Joby Gorillapod with Smartphone
Gear

Why I still Love my Joby Gorillapod for Smartphone Photography

When someone talks about a Gorillapod, you probably think about those odd-looking round ball joints. At least, it’s the first thing on my mind when I think about this indispensable piece of my smartphone photography equipment.

But why is this Joby tripod so popular for smartphone photographers? I will tell you in a second. But not before I complain about the trouble I encounter while putting its legs bag together in one straight line. Is it important? No. It just bugs me. #smile

So let me tell you about the fantastic Joby Gorillapod and its universal mount for smartphones. I will mainly focus on the 3K GP and 3K Pro Kit because they are similar to the original Joby Gorillapod I bought back in 2014 and have used ever since.

I was actually quite surprised at how well the Joby Gorillapod 3K is priced on Amazon nowadays. Maybe I should get myself a new one (with black caps) as well. 

Gear I used in this Blog Post

You can find all gear I used in this blog post on Amazon. Click the link to find the matching products and current prices. You can also find the Joby Gorillapod 3 K and other tripods on Joby’s website. You will get a 10% discount on your first order after subscribing to their newsletter via this link.  

Gorillapod wrapt around

What is a Gorillapod?

The Joby Gorillapod is a pretty innovative and flexible tripod with round joints that has been around for almost 15 years. I bought an original Gorillapod, and it is still standing (or hanging) strong. My version, the SLR Zoom Kit, is very similar to the 3K GP and 3K Pro Kit.

They come in various sizes and have multiple accessories for smartphones, DSLR cameras, and video cameras. By any standard, it stands as a prototype for a successful piece of photography gear.

The Gorillapod is a pretty simple yet sturdy and flexible design, making almost all photography angles possible. Multiple balls and sockets make up for an industrial design that can even bare heavy cameras. I haven’t figured out the secret yet, but it must have something to do with circular shapes’ weight distribution.

Where is a Joby Gorillapod made of?

The used materials are medical-grade ABS plastic, TPE Rubber, Aluminium, and Stainless Steel. In my experience, these materials will hold up to the rigors of all smartphone photographers’ adventures. At least it did on my photography trips.

At the end of my original Gorillapod legs, the white rubber caps are slightly gray and dingy because of the time I spend in dust and dirt on forest floors. You won’t have that problem with the newer models; they have black caps.

In which sizes does the Gorillapod come?

Nowadays, the Joby Gorillapod comes in many different sizes and versions made for DSLR, smartphones, and action cameras. Here are the specifics of the Gorilladpods in the Flexible Tripods for Cameras range. 

Joby Gorillapod 325
GP325GP500GP 1K KitGP 3K PRO KitGP 5K PRO Kit
Max. Payload11.5 oz1.1 lbs2.2 lbs6.6 lbs11 lbs
Max. Payload325 grams500 grams1 kg3 kg5 kg
Size in cm3.5x3.5x17.54x 4x20.52.5x2.5x25.67.7x5.3x306.5x6.5x38.5
Weight in kg0.0520.0790.1970.4630.739

Are there different Gorillapod?

There are many different Gorillapods designed by Joby. They developed tripods for smartphones, DSLR cameras, and action cameras. You can also find Gorillapod rigs and tablet mounts in their shop.

Joby developed even smaller and more lightweight tripods for smartphones and action cameras. I, however, still use the 3K Gorillapod for smartphones as well as DSLR cameras. I prefer sturdy over small and lightweight.

There are actually too many to cover all of them in my review. But if you are curious. Check out this video by Tim from Joby, in which he very enthusiastically shows every tripod made especially for smartphones (and go pros and tablets).

How can I attach my smartphone to a Tripod?

You can attach any smartphone under 3 kilo or 6.6 pounds on the 3K GP, and 3K Pro Kit with a universal smartphone mount with a 1/4″ female receptacle to these tripods (like I do).

But you can also buy the Joby GripTight Mount PRO Phone, which fits any smartphone with or without a case. It can rotate to portrait or landscape and adjust the tilt angle for the best composition or viewing angle.

Joby Gorillapod Smartphone Mount
Joby Gorillapod Ball Head

What is the best way to hold a Gorillapod?

You definitely can hold the Joby Gorillapod while taking images, but you probably use it by putting it on the ground, hanging it in a tree, or chaining it to a bridge. The flexible legs can wrap around many items.

If you do want to hold the Gorillapod (maybe while taking selfies or shooting videos), you can hold all three legs in one hand. Or you can hold two legs and use the other for extra stability on the back of your hand. Check these images for a clear idea.

how to hold gorillapod
how to hold gorillapod

How good are the wrapping capabilities?

One of its best features is the wrapping possibility of the Gorillapod legs. I use it on trees, benches, fences, boxes, and branches. If you are looking for a tripod, you can place it almost anywhere; this one will do the job perfectly. It just takes some time to adjust the flexible legs around the desired object. Always try to use one leg opposite the other two; it is the most secure way to attach the tripod.

Standing the Gorillapod is easy, but you will have to take some time to do it properly. The more you use it, the better you become at it. It can stand on uneven surfaces, low to the ground, and many other variations. Did I tell you it is a versatile tripod? Well, now you know.

Is it better than other tripods?

It depends on what kind of smartphone photographer you are or want to become. Or what the circumstances of the shoot are. If you’re going to be super creative with your perspective, a Gorillapod comes in handy. When you move from place to place a lot, its weight will surely be a pro.

A tripod with three static legs provides more stability during shooting and filming. They can hold more weight, and you can set the height according to your preferences. You can find my recommendations for professional tripods on the favorite gear page of this website.

Gorillapod Tripod around Branch

Why do I think a Gorillapod Is such a Valuable Piece of Gear?

In my opinion, the Joby Gorillapod is still one of the best small tripods for any photographer. It is very sturdy, reliable, versatile, and flexible. You can boost your creativity because of Joby Gorillapod. It fits in many gear bags, is pretty lightweight, and practical.

Ball head with bubble level clip

I recommend buying a Joby Gorillapod with a ball head with quick release. It will make your smartphone photography much easier with this tripod. Because the legs are very flexible, it can be challenging to set the tripod up completely level. The ball head with a bubble level clip is even better when your phone does not come with a built-in bubble level. Don’t forget; You can always straighten the horizon further in Lightroom, Snapseed, or any other editing app.

Other photographers experience

Some photographers have reported legs popping off the Gorillapod. However, you can easily put them back in. I tried for the sake of this review because it never happened to me before. Some users reported less stability once a leg was separated and put back in place. You can try using glue to fix that particular joint or put something thin like polyethylene shopping bag material or duck tape in the joint to create more friction.

But as I mentioned, I never had any issues with my seven-year-old Gorillapod. We still go on many photography adventures together.

Things to consider before buying a Joby Gorillapod

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Practical
  • Good size
  • Lightweight
  • Very durable
  • Reliable grip
  • Secure hold
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Learning curve
  • Fixed height

5 Creative Joby Gorillapod user tips

  • Wrap the Gorillapod around a branch or small tree;
  • Use the railing of a bridge to steady the smartphone
  • Put the tripod on a broomstick to create a birds-eye view (use a remote shutter);
  • Fold the legs all the way sideways for a low perspective;
  • Wrap it around door handles, lamp stands, monitors, and so on. 

Final words on my love for Joby Gorillapod

Well, I think it is clear right about now that I am pleased with my seven-year-old Joby Gorillapod. If you are looking to buy one yourself, please check the latest prices on the Joby website or Amazon. Many photographers and bloggers (amateurs and professionals alike) have been using this piece of equipment for years. Go out and get creative!

*If you are wondering what gear I used in this blog post, click here


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