I want to start this off by saying I have never experienced customer service quite like I did from the folks at Joby. I inquired about using some of their gear for a few upcoming shoots and before I knew it an order was placed and I had the gear within a week, talk about quick customer service. What started off as a flexible, fun tripod for point and shoots has turned into a booming business with a variety of "pods". With everything from point and shoots/iPhones to DSLRS and flashlights, Gorillapod has it all for a reasonable price. The Gorillapod Focus and Ballhead X are meant for heavier cameras and lenses, supporting up to 11.1lbs. For the pair you’re looking at 150$ which for the quality is a steal, however this does not replace a full sized tripod by any means. This is a much larger Gorillapod then the ones you typically see around your average camera store and would benefit from a backpack or camera bag to tote it around in, this is not something that would fit in your pocket easily. The first day I wasn’t able to get out and shoot but quickly put the "pod" to use using it as a macro flash stand.
I figured I would finally put it to the test, weighing in at 6.1lbs I threw on the robust Canon 1D Mark IV and the fully extended Canon 100-400. It withstood the weight of such a heavy rig without any complaint, whether I had it wrapped around a tree or tilting to the side it held up just fine. I expected to have an uneasy feeling while watching 7,000$ worth of camera equipment hang from a tree but I had no doubts, it takes a fair bit of force to bend the legs on the Focus which is comforting when it is your cameras lifeline. After hours of endless use I realized that this thing is truly built like a tank and I don't see it breaking down anytime in the near future. I became comfortable enough with the unit that at one point I had my Canon 7D and 17-40 suspended over a pond on a windy day shooting video. Not only did it hold on tight for the entire shoot but the video had little to no camera shake at all.
My only little quirp about this almost perfect rig is the fact that it doesn't have a quick release, I know that most people wanting a quick release are going for a full blown tripod setup anyways, but I just think for shooting on the run it would be incredibly beneficial. It may not affect you depending on what your shooting but having to adjust the two screws for every shot was a bit redundant for me. It does however contain a very solidly built lense plate that has an easy screw mechanism unlike some others I have tested.
Whether you’re looking to setup a quick POV shot or do some behind the scenes footage, the Gorillapod Focus X is a worthy addition to any pro or amateur’s camera bag! Make sure to stop by Joby's online store and pickup one for yourself. Be on the lookout for a review of the Gorillatorch Blade as well as the Mobile 4/4S.