The Digital Journalist
Gorillas in the Show!
December 2006

by Joan Gramatte

Going to the annual PhotoPlus Expo show in the Big Apple is always a treat because one gets to visit with the latest, most advanced, innovative, wise-ass-techno photog stuff available anywhere on the planet—for that weekend.

I had read an article some months back about a new gadget called the Gorillapod, and thought, what a nifty idea—a small, lightweight, super flexible tripod that can literally wrap itself around almost any object available, anywhere. Thus, allowing the photographer to catch steady and interesting angle shots in places where a traditional tripod just wouldn't do.

As a graphic designer I use my cameras for some projects, but I'm mainly a for-pleasure shooter and have a regular tripod and monopod when I need a steady shot. So, as life often intrudes upon intentions, seeking the Gorillapod moved to the back of my must-do brain coffer. Then came the show.

While hanging at the Canon pavilion I saw a guy playing with what I recognized as one of these intriguing little critters. He told me that Joby, the company that makes them, had a booth at the show. A nanosecond later I was there. The place was mobbed, but I managed to check out each of the (now) three sizes and ask about their uses with a very psyched company person.

Simple, smart idea: three molded plastic legs with ball-and-socket-type joints that bend almost 360 degrees, ring and foot grips, and a quick-release plate.

Here are the three very packable sizes available:

• The original Gorillapod is made for point-and-shoot compact digital cameras weighing up to 9.7 oz. (275 g). It retails for $21.95.

• The Gorillapod SLR is intended to support prosumer cameras, flashes, light SLRs (without zoom lenses), and compact video camcorders weighing up to 1.75 lbs. (800 g). It retails for $39.95.

• The Gorillapod SLR-Zoom is their new heavy-duty version, designed with serious photographers in mind. It attaches to SLRs (with zoom lenses), video cameras, and your own tripod head, and can support 6.6 lbs. (3 kg). It retails for $49.95.

Now, with all three (they like each others' company) in tow, I'm off to shoot the world from all sites and angles. And by the way, they're great conversation starters! (