Short version: We actually have two reviews in one in this case; the Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom, and the optional ballhead mount. Do I recommend you trust your expensive camera gear to this device? Simply put, yes. I have a Nikon D300, and I put my precious on the Gorillapod with it’s 18-200mm lens on it, and it didn’t buckle.
Review: Joby has a reputation in some circles for overstating the load-bearing capabilities of their products. This is not the case with the Gorillapod. I have a smaller version that I use with my Flip that works very well, but it’s certainly not stout enough for using with a full size SLR. The SLR-Zoom model is, but be aware you’ll have to balance things carefully if you’re just using it as a plain tripod. The rubber legs are grippy, and very flexible. In fact, they’re fun just to play with to be honest.
The ballhead mounts nicely on the top of the tripod screw, however be aware it has an adapter in the socket for smaller tripods that must be removed before you use it with the larger size. It’s made of machined aluminum, and when you tighten down the adjustment knob, it doesn’t move. I tried the Gorillapod without it, and while it does work, the ballhead makes it much easier to line up your shot after you’ve wrapped the tripod around something.
The SLR-Zoom is available on Joby’s site for $54.95, however you may be able to find it cheaper at your favorite retailer. Regardless of how much you pay, it is worth it for a product that does something that nothing else can.
The ballhead is also available on Joby’s site, and it’s priced at $44.95. I’d challenge you to find a ballhead with the same level of quality for that price. In fact, I’ve been considering mounting that ballhead on my regular tripod.