REVIEW: JOBY GorillaPod Focus + Ballhead X

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Full moon lighting outside Moab, UT. The best way to get low & stable for a shot like this is by using a GorillaPod.

Joby GorillaPod Focus + Ballhead X

MSRP: $149.95 bundle ($99.95 GorillaPod Focus & $69.95 Ballhead X when purchased separately) (BUY NOW for LESS!)

Designed For: Professional camera systems weighing up to 11 lbs. Great for video & still photography. Strong enough to handle large zoom lenses.

Weight: 1.1 lbs Focus & 9.3 oz Ballhead X = 1.7 lbs (measured weight of test unit: 1.6 lbs)

Construction: Aluminum & rubber for a long life in the field

Mounting Options: Offers both 1/4″ & 3/8″ screw attachments

Ballhead X: Arca-Swiss base plate compatible, 369 degree pan & 90 degree tilt, locking adjustment knobs

Available Accessories: wheels, suction cups, clamps & more!

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The GorillaPod Focus + Ballhead X Bundle pack by Joby.

There are two main components that make this piece of camera equipment awesome; the GorillaPod tripod like deal itself and the Ballhead X. Both of these tools combine to give you the ultimate tool to get that unique angle, stable long exposure, perfect time-lapse or smooth panning video. The Focus is Joby’s top of the line professional series GorillaPod designed to handle big cameras and big lenses. The legs are longer, tougher and stiffer than any of the other GorillaPod offerings in the Joby line. While they are a bit stiff to articulate they allow you to mould the “tripod” to any shooting platform. The Ballhead X is the head atop the GorillaPod that allows you to fine tune your angle, switch from portrait to landscape quickly and do smooth fluid pans of the camera. With this combination you are able to get your camera stable, secure and ready to shoot quickly just about anywhere.

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The Ballhead X is a professional grade tool that can also be removed and used with other tripods.

I’ve used this piece of camera kit in the desert, at the coast, in the mountains, on the river and even in a studio setting. It is really versatile piece of gear that travels with me on all my adventures. I believe that I’ve used my normal tripod once in the past 6 months or so now that I’ve had the GorillaPod. For the remote, demanding and unique places that I like to take photos this little tool of the trade gets the job done with way less effort than carrying around a larger tripod. While I’ve used the Focus mostly for photo work it is also a great tool for the video arsenal as well, something I’ll be utilizing more in the near future. The bottom line is that you can get really creative angles and steady shots with this tool that you just cant get easily any other way. I’ve been thinking about getting a high end tripod for years now, but after using the GorillaPod I think I’ll save the cash and put it towards more travel instead ­čÖé

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The Focus allowed me to get great angles and a stable shot, to deal with low light scenarios, while shooting bouldering in Red Rocks, NV.

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The Focus is able to perch atop just about anything with confidence.

PROS:

-Inexpensive piece of professional grade gear.

-Super versatile.

-Extremely durable.

-Works well for photo and video work.

CONS:

-A bit heavy to carry everywhere

-It is short! Hard to get higher shooting angles unless there is something to put it on or wrap it around.

-I found that the Arca-Swiss base plate can loosen easily from the camera.

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A lot of tourist areas have handrails of some sort, and the Focus makes any handrail into a great stable shooting platform. This shot is from the MD overlook of Great Falls of the Potomac.

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My LowePro Sport 200 AW is my go to field camera bag and the Focus fits in its side pocket perfectly.

Other great reviews & resources:

Joby GorillaPod Focus Product Page

Engadget

About.com

Geakanoids (Video)

Joby on FB

The pictures below would have been much more difficult to capture without my trusty GorillaPod!

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Steamer’s Lane in Santa Cruz, CA at sunrise.

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Sarah enjoying some Overland Journal reading in the comfy Helinox Chair One just outside Moab, UT during Easter Jeep Safari.

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Living the rough life in Punta San Francisquito, Baja.

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Sunrise in the Bahia De Los Angeles, Baja.

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Sunrise from the beach in Punta San Francisquito, Baja.

Help support the Van Life adventures on Exploring Elements by purchasing this product through this Amazon.com link:

(Disclaimer: I was provided with a Focus + Ballhead X from Joby for this review.)

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