For the past 15 years, Joby’s GorillaPods have a lighter, less expensive, and more flexible (pun intended) alternative to tripods, allowing cameras and action cameras to safely installed and perched in apparently impossible locations. The company’s new PodZilla range not intended to replace the GorillaPod, which is a shame because the revised legs a tremendous improvement.
When I’m photographing a subject in low light or trying to create a time-lapse that necessitates a camera that is rock firm, I usually go for my GorillaPod and locate a stable perch for it. However, due of the way the legs bend and grip, there have been plenty of occasions where I haven’t been able to get a GorillaPod to acquire a firm grasp (typically on surfaces that are too smooth or too thin). Has it proved to be a deal-breaker for the product? No. Has it been a source of frustration? Yes, which is why I’m pleased to see the firm experimenting with new ideas.
A Better Grip
Rather of using stiff legs that can only changed in length and splay like a typical tripod, the GorillaPod used a three-legged stubby design that surrendered length adjustments for extraordinary flexibility. While a tripod requires a stable surface to stand on, the GorillaPod can be wrapped around practically any object—think tree branches, lamp posts, or fences—and keep its grip, holding a camera steady while taking up far less space. Anyone who has ever stumbled over a spread tripod and had their camera’s frame thrown off will understand why.
The legs of the GorillaPod made up of a chain of ball and socket joints that designed to keep their shape no matter how they bent and modified. The ball and socket joints, on the other hand, each have a restricted range of motion. Limiting how tight a radius they may wrapped around.
The legs of the GorillaPod made up of a chain of ball and socket joints. That designed to keep their shape no matter how they bent and modified. The ball and socket joints, on the other hand, each have a restricted range of motion. Limiting how tight a radius they may wrapped around.
A tiny ring of rubber around each ball joint provides the GorillaPod’s grip. And I’ve often battled to get it to securely adhere to items like my monopod. Which has a nice shine surface. With a large camera on top, the GorillaPod is prone to succumbing to gravity’s pulls. Losing its hold, and swinging down. The PodZilla’s all-rubber legs, which have a pattern of flexible ridges, grip like a rock. It’s hard to slide the PodZilla off my smooth monopod with its legs twisted around it. The new design grabs everything I’ve tested it on considerably better and more firmly. Including tree branches, chair legs, and railings.