Review: Joby GorillaPod Micro 800 Mini Tripod

What you are looking at is one of two accessories that Joby sent to me. I’ll take a look at the other item in another post so for this one, I’ll be concentrating on one of Joby’s smallest accessories they make, the GorillaPod Micro 250/800. Some of you may have heard of Joby before and their famous GorillaPod line of portable tripods. If you haven’t, you’ve probably seen something similar from an off brand that they sell store. The GorillaPod made a name for itself as a portable tripod with the unique feature of being able to be used on any uneven surface or wrap itself around odd shaped objects. Basically it has 3 legs, each with a rubber ringed ball joints that could twist and bend into any shape. This made the GorillaPod quite unique in the market.Now, the GorillaPod Micro 250/800 are completely different beasts from what we know a GorillaPod should be. Unlike the traditional GorillaPods, the GorillaPod Micro is an ultra-portable, collapsible tripod that is meant to stay attached to your camera. It is so small in fact that if you were to use it on a compact camera, you would still be able to have that camera fit comfortably in your pocket. That’s how small it is.

Build Quality

Unlike the other GorillaPods, the GorillaPod Micro is made almost entirely out of zinc-aluminum alloy for durability. The positioning ball is made of solid aluminum and is tillable by 36° in all directions. If you take a look at the feet, each one is covered in silicone rubber for better grip when placed on surfaces.

If you take a look at the image to the left, you’ll see the GorillaPod Micro folded up in its travel form. The three legs rotate around the positioning ball and close up into the position you see there. From there, it can easily be carried around in your purse or pocket with very little mass and weight added.

Real World Usage

I received the GorillaPod Micro 800 right in time for my Las Vegas trip last week and decided that since I had already made the commitment to travel very light with my camera setup, I might as well also use the GorillaPod Micro due to the fact that this is what it was designed for. Because the unit is so small, I was able to attach it to my Sony NEX-5N and was still able to place the camera in my bag without any excess bulk. I was quite surprised by how light the GorillaPod Micro was and how well it actually blended into my NEX-5N. If I had seen this setup at a glance and not known anything about my camera, I would have thought that this is how the camera looked from the factory with no attachments. That’s how inconspicuous the GorillaPod Micro is.

Using it was a blast. It’s small and very easy to carry and takes up very little space. The GorillaPod Micro attaches to the tripod mounting hole and when you’re not using it, it folds up and stows out of your way. You will not even notice that it’s there. When you do need to use it, just rotate the arms around the positioning ball until they lock into place. Then you can set it down and position your camera. If you’re trying to keep the camera level, remember that you can only really place the GorillaPod Micro on a surface of up to 36°, otherwise it won’t be level horizontally anymore. The rubber feet on the tripod really help a lot when it comes to gripping to surfaces.

There is no tightening mechanism for the positioning ball but even with a heavier camera like the Sony NEX-5N or the Olympus PEN E-PL3, the head has no problem keeping the camera in the position you set it at. The internal mechanism seems strong enough to hold it up while still being very easy to position the camera with.

Conclusion

Although the GorillaPod Micro might not be quite as versatile as Joby’s other offerings, don’t write it off instantly. It is a joy to use in my opinion and worth every penny. It’s small, light, and very functional. What I really like about it is how unobtrusive it is and how you can basically keep it attached at all times and not even really know it’s there until you need to use it. The zinc-aluminum alloy constructions means that the GorillaPod Micro is going to last and isn’t going to break anytime soon, this also goes for the positioning ball. I do have concerns on how tight the positioning ball will stay over time, but that’s something that only time will tell.

The Joby GorillaPod Micro retails for $29.95 and you can pick one up on Joby’s official site here.

Samuel Huang is an avid gamer and all around tech geek. When not glued to his computer or iPhone, he can be seen pwning n00bs on Xbox Live nightly. On occasion, he has the crazy dream of owning a vintage JDM Nissan Skyline Hakosuka GT-R or a Datsun 240Z.

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