Earlier this year we reviewed the Gorillapod from Joby. Now 2 months on, the company has released an SLR version for the heavier camera.
Whether you opt for the smaller Gorillapod or the larger version here, the GorillapodSLR is not – as the name suggests – an MP3 player for gorillas, nor is it a pod into which you place a captured gorilla, it is in fact an extremely clever mini tripod.
And while gorillas might be found hanging around in trees, or balancing in the brush, tripods would normally not be found on such precipitous perches. But significantly for the Gorillapod, its novel design means it can cling to almost anything with, well, a gorilla-like grip. So you never know.
Each of the Gorillapod’s three legs are articulated along their entire length using small ball and socket joints that allow the entire leg to move and swivel in any direction. Each articulation can rotate through 360-degress and a rubberised gripping rib rings each socket part of each joint.
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Add to the ensembles rubberised feet and Gorillapod can grip on uneven, rough or vertical surfaces allowing the Gorillapod to be positioned anywhere while keeping the camera level.
Another very neat feature – but something a real gorilla, perhaps, would not have – is a quick release plate, a la professional tripods. This is a small screw plate with the main screw thread, which sits in a slot on the top. With this plate screwed into the camera’s tripod bush, you can quickly attach/unattach the camera to the Gorillapod’s legs without having to screw/unscrew the thing each time. It also means you don’t have to have the legs dangling from the camera all the time.
Once a camera is on board a Gorillapod, you don’t have to run about beating your chest, oh no. You simply squiggle the legs about or wrap them around the object you want to attach your camera to and start snapping.
You can safely stabilise your digital compact to almost any support, be it a tabletop, rock, fence post, tree branch or gorilla. Hmmm, on second thoughts, perhaps not the last one.
The DSLR version is both considerably heavier and larger than the standard compact model at it weighs in at 165g compared to just 45g. That said, the extra size and weight means that you'll be able to put much more on it - up to 1.1kg for example.
While this weight allocation is perfectly fine for digital SLRs such as the Canon 350D with heavier film-based models we found that it wasn't up for anything other than using the Gorillapod as a standard tripod.
Where the compact Gorillapod is small enough to pack in a handbag, say, or take along with you on holiday, camping, or to a party, understandably you won't be able to do the same here, more a case of fitting it your rucksack.
We love the compact version and the same goes for this SLR version as long as you've got a light digital SLR. It's easy to use and allows you to take a whole range of new images that until now you probably thought weren't possible.
The Gorillapod is (almost) as grippy as a real gorilla, but unlike a large (probably) angry ape, it is also a great photo accessory for any small digital camera.
It's a small detail, however we especially like the fact that the company responsible for the GorillapodSLR allows you to buy the tripod either with or without packaging - the later being cheaper to boot.
Additional testing by Stuart Miles.