The GorillaPod Focus is the strongest, portable, lightweight, professional tripod you can find.
I don’t remember the first time I saw a JOBY product, but I do remember that I was in awe of the design. Being a child of video production I’ve seen all types of video gear and many styles of homemade, experimental gear. So, when I saw my first JOBY tripod, I thought, “Man, what a great idea!” JOBY creates innovative gear that is inspired by consumer creativity. Since 2006, JOBY has worked to design products that help photographers capture images and video from different angles, new perspectives, stability in long exposure or low light situations, or the simple joy of getting in your own travel shots.
The GorillaPod Focus is made out of very strong materials including ABS plastic, stainless steel, German TPE, and Zinc-aluminum. It’s actually the only tripod in its class to use machined aluminum sockets and German TPE for its joints. The tripod uses a 1/4″-20 standard tripod mount but comes with a 3/8″ adapter. It’s very lightweight as far as tripods go — it only weighs 1.68 pounds, which is ideal for traveling and working in remote locations. Even though it’s lightweight, it can hold up to 11 pounds of camera gear. GorillaPod Focus allows you to position your camera at nearly any angle. You have full 360º panning and a 90º tilt when you use the Focus in conjunction with the Ballhead XTM (or any other ball head). The tripod is easy to set up as it includes an Arca-Swiss compatible mounting plate that can be left on your camera (or not) for easy interchangeability.
I’ve been very impressed with the GorillaPod. I knew when it arrived that the quality was there, but I was very eager to see how it worked. So, I thought, “What’s the best place to test out something called GorillaPod?” My answer? A playground — complete with monkey bars. So, I packed up our camera and the GorillaPod and when shooting. There is a playground about a mile away from our house so it was short trip. I used a Canon D70 DSLR as my cameraof choice for this outing.
I happened to pick an overcast, cool day for testing. This ended up being great because I had free reign over the playground. First, I visited the tennis court and attached the GorillaPod to a fence. I did this to see how easily I could articulate the legs around small objects like the chainlinked fence. This was a bit of a feat as the legs of the GorillaPod are a tight bend and since I was trying to fit the tripod from the front side of the fence, I had a little bit of a tough time getting it to latch. Once I did, it was very secure and I didn’t feel that camera was in any jeopardy from falling. I did have the Ballhead X on the top of the GorillaPod, but I also used the Edelkrone QuickRelease universal camera mount. The combination of the two production pieces really made for a quick and easy production shoot. I think this, more than anything, is why I like the GorillaPod — it’s perfect for that quick shot that you need to grab.
In addition to the fence, I also wrapped the GorillaPod around a set of monkey bars and a jungle gym. I did this to show the GorillaPod’s versatility. I felt that this example might give other photographers and videographers inspiration of where you might be able to use it. GorillaPod Focus is great for any style of photography, but I think it’s especially great for action shots.
Even though I used these outdoor shoots as my testing ground, I also used the GorillaPod quite successfully in my office. It helped to make a few awkward overhead unboxing videos possible. It’s a very useful production tool and I love having it available. For $150 (tripod and ball head), it’s a great investment.
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