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These days, everyone is an amateur Francis Ford Coppola—or maybe that’s an amateur Kevin Smith. Anyway, if you go to any sporting event, birthday party, soccer game, or random Tuesday happy hour, someone’s bound to break out a portable video camera to capture the moment. They’re practically weightless, easy to use, and can shoot in full HD—so why not? But if you’ve ever been subjected to someone’s shaky video of the time they hit a perfect 450 playing Skee-Ball, you know how nauseating 1080p video can be when it’s shot handheld.
The Gorillapod Video, the latest in Joby’s series of portable tripods, aims to banish that shaky MTV-in-the-early-’90s look in favor of more polished pans and tilts in your clips. At a svelte 2.8 ounces, it’s easy to tuck in a bag alongside your Flip camera. It features the signature bendable legs, which you can wrap around poles or tree branches or bend to fit uneven surfaces.The bottom feet also sport powerful neodymium magnets, allowing you to stick the tripod to metal objects. As part of our testing, our online editor, Robbie Baldwin, even stuck the Gorillapod to the front of his Vespa and shot video as he rode around outside the Mac|Life office. Despite some uneven pavement and even a couple of speed bumps, the Gorillapod stayed put.
The aluminum handle allows the head of the tripod to pan a full 360 degrees and offers 135 degrees of tilt, and the universal 1/4-20 screw mount can support any camera up to 11.5 ounces. The action was smooth across the full range of motion, which gave us great footage. In fact, our only complaint is that, because the tripod is so light, we actually had to hold the tripod down with our other hand while we panned to avoid either tipping it over or simply sliding the whole thing around.
The bottom line. With its magnetic, bendy, grippy legs, the Gorillapod Video can banish shaky handheld footage, whether you’re hanging it from a tree or sticking it on the front of your scooter.
Small video cam with tripod mount
Light and portable. Smooth panning and tilting.
Not enough bulk to stay put.