Just when you thought ever conceivable method of supporting your camera had been thought of along comes the Gorillapod.
Capacity: Compact camera; film or digital
Camera thread: Universal 1/4in screw
This gadget takes the bendable pocket tripod stage further, making the legs even more bendy and gripping. The idea is that with the flexibility of this you can literally wrap the legs around the supporting structure such as a fence post, tree branch or chair leg.
The flexible ball joints have about 45 degree of adjustment in any direction and there are eight on each leg. Each ball joint has a ring grip that prevents the pod from slipping and the feet have grips too. These rings give the pod a distinct style, making it a more attractive design as they are grey against the black ball.
The camera screws into the smallest quick-release platform I've see, measuring approx 15x20mm, yes millimeters! This has a standard 1/4 thread, making it suitable for all compacts, film or digital.
The platform slots into a locking head which also has 45 degree ball head.
The concept works well and does keep a compact steady. There's a bit of vibration so you still need to use a remote release or self timer to trigger the camera. I tend not to worry too much about support when carrying a compact, but it's a great advantage for party goers who want to be in the photo too. There's now also an SLR version that would appeal to me more.
It's even so pliable it's actually quite good to fiddle with, as a sort of stress reliever.
Minipods that have a similar appearance are priced upwards from about £6. So this one is at the higher end of the scale, but it takes the concept a stage further and creates the most flexible option around. I'm probably going to buy an SLR version.
The Gorilla pod can be used as a conventional table-top pod for a compact camera.
But where it really comes into its own is when you want to utilise an unconventional surface, such as a pole, tree branch or post.
or even the back of a chair!