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Quick Review: Joby Gorilla Mobile for Apple iPhone

by Travis Lawton on 12/26/2011

Joby GorillaMobile

Joby GorillaMobile

I know many people who own, use, and love Gorilla Pods. Most people probably have one of the normal Gorilla Pods or maybe the new SLR Zoom version (review on the way), but you may not know about the Joby Gorillamobile, one of their newest products. Unfortunately, this newest version only works for one specific camera. You probably think it’s pretty silly for a company to make an accessory for just one product but when I tell you it’s for the millions upon millions of people who own an iPhone 4 or 4s, it makes more sense.

I was intrigued when I first heard about this product and decided to request a review unit. I thought about what its purpose is and what it allows you to do. Well, if you’re an iPhone 4 or 4s owner, click through to learn what this nifty little device can do for you.

iPhone on GorillaMobile

iPhone on GorillaMobile

 Design

Fundamentally, it’s still a Gorilla Pod. This means it’s the same super-popular, portable, lightweight, go-anywhere, sturdy and flexible Gorilla Pod we all know. The pods themselves aren’t as strong as their big brothers for the higher end models but it’s all based on the weight of the camera you’re suppose to use with it. Compared to a DSLR, an iPhone doesn’t weigh much.

The little knobs – Joby calls them leg joints but I like knobs better – are very stiff and will hold their place no matter what angle you have your phone positioned in. You can wrap the legs around just about anything and have a mobile tripod for your iPhone. Because of the GorillaMobile’s size, it’s super easy to tuck it in your pocket or put it in your work/photo bag. The last knob on each leg are all rubberized to prevent slippage on various surfaces.

GorillaMobile iPhone Bumper Case

GorillaMobile iPhone Bumper Case

To attach the iPhone to the GorillaMobile, you put the included specially designed bumper case around the phone. It’s actually a pretty nice bumper case overall and some might just leave it on. It has all the raised button inserts so you can still hit all the buttons on the phone as well as a cutout at the bottom to plug-in your chargers and sync cords. The charger/sync cord cutout is specifically cut for the standard cables so some third-party cords may not work with the bumper on, as was the case with my iPhone hookup in my car.

Joby also includes a universal camera adapter clip with tripod screw to use with a small point and shoot.

Use

GorillaMobile In Use

GorillaMobile In Use

To use it as a standard tripod, just space the 3 legs out evenly and set it on a flat surface. This is perfect for taking pictures where you want to jump into the scene (self-portrait lovers rejoice). Beyond that, the GorillaMobile will hook onto anything you can get the legs around. The possibilities are nearly limitless with the angles that you can capture when using this.

I was thinking of something cool I could do to put the Joby to the test and I came up with doing a time-lapse through my windshield of driving to work. Only problem was that I would need some software to create the time-lapse. Enter Joby into the picture again. To my pleasant surprise, they have a free app in the App Store called Frame X Frame that accomplishes that and much more.

FrameXFrame

FrameXFrame

This program gives you everything you could possibly want when using a tripod with the iPhone. The modes are: self timer, time-lapse, stop motion. Some of the features are: tap to focus, anti-shake, a digital level, 3-shot burst, and touch anywhere on screen to take a picture.

Check out the video below to see how the time lapse works. I wrapped the legs around my rear-view mirror and had my iPhone hanging upside down (the iPhone flipped the images upright automatically). This was one image per second for about 35-40 minutes. I brought it into iMovie, added the text overlay and then sped it up 2x to shorten the video.

Or how about this video of the early morning light.

 Conclusion

The Joby Gorillamobile is a gadget that will unlock many new creative possibilities for your iPhone. They also sell one for the 3G and 3Gs as well as the iTouch and the iPad. I think one of the gems of the whole system is the app that lets you do so much more than most camera apps. No more looking for a flat surface to place your phone to take a good picture; the world is your flat surface with this product. With bonuses like the point and shoot camera adapter, the nice bumper case and the software make the GorillaMobile a very smart purchase for iPhone owning photographers (especially iPhoneographers).

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