Camera tripods are one of the albatross holdovers from the Paleolithic era of film. Allegedly, digital cameras have stabilization technology, but in both the professional and consumer market, this claim is just sales copy. So unless you're working on a Lars Von Trier version of college room mate Tricia’s wedding rehearsal, lugging the tripod remains essential.
Joby’s Gorrillapod, a miniature tripod with flexible legs that, thought it's not going to wow any serious lensmen, the way it's evolving the three-legged apparatus bears repeating . It looks like nothing more than a fanboy collector’s cute alien creature model from a B-movie. To the contrary, its functionality is stupendous.
It stands up better than traditional mini-tripods, many of which are lightweight but flimsy. Legs on the Gorillapod can be moved individually into an infinite number of finite positions, giving it more stability. The pod-like sheath around the bendable legs acts as a grip so surfaces need not present heavy traction.
Can you trust putting a handheld camcorder on the mount? The Sony DCR HC46 I attached stayed on right side up and upside down with the Gorrila Pod wrapped around a tree branch.
Digital photography lends itself to gleeful, compulsive behavior. You’ve always wanted to take a picture of your family from a giraffe's eye view. Now climb that lamppost and do it!
Starts at $22 from Joby.
—by Kristopher Irizarry