Joby Gorillabike (and Some Useful Photo Stuff)

Perhaps one of the funniest things I saw at PMA 2010, was Joby’s homegrown bike, which looks like it resulted from Lance Armstrong crashing into the Gorillapod factory.  While Gorillapods are pretty sturdy for cameras, I don’t think we’ll see Lance pedaling this bike up the Col du Tourmalet in the Tour de France this year.  Nonetheless, this is one cool bike.

Aside from just generally having a fun booth, Joby had Gorillapods climbing all over the place.  One that I was particularly interested in seeing for the first time was the new Gorillapod Magnetic.

The Gorillapod Magnetic is built to hold point and shoot cameras in just about any way you can contort them, using only the magnets inside its feet.  Out to the side, like you see in the above photo, or hanging upside down, the Gorillapod Magnetic is rock solid.  I couldn’t believe how strong the magnetic feet were.

As long as you’ve got a magnetic surface to put the feet on, it’ll hold the camera in any position.

The idea to make the Gorillapod Magnetic for point and shoot cameras was born from the popular Gorillatorch flashlight.  After it was released, Joby fans started crying for a Gorillapod for cameras that had the same magnetic feet.

I was told that the Gorillapod Magnetic was designed specifically for the size and weight of a point and shoot camera; however, after feeling how strong the magnets were, I could see it handling a compact DSLR and kit lens.

Now, don’t go buy one and hang your DSLR off the side of your car and say that I told you to.  I just say this as a way to convey the strength of the magnets.

And, yes, people are asking about a Gorillapod Magnetic for DSLRs.  The vibe I got from Joby is that they are looking into the possibility of doing something like that, but no promises . . . which is understandable giving the weight variances across the range of DSLRs and lenses.

The other cool new toy from Joby is the studly new Ballhead X, which is designed for the Gorillapod Focus tripod; however, it is compatible with all other tripods as well.  The Ballhead X is a step up from the Joby BH1 Ballhead.  Instead of just one adjustment knob for rolling all around on the BH1, the Ballhead X offers a knob for locking the ball and panning the head as well.

The Ballhead X is clearly a more robust head when you compare the two side-by-side.  As you can see in the above image, the Ballhead X and Gorillapod Focus can handle a prosumer DSLR with a 70-200 f/2.8 lens with no problem, as compared to the entry-level DSLR on the Gorillapod SLR Zoom and BH1 Ballhead.

The folks from Joby always have cool gear to show off and a fun atmosphere at their booth.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.