Flexible tripods have become a big hit, thanks to Joby and the GorillaPod line. Now, these previously mobile-oriented and compact supports have grown and evolved into options for professionals. The GorillaPod Video PRO line is the latest in this expansion, using both their sturdy legs for mirrorless and DSLR cameras and combining them with a fluid head for more professional video applications. This series is starting out with the 3K model, aimed at the mirrorless user market, and the 5K model for DSLR shooters. Today, we had a hands-on session with both, though I did do most of my hands-on time with the heavier-duty 5K.
These are certainly heavy-duty supports. The GorillaPod 3K and 5K that serve as the core part of this setup feel secure. The legs don’t move that easily, which is good for supporting weight in a variety of positions. The 3K is rated to support up to 6.6 lb, and the 5K to 8.8 lb, both of which seem very doable, given this strength. On top is the fluid head, which is okay given that this is meant to be used by vloggers, or as a supplement to a traditional tripod system as opposed to a complete replacement—it doesn’t have the height adjustment or size that pros will need. In a pinch, for a smooth movement it will do the job, but I wouldn’t rely on it for professional jobs.
It does have one great feature in its extendable arm for accessories. Also, it takes a standard Manfrotto 501-style plate so you can easily switch between setups as you shoot. The arm seems perfect for a compact light or a microphone, and is certainly strong enough for those accessories. My one issue with it is that it screws into the same place where the handle is locked in place, so you could be making adjustments and unscrew one or the other unintentionally. Another thing is that I never felt the pan and tilt locks were 100% locked down, no matter how hard I tightened them.
I happened to have a Canon EOS R with RF 24-105mm currently for review, so I figured this would be a great test for these, because this combo can be hefty. Mounting it on the 5K the combo was solid, and the GorillaPod easily held the weight in multiple configurations. I even put it up on a bar and it was solid. The grip the rubber legs have is awesome. It securely held to the bar once wrapped around and you could use the fluid head if you pleased. It is very much a GorillaPod for video use.
Next, I attached the arm and added an LED light. This thing is small and light and seemed to be a perfect fit on the arm. The arm is strong, and I feel like it could hold a flash, or larger light, with ease. There will be an upper limit here. I wouldn’t mount a light or microphone on the camera and then put a monitor on this extra arm. It will throw everything off balance and potentially cause some slippage if you choose to mount the GorillaPod on a tree limb or fence.
Setting it up as a normal tripod was a piece of cake. Just extend the legs and you are good to go. Even with the legs not perfectly straight, I didn’t have any concern of the setup slipping. Just make sure everything is balanced before you shoot. The bendable legs made it easy to position on uneven surfaces and, add a bubble level on the head and it is a very fast support option—a lot faster than standard legs. Sure, it may not have the height, but if you are a vlogger and need something that will fit in a backpack or carry-on without weighing you down, the GorillaPod Video PRO may be the right tripod for you.
This is a solid support choice for B cameras or compact on-the-go kits. It can serve its purpose of being a go-anywhere support with the unique ability to wrap around objects, such as tree limbs or railings for unique positions and, now that the fluid head is included, you can use it to get some shots with movement, as well.
Are you a GorillaPod fan? Do you like the addition of a fluid head to its lineup? Talk to us in the Comments section, below!