When Joby developed the Gorillatorch, which is a combination of a Gorillapod, flashlight and ordinary magnets, Joby fans immediately started asking for a similar device to hold their cameras. Earlier this year, Joby delivered on that request with the Gorillapod Magnetic.
Every year, there are maybe a handful of products that really “wow” me. The new Gorillapod Magnetic is officially on the list for 2010.
It’s quite simple, really. It’s a Gorillapod with magnetic feet.
When you get your hands on one, it’s hard to resist trying to stick it to different metal objects. It will stick to any magnetic surface with a surprising amount of stickiness. I don’t know what king of magnets Joby stuck in this Gorillapod’s feet, but they are super strong.
Just how strong?
Well, I hung a Canon 5D Mark II with a 70-200mm lens attached on the underneath side of my desk and it held. Rock. Freaking. Solid.
While the weight of the 5D Mark II and lens can’t be supported by the joints of the Gorillapod and allow the camera and lens to sit upright, the magnets were plenty strong enough to just let it hang.
And that’s part of the brilliance of what’s going on inside Joby R&D. When they make a product like the Gorillapod Magnetic, they make the riskiest part of it the strongest.
That is, you’ll know when to stop because the joints won’t hold your camera upright, rather than the magnets failing to support the weight and drop your camera from the AC vent on the ceiling. But even if you push it a little too far, the magnets are still going to hold.
And with a lighter camera, the Gorillpod Magnetic will do just fine on an AC vent.
In addition to all the cool uses you have for an ordinary Gorillapod, the Magnetic gives you options that just didn’t exist before.
Even though it’s as strong as an ox, there are some temptations that you should probably avoid. Like mounting it on the side of your car.
Not that you would, but you could.
But, you shouldn’t.
If you’ve got a metal door, you’ve got a tripod mount.
Or, if you’ve got a wooden door, chances are that there are metal hinges on it. In which case, you’ve got a tripod mount.
And, for you Strobist geeks out there, the Gorillapod Magnetic can handle a speedlight w/ 4 AA batteries installed as well.
If you’ve got a metallic object anywhere near your scene, then you’ve got a light stand.
This SB-26 is with batteries installed is closing in on the max weight that the joints can handle, but again, the magnets are rock solid.
I generally try to keep the Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom with me at all times; however, given the flexibility and strength of the Gorillapod Magnetic, I’m pretty sure that it will be a frequent flyer in my camera bag now as well.
A word of caution…
When using the Gorillapod Magnetic, there’s a temptation to go wild. Just don’t get too wild and keep it to a compact or superzoom camera (or a speedlight). While I thought it worked ok with a Rebel-series DSLR, Joby doesn’t recommend using it on anything but a point and shoot – and neither do I. Some of the ways I’ve demonstrated its use in this post have been for the sake of demonstrating how strong these magnets really are. Don’t sacrifice your camera to see if it will hold it from the bumper of your car, doing 80 mph on the Interstate, in the snow . . . Instead, let guys like me sacrifice the cameras for the good of mankind . ;-)
No cameras were injured in the making of the review.