Wherever you are traveling, be it abroad or in your own country, chances are, you will want to record your experience. While you don’t need to be a vlogger to want to make a lovely travel video, for content creators having a good video-making kit is very important. I have been a travel writer and blogger for more than ten years, and while I’ve always taken pictures with professional cameras, I am now taking the leap and focusing on travel videos with the help of a fantastic kit, the Joby GorillaPod Rig and Wavo Microphone.
Vlogs, professional videos, photos or any other form of visual media are widely popular in the modern age. Many people make an active living using these forms of media, which means that they need the proper equipment to do so. Enter the GorillaPod Rig, a mobile tripod that will allow for all of the above and more.
Joby is a line of tripods, microphones, LED lights and more from the Manfrotto umbrella brand. I’ll be honest here, I have always used and loved Manfrotto for pro camera tripods, so I didn’t really stray too far from my habits. In this review of the Joby GorillaPod Rig and Wavo Microphone kit, I will elucidate what both tools can do, explain why I like them and briefly unfold the pros and cons for your convenience. We’re going to look at just how well it does in the various fields that it claims to be an expert in and rate it against the price that it comes with. I hope, by the end of this complete review, that you will be able to decide if this is the perfect video-making kit for your needs.
Joby GorillaPod Rig and Wavo Microphone Kit For Mobile And DSRL – Full Review
Joby GorillaPod Rig For Vloggers – What Is It Exactly?
The GorillaPod Rig was created with vloggers in mind and while the Joby line released several accessories for mobiles and phone video recording, this sturdy tripod works perfectly also with my Nikon D7100 DSRL.
First, we’ll look at what exactly a GorillaPod is and how it can help both professional photographers and those who prefer it as a side job/hobby. As mentioned, it is a tripod that has movable legs, allowing the user to place it around tree branches, fence posts, street poles and many other objects. Not only can this tripod hold cameras and lights, but anything with a 1/4″ tripod mount hole is compatible.
We’ll get some of the more straightforward aspects out of the way. The specifications of the camera rig are pretty standard, though there isn’t much else required to be quality. It is 8 cm (3.1 inches) long, 12 cm (4.7 inches) wide and 33 cm (13 inches) tall. The weight is extremely light, with .84 kg (1.85 lbs). This is expected, as it is a mobile rig, but nevertheless appreciated. No need to be hauling around a giant backpack for one of these cameras, a simple, lightweight travel backpack will do just fine. That does not mean that this rig can hold solely phones or smaller cameras. The rig can support up to 5 kg (11 lbs), giving it a nice level of variety in the sorts of devices available to be used with this tripod mount.
The actual material that is used with this GorillaPod rig maintains the durability that has become a staple of the GorillaPod brand. There is a combination of stainless steel, aluminum, nylon webbing, TPE and ABS plastic. It has to be said that this combination works a treat, as it has to be able to withstand the outdoor elements that come with a mobile rig such as this. Will it withstand a cold week left outside in the Arctic or baking in the Sahara? Perhaps not. But what about exploring Iran? Or use it to take pictures of Herat landmarks? And the places to visit in Delhi? Totally perfect. And will it take care of any sort of vlogging for the day? Absolutely.
There are a whole host of different GorillaPod camera holders that can handle cameras of various weights and sizes. This rig is specifically meant to be used with phones and smaller cameras, emphasizing the mobility aspects of the actual rig. It seems that this rig was specifically targeting those who want to get out into harder-to-reach areas. However, it isn’t as niche as the GorillaPod mobile rig, which only allows for phone attachments. Both professional stills photographers and vloggers will be able to get a quality amount of use from this tripod mount. This rig allows for 1/4″-20 standard tripod mount, GoPro mount and a Universal flash shoe.
The sockets of the tripod are made of the aluminum that we mentioned earlier, while the ball has a red anodized coating to improve the strength of the tripod even more. It just emphasizes the sheer professionalism that this rig oozes every time it is picked up (which is the only thing being oozed, much to our appreciation).
All the devices that would be needed for a professional photographer could be attached to this tripod without difficulty. Action video cams, camcorders, DSLR flash and LED, cold shoe mics, mirrorless and Pro DSLR are all compatible with this GorillaPod rig. It’s hard to overemphasize just how convenient this compatibility is because it offers just so many different options to a photographer – professional or otherwise. Other tripods can work, but they just don’t provide anywhere near the sort of strength or reassurance that this GorillaPod does.
One of the parts that make this tripod so different and so special compared to others is the bonus arms that are able to hold smaller devices (so long as the total weight doesn’t exceed 5 kg). The two miniature arms can make the entire capture that much easier. Instead of needing a separate device to hold a light right next to your camera, the GorillaPod can do that for you. What about a mic so that the sound comes through much more clearly? Once again, no extra device (except for the mic itself) is needed.
The one downside of this GorillaPod tripod rig is that it happens to be a tad expensive for those who are not sure how dedicated they are to the photography deal. For someone who simply likes to take pictures, $200 just might be a bit too much. On the other hand, for those who are professionals or like to actively indulge in vlogging and other camera activities, this is basically a steal. It simply depends on which side of the photography aisle you happen to be on. It also comes with a 1-year limited warranty, which allows for some breathing room to make sure that nothing breaks.
Pros: The GorillaPod tripod is strong and can hold up to 5 kg. It is flexible enough to wrap around a variety of different objects, all while holding two smaller elements of photography or vlogging. It is compatible with a whole host of different pieces of gear and will not wear out unless you are actively trying to destroy it.
Cons: If you are not totally sure about your commitment to the photography lifestyle or vlogging, the $200 price tag that comes with this rig might be too much.
GorillaPod Rig, What’s In The Box
What’s all in the box of Joby GorillaPod Rig? Here is a list of all the tools included with the rig:
- The rig itself with three sturdy, flexible and wrapping legs
- Two 6-socket GorillaPod arms for a microphone, LED light, GoPro or any other device you might need to connect
- Two Cold Shoe mounts
- GoPro pin-joint mount
- Separate pan and tilt adjustment
- Removable micro-adjust Ballhead 5K
- Arca-Swiss-compatible quick-release clip
- Removable hub plate with two 1/4″-20 mounts
- Two carry+mounting straps
Joby Wavo Microphone For Vloggers – Specs And Information
Up next is another key piece of gear for those who are looking for or are already in the vlogging life. What is the key difference between vlogging and simply taking pictures? The person! What is one of the most important aspects of the person who is doing the vlogging? Their voice. What is needed to properly record that voice? A quality microphone. That’s where Joby comes in.
Joby has come out to support the vlogging space by selling the Wavo and Wavo Mobile microphones. As they describe it, these mics are for those mobile content creators who are on the go and need a compact mic in order to pick up their voices. But just how good is this Wavo mic? Does it provide all the answers that vloggers need? That’s what we’re here to look at. We’ll examine the specifications of the Wavo microphone, see just how it does the job that it claims to be able to do, all before summing it up with the pros and cons of this mobile machine.
Let’s start off with the basics. What exactly is the Wavo microphone? Well, if the name wasn’t obvious enough, it is a lightweight microphone that has been created with vloggers in mind. It can be attached to devices such as the GorillaPod tripod in order to catch sounds along with visuals if there is a camera present. It attempts to fix the problem of vloggers having poor quality sound (which is often a bigger turn-off compared to poor video quality).
The Wavo quality has a series of specifications that back up the quality it is offering. Remember when we said it was a lightweight microphone? We meant it. It weighs an entire 0.04 kg (0.09 lbs). Meanwhile, its dimensions are 9.3 cm (3.66 inches) long, 7.5 cm (2.95 inches) wide and 7.1 cm (2.8 inches) tall. Almost anyone or anything can pick this mic up and store it easily. Yet, this small size does not mean it is not quality.
The frequency response of this mobile mic is between 35Hz – 20KHz. Meanwhile, the signal-to-noise ratio is 78 DB SPL (which represents the Decibel Sound Pressure Level). The sensitivity of the Wavo mic measures right about -38 DB. The polar pattern of the mic is Super-Cardiod, while the type of mic that it is is an electret condenser. This means that the mic focuses on picking up the user’s voice rather than ambient noises from other sources. The material that makes up the Wavo mic can be counted on three fingers: it has ABS Plastic, Hytrel® and Polyurethane. The Hytrel® in particular is notable for how flexible and how strong it is.
“But wait,” you might say. “What can this Wavo microphone attach to and what is it charged by?” Fortunately, we’ve got the answer to those questions as well. The Wavo mic is powered by a camera or phone that attaches to it through a 3.5mm TRS and TRRS connection. It can attach to some a rig akin to the GorillaPod tripods that are offered on Joby through its 1/4″-20 tripod mount, as well as the cold shoe mount.
Joby makes sure that the Wavo mic can attach to both cameras and phones based on the connections that it comes with. After all, it isn’t just the microphone that comes with the order. A TRRS cable and TRS both come with, enabling instant connection to the devices that vloggers will need. The package also includes some foam and shock mounts.
The fact that the microphone doesn’t run on a battery is also a definite bonus. You don’t have to constantly monitor how much charge is left or have to be constantly hunting down replacement batteries. This is a relief that all vloggers will feel. Nobody wants to spend all their time stockpiling replacements for power. They want to be out and recording the adventures of the day.
It’s hard to emphasize just how much Joby is looking to support vloggers with this microphone. In the very description of the product, they claim that the “Super-Cardioid polar pattern focuses on the vlogger’s voice, isolating it from the crowd or background noise… Supplied with both a cable for mobile phones (TRRS) and cameras (TRS) this is the Vlogger’s choice for their first quality microphone.” There is a clear focus on who this microphone is for and Joby isn’t afraid of letting them know who it is.
But it isn’t just vloggers that could find this microphone useful. Those who are interested in beginning their filmmaking career could find that this is a relatively cheap and effective option to pick up the sound of their novice film. After all, they don’t have the multi-thousand dollar audio setup that those in Hollywood do, so they have to make do with what they have on hand. If what they’ve got on hand happens to be one of these higher quality microphones, the better for them.
While the price is not as high as those aforementioned Hollywood studios, the average person might be hesitant to drop around $80 on such a small object. Let’s say that unless you are a dedicated vlogger or filmmaker, it might seem a bit of an unnecessary purchase.
Despite this downside, it is hard not to recommend the Wavo microphone. It is a fantastic piece of equipment for bloggers and amateur filmmakers, with the benefits vastly outweighing any sort of financial downside that it might have.
The Pros: The sound picks up the user’s voice and does a great job at shutting out the ambient noises, whatever they may be. It is so lightweight that you can fit it in your pocket, yet it is sturdy enough to hold up while you use it outdoors. It doesn’t require batteries and connects to a whole host of different devices.
The Cons: It is a tad pricey for those who are not totally dedicated to the lifestyle of a vlogger or filmmaker. Another con in my opinion is that the needed C adaptor is not included.
Wavo Microphone, What’s In The Box
Here is a list of what you will find inside the box of Joby’s Wavo:
- The microphone itself
- Phone cable and camera cable
- Wind protector
- Instructions manual
When To Use And How To Make The Most Of The Joby GorillaPod Rig and Wavo Microphone Kit
I love using my GorillaPod when I go out to visit my city, Rome. I can hold it while I film something, I can place it and mount my phone or DSRL as well as my GoPro and always in Rome also the Wavo mic. To be honest, I use the microphone even if I’m recording in the house just to avoid outside noise and isolate my voice as much as possible.
With Rome traffic, using the microphone is actually a must otherwise there is no way your voice can be heard. Unless, obviously, you are just filming and then you will add the audio separately. I like sometimes to talk in my videos and the Wavo microphone has been of great help.
I haven’t traveled abroad with my new Joby video-making kit but since they are both very light, I’m positive they won’t affect the weight of my carry-on much. And if we have any doubt, we use one of the handy digital luggage scales.
All in all, I’m super happy and don’t hesitate to recommend it even to pro video-makers.
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