripTight Mount is primarily designed for smartphones. The foldable mount, which can be secured on top of the tripod, has a cheaper feel to it when compared to the rest of the device. Although it grasped my phone properly, it’s flimsier material and build (when compared to the GorillaPod) leave some room for improvement. Attaching the phone is simple: pull the mount apart and slide the phone in between the plastic cusps and your device is ‘gripped tightly’ (as the name would suggest).
There are two variants, the ‘Regular’ and ‘XL’. The regular can house a device of width 54-72 mm (2.1-2.8”) whilst the larger mount can handle a device in the range of 69-99 mm (2.7-3.9”) width. In real world terms, I was able to fit my Samsung Galaxy S4 with a Spigen Bumper case within the smaller mount and still have some wiggle room had I wanted to fit a larger device. The large mount could easily hold the larger Asus Zenfone 2 for those of you who are firm believers in the “bigger is better” mantra. For most users, I’d recommend taking the safer route, and buying the larger mount. Smartphone sizes are unlikely to trickle back down anytime soon, so better future proof your decision.
So What Else?
Well the GorillaPod hybrid can be found on amazon in the US for $29.05 and in Europe for approximately €27/£19 whilst the GripTight mount is priced at $15.91 in the US and about €12/£8 in Europe. While you may not be sure if you need a tripod, I’ve found that it is a very handy device. The GorillaPod Hybrid is the perfect accessory for those of you who enjoy taking great photos whilst travelling or in the wild. You can also go on Joby.com and check out some of the other equipment they have to offer, such as Flashlights, GoPro mounts, Camera straps and a multitude of different tripods to satisfy every niche. What about you: Are you an owner? In the market? Have any questions? Just drop us a line below.