Friday, 11 December 2009

Some Joby Jollies

A few weeks ago I bought myself a new compact digital camera, a Canon Powershot A480. Don't worry, this isn't turning into a photo blog. To go with my new camera I also picked up a Joby Gorillapod. You must have seen them - the funny little tripods made out of interlocking plastic balls that hook around tree branches, lampposts and the like. The original Gorillapod is as light as a feather and takes up hardly any space so it's ideal for slipping into your pocket.

When I first received my Gorillapod one of my first thoughts was - "hey that would work really well with the iPhone!". Of course, the iPhone doesn't have a hole for a tripod fitting so that one needed a rethink.

A few days later I was on Amazon's UK web site and, lo and behold, one of my recommendations was a Gorillapod for the iPhone 3G/3GS. Strictly speaking it was an original Gorillapod with a special iPhone 3G/3GS case that fitted into the Gorillapod's head. It was also rather on the pricey side; in the UK it is retailing at about £35.00. Bearing in mind that I had a perfectly good Gorillapod and a perfectly good iPhone case (Griffin Nu Form with EasyDock) I kept my hand in my pocket and my fingers well away from the 1-Click button.

I was intrigued and decided to check out Joby's web site to see what other goodies might be available. Buried away was an offering of three additional Gorillapod heads; a suction cup and two adhesive pads. These were still a bit pricey (£10.00), but I was too far hooked on the idea by now and I went ahead and bought them. [UPDATE 14-Dec-2009: Bill has just come through and the actual price was £7.84 direct from Joby]


I have Apple docks for syncing with my iMac and my MBP, but the Gorillapod and iPhone combination is spot on as a stand-alone stand. The suction pad is top notch, with a lever action to ensure a tight seal, although I've seen various posts complaining about the iPhone falling off. It's certainly worth spending a moment or two to clean the case surface before applying the cup. My only criticism (more of a wish I could have), is the lack of a 'quick release' function. It is a bit of a faff to get the whole head off the Gorillapod, and though one can tug on the iPhone and simply pull off the suction cup, I'd prefer something a bit more elegant. I seem to end up holding the entire contraption whenever the phone rings which really doesn't look very cool!


To go with the Gorillapod, Joby have also released a free camera app for the iPhone called...wait for it...Gorillacam. Gorillacam adds a few extra features to the camera on the iPhone; a self-timer, a time-lapse facility and a 3 shot-burst function. There are some other features including a bubble level indicator, a grid display and a press anywhere feature. I guess all of these are available on the plethora of camera apps available on iTunes, but they were all new for me, and as a freebie I'm more than grateful for the self timer ability alone. The only drawback I've noticed is that it takes an inordinate amount of time to save photos once they've been taken, but hopefully that will get ironed out in the next version.

These Joby tools are a great addition to the casual photographers kit bag, and allow a bit of extra flexibility for the iPhone as a bonus. According to the Joby web site they are planning to bring out the iPhone case with Gorillapod attachment as an item in its own right for those who have already got a Gorillapod. That's certainly something worth considering for the future.


  1. Hi Ally. I had been eying the Gorillapod for the iPhone too, but held off for the same reason as you, i.e., already had a good case and a Gorillapod. So glad you found the suction cup and adhesive pads on the site. I never thought of that! Once again, great review!


  2. Thanks Laurie - the guys at Joby seemed quite happy also after I twittered them with the URL. They confirmed that the iPhone case will be available as an item on their website in the next few days.


  3. Joby iPhone case is now available on its own from the website. Mine's in the post - cost is GBP 14.95