New Joby tripods attach to cameras--and stay there

Flexible-tripod maker adds even smaller models. Two products are designed to stay attached to the digicam and a third may even replace the need to lug around a traditional tripod.

The smaller tripod in Joby's new micro line aims to stay stuck to your point-and-shoot camera. The larger one resembles the original Joby GorrillaPod, but it's a hybrid with a built-in leveling device. James Martin/CNET

Joby wants your tripod to become part of your camera--literally.

Five years after releasing its famed flexible GorillaPod , the company has added three new models to its portable-tripod line for point-and-shoots. The GorillaPod Micro line is different than the company's usual flexible tripods, however. It's the size of a USB drive, and is designed to screw onto your digital camera and stay there. The aluminum and zinc alloy legs can swivel out into a three-pronged tripod setup that resembles the older Joby models, but the tripod moves into a single point underneath the camera for storage.

The GorillaPod Micro 250 costs $19.95 and is made for cameras up to 8.8 ounces. The GorillaPod Micro 800 costs $29.95 and will suit cameras weighing up to 1.75 pounds.

Finally, the GorillaPod Hybrid costs $39.95--and may be good enough to replace traditional tripods for those with slightly higher-end cameras. It can hold cams up to 2.2 pounds and comes with a leveling tool to help frame shots. If you already have the original GorillaPod, this model will look pretty similar and you may want to think twice before buying it. I gave it a hands-on try by hooking it up to my video camera via an attachment for my iPhone. It held the camera sturdy when I placed the legs of the product on the ground to capture some unusual angles. Not bad.

The new tripods are available on Joby's Web site, or at Adorama, Amazon, B&H Camera, and select other stores.

Joby was founded in 2005 after a former Stanford student was asked to design a better tabletop tripod for a class project. Each leg of the tripod has eight multidirectional joints that make it possible to wrap the legs around any jagged surface and keep the tripod stay steady. Over the years, Joby has moved beyond point-and-shoot applications to design tripods for iPhones and iPads too.

 

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