Review of the Joby Gorillapod Focus
Model: Gorillapod Focus
Youre probably familiar with the Gorillapod concept by now. A mini tripod with legs made from a series of interconnected ball and socket joints that enable them to be twisted around posts, tree branches and so forth, as well as straightened out and used as a normal tripod.
The orginal was designed for compacts and could only support a weight of 325g. Since then, Joby the company behind Gorillapod has produced an even smaller one, the Go-Go, for mobile phones, and two larger ones for DSLRs: the SLR and SLR Zoom (for weights up to 800g and 3kg respectively).
Now Joby has produced an even larger one, the Focus, which stands 290mm tall and can support weights up to 5kg. This means that users of pro DSLRs with hefty lenses, and even broadcast video camera users, can now join in the bendy fun.
The Gorillapod may look like a gimmick but it actually works, and the bigger the model the more useful it becomes because there are more things around which you can wrap it. The chunky legs on the Focus are quite stiff so it takes some force to bend them, which means that its grip is vice-like.
As a mini-tripod it works equally well, though as there is no ball or pan/tilt head adjustment you do have to fiddle with the legs to get the camera level. There is no quick-release plate either you need to use a coin or key to screw it into the cameras bush every time you want to use it. However, the Focus is light enough (just 500g) that you can probably leave it dangling when the camera is round your neck, and indeed for handheld shooting you can even fashion the legs into a chest brace for extra stability.
Lightweight, strong enough for most DSLRs, multiple uses
Bulky compared to a tabletop tripod or clamp, quite pricey
At £90 it isnt cheap, especially given that this would be an addition to a regular tripod, not a replacement for one. However, if you can find room for one in your kit bag (or strapped to the outside) it will greatly increase your shooting options.
What Digital Camera Score: 90%