Are you wondering if the Joby Gorillapod 3k Pro is better than the original 3k? I own both and one is awesome, the other should never have been sold.
In this review, I am going to focus on the 3k ball heads. The legs are functionally the same. Great for different terrain and for attaching to rails, branches, etc. The big difference is in the ball head design.
If you would rather watch my review, check out my video comparison of the 3k Pro to the 3k Gorillapod.
If you just want the spoiler, then this is the version I recommend.
On the face, the Joby 3k ball heads look very similar. The main difference between the two is that the original 3k, has a plastic quick release plate that is held into place by a small plastic protrusion. To release the plate, you push a button that lowers the protrusion and the plate slides out.
In comparison, the 3k Pro ball head uses a smaller version of the 5k arca-swiss style plate. To attach or remove the plate, you merely tighten or loosen a knob. This also means that the plate could possibly be used with other quick release systems.
To see the differences, check out my video above.
My preference between the two, is the 3k Pro. It is a good little vlogging tripod for smaller compact and mirrorless cameras. I have never had a problem with the ball head or the quick release plate. Once tightened down, it feels very sturdy.
The original 3k is another story. On my first day out, I had an expensive camera pop off the ballhead twice. Once while I was in a tree. Fortunately, I also caught the camera twice.
These failures happened without me bumping the button. And, I had checked that the quick release was secured several times.
In my opinion, the design of the original 3k is flawed and should never have been sold. It is not worth risking your camera.
If you already have the original 3k, you can buy the 3k Pro ball head by itself. It is easy to swap them out.
If you are interested in a comparison of some of Joby’s other tripods, check out my 1k vs 3k vs 5k article.