The Must Have Vlogging Accessory: Fstoppers Reviews the JOBY GorillaPod 3K PRO Kit

The Must Have Vlogging Accessory: Fstoppers Reviews the JOBY GorillaPod 3K PRO Kit

If you're looking for the ideal vlogging accessory, look no further! However, JOBY GorillaPod 3K PRO tripod can be just as useful for photographers, alike. Take a look at our review!

Solely a photographer, I had never considered any video accessories until recently when I decided to try my hand at vlogging for YouTube. Starting out with the mirrorless Canon M50, I had done a few handheld videos but, until I started reviewing JOBY GorillaPod 3K PRO Kit, I did not realize how much I actually needed this flexible tripod, and just how much it enhanced my vlogging experience! As someone who adamantly insists on having a minimal gear set up, especially for when I travel, it's always important for me to truly make the most of every single product I add to my kit. Otherwise it just becomes dead weight or equally, it lays unused and gathers dust in the corner of my office. After reviewing this tripod, I can say it has become a must-have addition in my camera bag.

Black Joby tripod

Specifications

GorillaPod 3k PRO Kit, brought to you by JOBY, retails for $149.95 and contains both a ball-head as well as the stand. The ball-head itself:

  • Weighs 6.7 ounce, and is 3.5" tall
  • Is removable and Arca Swiss compatible 
  • Can support strobes, microphones, and other video and photo accessories
  • Can be mounted onto a bracket or rig
  • Has a single locking knob, which controls 90° tilt and 360° rotation

Black Joby tripod

 The stand, however:

  • Is made out of anodized aluminum
  • Has 27 machined aluminum sockets
  • Weighs 9.6 ounce 
  • Supports up to 6.6 pounds 
  • Offers unique angles through its flexible legs that can wrap and grip securely

Although the PRO Kit contain the ball-head and stand, if you require you can further add to it by purchasing the PRO Rig option which includes an additional hub plate adapter, which is placed between the head and the legs, so you can attach two GorillaPod arms with cold shoe mounts. This way you can add accessories, such as LED lights, a phone holder, and more.

Joby tripod rig setup

First Impressions

The first thing that I was impressed with was its weight. Initially, I had wrongly assumed that these types of tripods tend to be heavy in order to be secure on a variety of surfaces, however, this tripod felt comfortable in my hands in terms of its weight and the way my grip felt. Easily stored away in my backpack, it doesn't take up a lot of space nor does it add a lot of weight. Although it is made out of 27 balls, it may appear that it would not be comfortable to grip it for a longer period of time, but having spent three days filming across in London proved otherwise.

My first worry was that, although it felt comfortable to grip at first, my hands would eventually begin to ache after traveling around for hours and holding it. We did not want to miss any moments during our trip, so instead of storing it away in our backpack between the different locations we visited, we chose to simply carry it in hand with our camera attached. I was pleasantly surprised that we didn't feel the tripod become a burden throughout our journey but rather an integral part of it.

Black Joby tripod held

We used it to film the things around us, as well as ourselves as we recorded our commentary during the trip, and at times we would simply place it on a surface to film ourselves without holding it, thus using it as a traditional tripod. The balls are relatively easy to adjust to obtain the correct angle for your film or photograph, and for filming ourselves we adjusted the ball-head to face slightly downwards for a more flattering angle than straight head on. 

Although we primarily made the most out of it for vlogging, after our trip, which has been days ago now, I still have not removed the camera from the tripod. Because I regularly shoot self-portraits, I have slowly moved towards using the mirrorless Canon M50 instead of my usual equipment because it becomes so easy with this tripod. The legs are so flexible as is the tilt, so I can easily achieve exactly what I envision instead of using my heavier professional DSLR on a traditional tripod. The fact that I can quickly act on a brief moment of inspiration, instead of spending time setting up a large tripod, has made me value it as a now integral part of my kit, even though I never knew this was something I needed!

Black Joby tripod with a camera mounted

What I Liked

  • Relatively lightweight and possible to use for longer periods of time
  • Small enough to throw in your bag
  • Easy to grip and to carry around
  • Camera felt very secure once attached
  • Camera can be quickly and easily removed for hand held footage
  • The plate is easy to screw onto the camera and you aren't required to carry around spare change or keys for it
Joby tripod with a camera attached

Completely uncomfortable and unnecessary position to film in but it showcases the legs can bend around your arm

What Could Be Improved

  • For those who regularly use both mirrorless and DSLR, this tripod will only be suitable for a portion of their kit due to the weight it supports 
  • The legs can be hard to put back to a completely straight position, which immediately becomes prevalent when straight lines and horizon are crucial 
  • Although the price may reflect the modern technology invested in this product, it still can be seen as quite high by some consumers. There are similar products on the market for a lot lower price and thus may deter some photographers and videographers

Conclusion

Overall, this tripod made our first vlogging experience a lot more comfortable and enjoyable, and since then I have also found a use for it when I am shooting self-portraits around the house and on location. Once my camera goes on the tripod, I feel it is securely attached and I can carry it around in my hand without worrying, which means I don't need to keep putting it back in my backpack and thus miss out on moments to film. Primarily my equipment consists of DSLR cameras and if the same is true for you, you will have to consider a tripod that can handle a heavier piece of gear, unless you are confident you will be mostly using it with a smaller and lighter mirrorless camera. 

I do believe the price is quite high and there are many other tripods on the market for a lot lower price, however, if this is something you will be using heavily, it has the potential of becoming a good investment that will support your photography and filming equipment for a long time. Whether you choose this particular tripod or not, I must say that since using it, I can't imagine creating videos without it!

If you think this tripod kit is exactly what you have been missing to enhance your photo and video experience, you can purchase it here

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1 Comment

I think do you mean "Gorilla Pod 5k" insted of "3k" version that is smaller? :)