GorillaPod has made a name for itself as “the” handheld tripod brand. We’ve all seen them in the wild being used as a selfie stick, “wrap around anything” tripod, or makeshift steadicam. With the new GorillaPod 3K Pro, meant for mirrorless camera setups up to 3kg (6.6lbs), this model is going professional.
What has Joby done to make this version ready for the big leagues, and is it worth an upgrade? Let’s dive into our review.
What makes the GorillaPod 3K Pro… Pro?
I’ve used the original 3K model for over a year now. Whenever I’m vlogging with my Sony a7iii, it’s my go-to tripod configuration. However, my experiences haven’t been without a couple of small gripes.
Screwing in the 3K’s tripod mount to a camera requires a coin, which isn’t something that I always have handy. Secondly, the sockets seem to get lazier over time so they aren’t as good at holding certain positions. This is especially true when a heavy body+lens combo is mounted.
The 3K Pro model tackles both of these gripes.
The new model uses a finger-twistable tripod mount. This connector then screws onto the Arca Swiss-compatible ball head. I trusted this a lot more than the 3K’s connector which could be popped off by pressing a button. But it’s a little difficult to reach the screw once you put your camera on.
This means it’s a little bit of an ordeal to fully mount your camera to the GorillaPod, but it feels reliable and secure once there.
As for the sockets, the Pro makes use of machined aluminum for increased durability. Other subtle design changes result in a smaller leg size, but the overall weight of the GorillaPod is slightly heavier than the non-Pro version (463g vs 388g).
I’ve been testing it out for a month and haven’t had any issues with the legs letting me down.
I filmed my JetSuiteX review with the GorillaPod 3K.
Rig up some accessories… or other cameras
With the Pro Rig upgrade, your GorillaPod game goes to another level. Two arms attach to a plate right below the ball head, giving you endless accessory possibilities. Two cold shoe mounts come in the box, so you can convert the tripod mounts on the arms if your accessories require that configuration instead.
Joby touts these arms as perfect places to attach microphones or lights, but I also found it was fun to attach my GoPro on one arm pointed towards me. Dual recording with this and my mirrorless camera gives me two vantage points to flip between in the edit. This can be easier than physically flipping my main camera around when I want to show my face.
Another potential setup is two microphones, one pointing forward and one backward. Using the Rode SC6 Dual TRRS to combine both microphones into one input, I really love this setup for times when I’m interviewing someone on the other side of the camera but still want to record what I’m saying with clear audio.
What about the 5K Pro Video?
The 5K Pro Video ($189.95) is an extremely niche GorillaPod that, truth be told, I’ve never seen out in the field. With a fluid head for pan/tilt movements and a max capacity of 5kg, it might seem like the “most professional” model to buy. But its heavy weight (1002g) and the bulkiness of all its arms and accessories make it difficult to pack into a small bag or carry around all day.
The 3K Pro uses the same rig setup at the 5K Pro Video, meaning you get the same extensibility for accessories or additional cameras without all the added weight of a fluid head setup.
The reliability and extensibility upgrades in the GorillaPod 3K Pro ensure this accessory is still a must-have for mirrorless camera vloggers and run-and-gun videographers. The weight vs. features ratio is quite favorable for situations where you can only stuff so much into your camera bag.
Going for the legit Joby GorillaPod rather than a knockoff will always get you the highest quality, so it’s worth the investment if you’ve been on the fence or if it’s time to upgrade from a different handheld tripod setup.
If you own the original GorillaPod 3K, upgrading to the Pro Rig would be worth it if you are always wishing you could add lights and microphones to your setup.
Just starting out and looking for a mobile phone rig? Check out the GorillaPod Mobile Rig.
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