Joby Ballhead X Review

While it's designed to be paired with the Joby GorillaPod Focus flexible tripod, the Joby Ballhead X is very good on its own terms as a small, strong, and affordable ballhead for a travel tripod.
Joby Ballhhead X
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JOBY GorillaPod Ballhead X for Focus. Quick Release Ballhead for Tripods,...
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  • CAPTURE SUPERIOR PERSPECTIVES. Position your camera at virtually any angle with the JOBY Ballhead for...
The Joby Ballhead X is nominally intended to be paired with the Joby GorillaPod Focus flexible tripod. In fact, its full model name is the BallHead X for GorillaPod Focus.

But there’s nothing about it that prevents you from using it on any other tripod, monopod, or other support just as you would any other small ballhead. It would be a good option for something like the Platypods, too. It uses the standard 3/8-16 or 1/4-20 screw connection (and includes a reducer bushing thread adapter, which is inserted by default) and on top is an Arca-style clamp. That’s compatible with any standard Arca-style quick release plate, but it also includes one.

Joby Ballhhead X

And it’s the clamp and quick-release plate that give this product its X. The plate is shaped like an X. That’s more than a gimmick–it actually allows the clamp lock knob to protrude less while still being easy to use. It’s not a perfect system. Because of the way in which the plate and its clamp are shaped, it’s possible to misalign them and get the plate jammed–something I’ve done a few times. It’s easy enough to fix with some force, but it’s not something you get with a regular square or rectangular Arca-style quick-release plate.

Joby Ballhhead X

Joby Ballhhead X

You can also use this with other Arca-style quick release plates. I’m partial to the Peak Design plates; they work well on this.

Joby Ballhhead X
This is with a Peak Design quick release plate.

Joby Ballhhead X
And this is with a longer Arca-style plate from Oben (model QR-40).

On the bottom of the plate that comes with the ballhead, you can use either the D-ring lever or a grooved screw top to tighten.

Joby Ballhhead X

Despite its looks, it works fundamentally the same way as other ballheads. On the bottom is a free rotating pano base that locks with a standard knob. The rotation is smooth and easy to do precisely–there are degree markers on the base to help.

Joby Ballhhead X

The locking clamp on the main ball is done with a larger knob. The movement of the ball isn’t the smoothest I’ve seen, but it does the job. There’s no separate tension dial, so everything is controlled with a single large knob.

It’s rated to hold up to 11 pounds (5 kg). It weighs about half a pound.

Specifications

Dimensions: 2.68 x 2.44 x 3.27 in / 6.8 x 6.2 x 8.3 cm
Weight: 0.58 lbs / 262 g
Load Capacity: 11 lb / 5 kg

What’s in the Box?

There’s the ballhead, a quick-release plate, and a small instruction leaflet.

Joby Ballhhead X

Summary

Overall, the Joby Ballhead X doesn’t have the refinement of some other ultra-light ballheads like the Really Right Stuff BH-25 or a Markins Q-Ball, but those are also much more expensive. But compared to other ballheads more relevant to its price range, the Joby Ballhead X holds up very well indeed.

And while it’s nominally designed to be used with the Joby Gorillapod Focus flexible tripod, the Ballhead X actually stands on its own very well as a capable general use travel ballhead.

Find Them At

I bought mine at Amazon. You can also find them at B&H Photo.

JOBY GorillaPod Ballhead X for Focus. Quick Release Ballhead for Tripods,...
  • QUICK RELEASE. This JOBY quick release ballhead with an attached bubble level, means you’ll get clearer...
  • CAPTURE SUPERIOR PERSPECTIVES. Position your camera at virtually any angle with the JOBY Ballhead for...

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2021-09-22 at 11:39. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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3 Responses

    1. I haven’t tried the 5K specifically–the one reviewed here was the earlier X model–but my assumption is that it also works just fine with the Peak plates. If it was me, I’d definitely be going with the 5K over the 3K with something the size of the a7iii.

  1. I’ve owned this ball head for 4 years and am constantly amazed by its quality. It holds my Canon 70D & 80D with 70-200/2.8 or 100-400/4.5 securely, but allows for smooth movement when loosened a bit. I have much heavier and bulkier ball heads from Sirui, Manfrotto and Desmond, but I use the Joby on my GorillaPod, Manfrotto BeFree travel tripod and Oben monopod because of it’s small size and low weight.

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