Because I never know when I’m going to stumble across the perfect shot, I carry a compact digital camera with me just about wherever I go. What I don’t carry with me is a tripod. The fact is, I’ve never found one that makes the daily trouble seem worthwhile. Most compact tripods either come with spindly legs that don’t offer enough stability or come with sturdy legs that can’t adapt to uneven surfaces.
But while walking the floor at PMA this week, I’ve found two intriguing solutions to this problem. I’ve already talked about the MonsterPod, a malleable putty that can stick to just about any solid surface. Today I have the GorillaPod by Joby (pictured above). This $22 tripod features sturdy, bendable legs that can adjust to craggy surfaces or wrap around nearby objects. Each leg features nine ball-socket joints, each of which can rotate 360 degrees. For easy setup, you can keep a slim clip screwed into your camera’s tripod adapter and then slide the clip into a slot at the top of the GorillaPod when you need to stabilize your shot. A lock ring prevents the camera from slipping out.
I spent the evening attaching the GorillaPod and my camera to various objects around my hotel (the bedpost, stair railing, table lamp, etc), and have to say I’ve been pretty impressed by its flexibility. It’s also amazingly light; coming in at just 1.6 ounces. I only wish it came with a carrying pouch.