My common sense may have deserted me when I was onboard Cebu Pacific flight 5J527 and 5J528, but my friend’s dad didn’t and he bought Cebu Pacific’s mini flexi-tripod. I managed to succesfully pester Anna to meet up so we can compare the two tripods.
All I can say is that I am glad that I bought the original Joby Gorillapod. After seeing, feeling and trying the cheap imitation, I was relieved that I invested on my tripod.
At first glance they really look similar. Same size, same design. The flexi-tripod (a.k.a. Goofypod in some countries. What the heck?), can copy any position the Gorillapod can. It also comes with that clip thing to attach the camera to the tripod. And it comes in colors! (I bought my Gorillapod before they came out with the colored version. Boo!)
That’s where the similarity ends, though. When handling the Gorillapod, one of the first things you’ll notice is that it’s pretty hard to position the legs. Not because it’s not flexible, but because it’s (for lack of better word), tight. In contrast, the flexi-tripod is very very loose. Think of it this way: the flexi tripod moves like a graceful dancer, while the Gorillapod is dacing the robot.
This, however, plays a factor on how stable the tripods are. The Gorillapod with its strong joints, as well as its grips makes it a really stable tripod. The rubber grips of the flexi-tripod, on the other hand, is very smooth, which makes it prone to slipping. Don’t get me wrong, you *can* still use the tripod; it’s not totally useless. I was able to put my rather heavy Canon Powershot A70 on it and it managed to stay upright. I doubt that I would use it if I’m to attach the tripod to a chair back or a winebottle.
In the end, I am not regretting my decision to shell out Php1,400 for my Joby Gorillapod. Afterall, I am getting quality for that price. The flexi-tripod can be used as a regular tripod, but you don’t buy a Gorillapod-like tripod just to use it in the conventional way, right?
You don’t have to get onboard a Cebu Pacific flight to buy this flexi-tripod. I was at Quiapo last Saturday and saw similar tripods being sold at the photography shops around Hidalgo. The point and shoot version sells for Php 450, while the SLR version costs Php 1,800 at Henry’s Cam (fronting SM Carriedo). Remember, you get what you pay for.