I recently bought a small, cheap flexible/bendable tripod for my action cam an I am fascinated by the possibilities that I have because I am able to securely mount it to nearly any object I could think of.

I would love to have the same flexibility with my EOS 750D (no massive tele-zoom lenses or anything, but some added weight because of an external mic). The problem is the only product I could find which is supposed to support a DSLR is the Joby Gorillapod DSLR Zoom. However going through the reviews many people complain, that it will just fall apart after only few months and that it does not really support the weight of DSLRs and tends to sink under the weight. Everyone I know in person who owns one says the same. In addition, a guy on youtube called Neistat, seems to have been using Gorillapods for years as selfie sticks, but says he also has to get a new one every few months and would not trust it to support a DSLR in "normal tripod mode".

So, is there any alternative to the DSLR Version of the Gorillapod which offers the same flexibility, but does not fall apart after a short period of time?

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    As a side note, I have A Gorillapod 5k that has held my D750 and tamron 15-30mm without issue in tripod mode, and wrapped around railing... My biggest complaint was how stiff those legs are, bending them for minute adjustments was nearly impossible. – AthomSfere Feb 12 at 13:25
  • Never had an issue either after over a decade of Gorillapod. I do shoot mostly in extreme cold to hot temperatures but not extremely hot weather, so maybe the plastic dilates at high temp? In the cold it is the opposite and becomes very tight to move. – Itai Feb 12 at 17:35
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    Regarding using a Gorrilapod as a selfie stick - that's just dumb. He's using them in a way they are quite simply not designed or intended to be used, which will put far too much mechanical stress on the parts. Use the right tool for the job. For selfies - get a selfie stick, for serious tripod use - get a real tripod. Gorrilapods (which I have used) are for odd situations where a normal tripod won't work. Get the right tool for the job and things work out. – StephenG Feb 12 at 18:57

You said "no gorillapod", but gorillapods are great. They are essentially disposable. You can buy one every two months for the next two years and it's still cheaper than a "real" tripod. And they support a DSLR just fine.

For the record, I never had any gorillapod fail me, though I can't say I push them too hard. The only reason why I buy new gorillapods is because they are so small that I lose them.

Also, in the ultra-cheap tripod category I find gorillapods much better built than regular tripods, and much more useful in general. A cheap tripod is useless to me, but a cheap gorillapod is amazingly useful. If you think a gorillapod "falls apart after a few months", you have not used a cheap regular tripod. Really, at this price point, everything should be considered disposable.

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    Dear Aram, imo paying over EUR 100 does not qualify as "cheap", at least not for me. I have no doupt that your Gorillapod is fine. But the number or reviews and hands-on experiences, as well as "professionals" who confirm, that they sink in or fall apart in a short period of time is just too high for it to be just a "normal" margin of product errors. It is still my impression, that gorillapods, at least at the current state of things, just have quality issues. – MrTony Feb 12 at 15:49
  • I expect Aram was talking about the $20 version. – Caleb Feb 12 at 15:58
  • Yes, indeed I was. – Aram Hăvărneanu Feb 12 at 15:59
  • Well in this case you are probably right - the knockoff costs you about EUR 12 and the original EUR 20. In this case i would go with the gorillapod no doubt and buy a new one every half a year. But since I need one for my DSLR I only have the option of buying in the price range between EUR 80 and EUR 110 which is just too expensive in my book to fall apart like this (all the negative testenonials I mentioned als refered to the more expensive DSLR versions of the gorillapods). – MrTony Feb 12 at 22:54

The top-of-the-line GorillaPod is basically as good as it's going to get in that vein. If you need more sturdy, you're going to need to go a different route — and that route is the Manfrotto Super Clamp. I know I just recommended this in another answer, but I swear I'm not a secret Manfrotto salesperson. They're just the right tool for a lot of jobs. This is a system with many various accessories like a variable friction arm or a snake arm:

snake arm in action

They also have a few flexible arm options, but based on experience I would not recommend these — the lightweight one is not sturdy enough to hold anything but a lighting flag or small reflector, and the heavyweight one is too hard to bend usefully. If you need that, try either the snake above or one of the articulated arms.

This stuff isn't cheap, but it is solid and will last. I think almost every photographer will find some use for a couple of clamps and mounting accessories in their gear box. (Really, I'm getting no commission here....)

I have myself experienced what you talk about, but one thing I noticed a lot of people miss is the fact that, there are a lot of knockoffs available. I have never gotten my hands on an actual JOBY brand goriilapod, and those are said to be actually pretty sturdy, as far as I have seen demonstrated. You may have seen the cheap knockoffs, which is what I got for around $12 myself. It was not branded JOBY. I think if you're careful and buy the actual correct brand, you will have success. It depends on how risky you want to be. I'd say buy the correct brand once and if it falls apart, you can say it sucks once and for all, and try to claim warranty. Make sure you buy something like the 1k or 3k so that it can take the weight of your system.

I would also like to note that the Manfrotto systems recommended by mattdm require that you anchor them to something already present, such as a lamp post or thick cable (they have no 'feet' as such). This is not useful when you have to set up in a field or something similar, and having to buy a tripod that can stand on it's own and lug that around as well as this is a little silly, in my opinion.

  • Dear Salmon, I was indeed refering to the original branded gorillapod. Take a look at the amazon reviews and maybe check out mr neistat's youtube chanel (he seems to be supplied by Joby directly). Also two photographers I know own gorillapods DSLR and Zoom. Both of them broke of the whole or parts of the legs within a few months. The same problem as many negative youtube reviews described. – MrTony Feb 12 at 22:50

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