Joby Ballhead For Gorillapod SLR-Zoom

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Product: Joby Ballhead
Provided By: Joby
Price: $44.95 MSRP

 

Introduction:

Today we're taking a look at a bit of a different product here at BCCHardware.  Usually, we work more with computer and consumer electronics, but we are heading down the road with our SLR today and looking at the Joby Ballhead.  A ballhead is an attachment that interfaces between your camera and your tripod, giving you greater flexibility for holding your camera at any angle you choose and keeping it stable.  The Joby Ballhead is designed to work with their SLR-Zoom Gorillapod, but will work with many other tripods.

Ballhead Box
Ballhead Box
Lean Bundle
Lean Bundle

 

Features & Specifications:

We'll quickly cover the features and specifications on this unit.  The information has been pulled from the Joby product page and reprinted here for your convenience.


Built with the serious photographer in mind, the Joby Ballhead is lightweight and compact, yet still robust enough to support SLR cameras with zoom lenses. It further extends the functionality of the Gorillapod by allowing even more creative camera positions and an improved ability to capture great shots!

Full 360-degree panning, and 90-degree tilt.
Position your camera at virtually any angle; get portrait or landscape shots with ease.

Adjustment knob easily locks the Ballhead into place, securing it tightly.

The adapter screw allows the Ballhead to accommodate both 3/8" and 1/4" threads, allowing it to be used with virtually any tripod.

The slim-line quick-release clip with bubble level stays connected to your camera and snaps into the Ballhead for nearly instant setup.

 Assembled
Assembled
 Head And Clip
Head And Clip

 

Intended for: SLR cameras with or without zoom lenses, and camcorders
Max weight load: 3kg (6.6 lbs)
Material: Precision-machined aluminum housing, with all-metal ball.
Slim-line clip: Universal ¼-inch camera screw, with additional 3/8-inch adapter
Size: 68 x 45 x 63mm (2.7 x 1.8 x 2.5")
Weight: 150g (5.3oz)
Habitat: most comfortable atop the Gorillapod SLR-ZOOM, but compatible with many tripods. 

 


General Usage:

Straight & Level While many people don't associate Joby and the Gorillapod with serious photographers, the truth is their products are incredible.  The flexibility of a Gorillapod allows you to attach your camera to a railing, a tree limb, car mirror and pretty much anything else it can wrap its legs around.  I have purchased the Gorillapod SLR-Zoom for use with my Nikon D90 at 18-200mm lens, and it works very well.  The SLR-Zoom Gorillapod is rated for 6.6lbs, and it holds my camera easily and very steady - even with a hefty piece of glass hanging off the front.  The only downside to the Gorillapod is the inability to easily position your camera flat, or at a 90° angle easily.  The Joby Ballhead addresses this issue - for another $45USD.

I recently took a trip to Yellowstone National Park with my Gorillapod but without the Ballhead.  That was a big mistake.  I took some long exposure photographs with ND-8 and ND-4 filters, but without the ballhead, things were a little tricky to ensure the camera was level.  Since I've returned home from this trip, the quick release plate sits permanently fixed to my camera so that I can use the ballhead every time I use the Gorillapod.

The design of the Ballhead makes it easy to have your camera level, at a 45° angle or even a full 90° portrait position.  The single knob enables you to lock the aluminum ball in place and even rotate the base of the unit.


I really like the simple, low profile design of the Joby Ballhead as it doesn't add a lot of height to any tripod.  Also the universal design makes it possible to use on almost any other tripod as well.  This gives a lot of flexibility to the unit and gives it broader appeal.

 

Final Thoughts:

90 Degrees The Joby Ballhead for the Gorillapod SLR-Zoom is a nice addition to the Joby lineup.  It's not a heavy-duty ballhead with its weight rating of 6.6lbs, but it can easily hold most SLR cameras with a moderate zoom lens.  If you are using any DSLR with the included kit lens of 18-70mm, you won't have any issues with the Joby Ballhead at all.  If you are pushing the limit of the weight rating with a battery grip and large zoom lens, you'll find that the camera won't stay in position very well at the 90° angle.  This is mostly due to the small grippy plate on the quick release clip.  A larger plate would hold the camera better. 

In terms of price, at $45USD the Joby Ballhead is pretty much in the middle of the pack when it comes to its weight class.  A quick look over at Adorama showed that you can find other Ballheads in a very similar price range - some with quick release clips and some without.  Either way, Joby has priced their Ballhead competitively. 

My only regret with this unit is that Joby didn't make it earlier.  Well, that and a larger plate for better camera stability.  Regardless, it's still a nice product that you won't regret purchasing - especially if you already own a Gorillapod.


Pros:

  • Solid construction - smooth aluminum ball and socket 
  • Quick Release plate
  • Spirit level
  • Single rubber knob for adjustment
  • Holds camera at 0°, 45° and 90°

 

Cons:

  • Plate could be a bit bigger - would hold camera better at different angles

 

  BCCRating

 Top Pick

I'd like to thank Joby for sending out their Ballhead for us to try out.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post those in the forum at the "Comments" link below.