Let’s be honest here: I’m not a photographer. I take photos because I need them for the blog and because I love sharing with you guys what I see on my travels, but you’ll never see me carrying around a heavy backpack filled with only photography gear. So why did I try out this Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom?
Well, because I usually travel by myself, I don’t have a lot of travel photos that I’m in. I know I could ask someone to take my picture if someone is around, but I’m not always comfortable handing out my camera and not everyone knows how to work with more than a compact digital camera either. A tripod seemed like the obvious option for me, but chocolate knows I wasn’t going to carry around a heavy/large/bulky tripod everywhere I went.
So I started looking for travel tripod reviews and I kept reading about this Joby GorillaPod SLR-zoom. Joby is a company specialized in gorilla camera stands or tripods, GoPro mounts and other “mounting” camera accessories. For DSLR’s they have the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and the GorillaPod Focus. As the Focus is more for very professional use and filming, the SLR-Zoom seemed like the perfect fit for me and my Fuji XE-1 camera.
By the way, it’s called “SLR-Zoom” because it supports up to 6.6 lb or 3 kg, so it can definitely support your gigantic lens. And my tiny ones.
Testing the Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom in Sardinia
Boyfriend and I took the Joby GorillaPod with us to Sardinia to try and get some nice shots of the both of us when there was nobody around to take them. The perfect spot for that was Scala di San Giorgio, where we climbed one side of the gorge (there were stairs, no worries) and took this photo:
To take that photo we had to place the GorillaPod (with my camera on it, obviously) on a very uneven and rocky surface, as you can see here:
That was no problem as the three joints or legs of the GorillaPod can bend and rotate 360° and are covered in rubber so that they don’t easily slide off of surfaces. As you can see in the photo above, we really twisted them to make sure the GorillaPod couldn’t move and my camera was standing stable.
To really try out the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom’s grip, we bent the legs around the balustrade we first were standing against. When you get the GorillaPod, it has a manual on how to best bend the legs to guarantee maximum stability, so we knew we had to twist one leg to the front and one leg to the back. The third leg, when attaching the GorillaPod to something, is always used to counter the weight of the camera.
I found the legs a bit stiff to move in the beginning, but I guess that’s because they need to stay where they are once you’ve fixed them. If they were very easy to bend, they probably wouldn’t be so stable. I wonder if they will stay like this as I use the tripod more.
By the way, this GorillaPod has a bubble level which allows you to see whether your camera is levelled or not. If it isn’t, no worries, because your camera is actually attached to a ball head that you can tilt up to 90° and rotate 360° until the camera is levelled (or as crooked as you’d like it to be). Practical! Even more practical is that the ball head attaches to your camera with a quick-release clip. That way, you can leave the clip attached to your camera and easily slide it on the GorillaPod whenever you want to use it. You can also buy additional clips for multiple cameras.
The Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom is a mini-tripod, which means the legs are not extendable and you can easily carry it around in a backpack. I could easily fit it into my Eastpak laptop bag (together with a whole bunch of other stuff) or even strap it to my Jo Totes camera handbag by bending the legs around the shoulder strap.
Conclusion of this travel tripod review? I’ll be carrying a little more photography gear around on future trips. Just a little, as this GorillaPod only weighs 8.5 oz or 241 g!
Designed for: DSLR’s with zoom lenses, camcorders, mics and off-camera flashes
Maximum Height: 9.8’’ – 25 cm
Width: 2.4’’ – 6 cm
Depth: 2.4’’ – 6 cm
Folded Length: 9.8″ – 250 mm
Load Capacity: 105 ounces – 6.6 pounds – 3 kilograms
Male Thread Size: 1/4″-20, with 3/8″ adapter
Weight: 6.7 ounces – 0.42 pounds, 0.19 kilograms
Where to buy the Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom
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Ik got the Joby GorillaPod from Degreef&Partner for review purposes. The choice to now lug it around with me on my travels is completely mine. This post also contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through them, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.