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Review: Joby vlogging gear – Swing, Spin, Mobile Vlogging Kit

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Erin L

Erin L

 

If you never heard of Joby before, you probably aren’t an avid photographer of content creator. But surprisingly, the company made tripods and other camera gear many years before social media popularized the term “selfie.” Joby is most famous for their GorillaPod flexible tripod products and with more folks gravitating towards streaming and vlogging, Joby has every incentive to leverage their popular designs and make some more dedicated vlogging gear. The 17-year-old company did just that by announcing the Joby Spin and Joby Swing products as well as a GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit for budding streamers.

Recently Joby sent me a few of their newer vlogging gadgets to test out and review during my contact creation process. I’ll try each one of them out and let you know what I think. Let’s get things started with one of the basic items; the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit.

Joby GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit

If you only have a smartphone and you want to take that first step into serious vlogging, the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit serves as a simple and quick way to uplift your video production values in various aspects.

Kits vs. Buying Separately

Before getting into the Joby’s vlogging kit review, you should know what to expect from kits in general. Generally, kits are the newbie-friendly approach for a blanket upgrade while buying accessories separately allows you to better focus on the features you want or the components you know you’ll need, ensuring every dollar goes to something you’ll use.

This means with some research, you may find yourself spending far less than say the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit’s $220 USD asking price while ticking all the boxes of your required feature wish list. However, the challenging part of researching involves figuring out if your chosen set of accessories actually work well together.

A major benefit, then of the GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit means some assurance of good integration as Joby developed every single product, and what remains is whether or not this kit is good value.

What You Get

This Joby vlogging kit bundles the Joby GorillaPod Mobile tripod with an adjustable smartphone mount, the Joby Beamo Mini LED light and the Joby Wavo Mobile on-camera microphone. There’s also a handful of accessories and components including additional arms to hold more gear, microphone connectors, a diffuser for the light and a windsock for the mic.

The GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit is a kit geared towards classic iPhone owners as it includes a certified 3.5mm to Lightning cable allowing you to connect the included microphone to an iPhone. That adapter costs around $10 to $13 on its own and you won’t need it if you have an older iPhone model that came bundled with it. But if you are penny-pinching and have an Android phone or any of the new iPhone 15 models you might want to consider another kit or buying separately.

GorillaPod Mobile Rig

joby mobile vlogging kit

 

Let’s get a closer look at Joby’s popular GorillaPod 1K tripod stand which has flexible legs to customize how you can use it and what you can attach it to. It uses a combination of ABS plastic and stainless steel so it can handle cameras weighing 1 kg or less. The tripod itself is lightweight too at 0.145 kg and you can compress the legs and hold it like a monopod for vlogging, or even wrap the legs around almost anything to get your shot just where you want it.

Also bundled with the rig is the Joby GripTight PRO 2 mount which isn’t Joby’s latest model, but the phone clamp mount feels durable and can rotate 90-degrees to allow both portrait and landscape orientations. You can screw in a cold shoe mount on top in case you wish to add the bundled microphone and it has a dedicated socket on each side for adding the included GorillaPod arms.
The GorillaPod arms have the same flexibility as the tripod’s legs. With the included GoPro mount and cold shoe adapters, you can securely attach lightweight accessories to an arm such as the included Joby Beamo Mini or even GoPro’s latest HERO 12.

My experience with GorillaPod & Mount

I’ve owned one of Joby’s GorillaPod devices for almost a decade; my original smaller format GorillaPod finally gave up the ghost a few years ago and I upgraded to a more heavy-duty version. I’m a huge fan of these GorillaPod tripods as they give you a stable surface plus a ton of flexibility for shooting anywhere. The flexible legs can wrap around, hook onto or brace against almost anything so it’s a very versatile little tripod for solo vlogging, b-roll, and more.

While this particular GorillaPod is too lightweight for my preferences, it’s just fine for a beginner. The smartphone mount is OK. It gives you decent options for range of motion, but the flat panel mount with screw can be a little fiddly. I also find the way the mount is connected to the tripod doesn’t give you as much range of motion as something with a ball head does, by comparison. A game. This tripod will be just fine for beginners, but pros may wish for a little more fine-tuning. Where this mount does excel is with the small threaded holes where you can clip in the added arms, since these will allow you to toss any additional accessories onto your rig easily.

Shop the GorillaPod Mobile Rig on Amazon and Best Buy

Beamo Mini LED light

The Joby Beamo Mini LED is a nice companion to the GorillaPod Mobile Rig setup because it weighs roughly a hundred grams. It has a small built-in rechargable battery protected by a rugged waterproof housing and a covered USB-C port for recharging.

The back of the light is magnetic and you can add small accessories to it as well with the double cold shoe mounts.
If you aren’t comfortable in fiddling with the pair of small control buttons on the top, you can connect your phone to the light via Bluetooth and change the brightness settings and modes through the myJOBY app. You can pick from five brightness options with the brightest setting showing off the light’s full 1,000-lumen strength. The diffuser can be clipped on to avoid any harsh light.

My experience with Beamo

The Beamo late is an imperfect solution. It has a very narrow diameter of light which can make the subject look a bit like deer in the headlights. It also doesn’t really get bright enough to compete with a lot of other light sources. While this light will be handy in a pinch or four shoots on the go, it’s absolutely not a substitute for proper (three-point) lighting. I found myself using this light more to fill in dark spots when I was getting B-roll shots, and less as a sungun or primary subject light.

Shop the Beamo Mini LED on Amazon and Best Buy

Wavo Mobile Mic

Generally speaking, any external microphone should be an upgrade over your mobile device’s built-in one. The Wavo Mobile has a cardioid directional pattern so when properly attached to your vlogging kit, it should only capture sounds coming from the direction it is facing.

This shotgun microphone also comes with accessories including a windscreen and a shock mount to keep vibrations or knocking sounds from bleeding in. Weighing just 70 grams, the Joby Wavo Mobile is a lightweight addition to the kit.

My Experience with Joby Wavo Mic

I fiddled around with this microphone a head of an important video shoot. I connected the Apple connecter and tested it out and it seemed like it was working well. Unfortunately, I did opt to use it as my primary microphone and when I got back and listened to the footage, it was far too poor quality to actually use in my finished video. The primary subject voice level was extremely low, and I was picking up all kinds of other audio too, and in the large space echos muddied the sound too.

When I got home I tried a few more tests using the microphone with my iPhone and didn’t find the audio quality improved at all. The mic just doesn’t pick up audio at a good enough volume to make it usable in videos. Since there are no game buttons and no way to adjust any of the audio, I can’t recommend this as a solid or reliable sound solution.

Shop the Wavo Mobile Mic on Amazon and Best Buy

Overall review

Joby Golillapod, 3k pro, review, camera, smartphone, tripod

Overall, this kit gives you a lot, but is not my favourite way to get access to Joby’s best gear. No knock on what’s here, I might have just outgrown it…

Bottom line here is if you are an absolute newbie and just looking to get your hands on some basic gear to get you started, Joby GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit is a decent bundle for beginners until you figure out your preferences. The overall setup might look silly as the flexible arms and legs look like you are carrying some fancy doll, but all the components feel lightweight and get the streaming job done.

I would actually recommend you build your own kit, and opt for a few other options that I have found far more useful and infinitely more valuable.

I love the GorillaPod 3K tripod Pro with its metal ball head over the 1K tripod. It’s just more durable, and the additional weight gives it better stability.

I also prefer Joby’s GripTight Mount for MagSafe, which has a really cool magnetic attachment for an iPhone or you can swivel the clips around to cinch your phone in more securely. It’s also got threads so you can attach the arms if you want to add extra gear.

I also prefer the Joby Wavo Air wireless Mic kit, which I use with a DSLR camera.

Joby GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit retails for about $220USD/$329CAD on Amazon and Best Buy. and Walmart

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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