Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joby GorillaPod Hybrid Review

Every amateur photographer has found that transporting necessary gear can be troublesome. Tripods are no exception. The best tripods are very sturdy, hence they tend to be heavy. However, Joby has created a tripod that is sturdy, light, and small enough to fit into an inside partition in a camera bag. It may not be tall or extendable like other tripods, but it is still definitely worth any amateur photographer’s consideration. Read on to find out how it works.

The GorillaPod Hybrid has a unique design. Instead of having stiff, extendable metal legs like most tripods, it has nine ball joints on each leg. These can be curled around any object. Each of the joints has a rubberized ring around it so that it can “grip” tree branches, chair backs, rocks, or whatever else an amateur photographer might choose to anchor it to. The leg joints are also stiff enough to be straightened out and used as a table top tripod.

Ball Head
The Hybrid’s ball head can be tilted forward and backward, sideways, and parallel to the tripod for vertical shots. The base of the ball head can also pan, or turn from side to side in a smooth motion.

The Hybrid is the only GorillaPod that comes with a bubble level built-in to the ball head.

One of my favorite features is the quick release clip system. The clip itself attaches to the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera. To secure the camera to the tripod, slide the camera back and it will automatically lock into place. To remove the camera from the tripod, press a button on the back of the ball head to release the camera and slide it forward.

Since the Hybrid is bulky, it should be carried in a camera bag. If you are already carrying a camera bag, toting the Hybrid along with you won’t be an inconvenience.

The only concern I have is with the durability of the Hybrid’s ball joints. The joints may not last years and years as a regular metal tripod would. However, by the time the joints do wear out, I think I will have gotten my money’s worth out of the GorillaPod Hybrid.

All in all, the Joby GorillaPod Hybrid is a useful, unique, and flexible (pun intended!) tripod. It is a very viable alternative to metal tripods.

Product Info

MSRP:$39.99 from Joby
    Adaptable, handy bubble level, quick releasing mount 
  • Unsure of long term durability of the ball joints