28th July 2014
A refreshingly impassioned, unbiased and accurate product review.
HD Video Pro magazine's Neil Matsumoto has reviewed and published his assessment of the Miller Air tripod system.
Here's what he says:
"The Miller Air Carbon Fibre Tripod System contains the Air Fluid Head, which has Miller’s fluid head pan and tilt technology. The Air Apparent.
Due to their small size and inconspicuous nature, the biggest advantage in shooting with a DSLR or compact camcorder is that you’re able to shoot in locations where most full size digital motion picture cameras cannot. But if you want stabilized shots, you’re going to need a solid tripod system – a tool that usually negates a DSLR’s small size. I’ve always found that when shooting with a DSLR, it’s best to shoot with a tripod system that complements the camera’s small size.
Australian-based Miller Camera Support Equipment has released the Air Tripod System range, which includes the Air Alloy and Air Carbon Fibre System. Considered “little brothers” to Miller’s Compass tripods, the Air system can serve both the indie filmmaker and the working pro in capturing stable static shots or smooth pans and tilts. Both Air systems are very lightweight and easy to set up, making them ideal for the run-and-gun shooter who needs to capture shots at a moment’s notice. Both the Alloy and Carbon Fibre consist of the Air Fluid Head, which have Miller’s fluid head pan and tilt technology, and the Solo 75 2-Stage Tripod.
The Air System is lightweight and easy to set up, making it an ideal top for the run-and-gun filmmaker.
Miller sent over a review unit of their Air Carbon Fibre System, which I tried out with a Canon 70D DSLR. From my experience, most fluid heads have been a little large for DSLRs but the Air fluid head’s camera plate was the perfect size for a compact system. The fluid head offers a two-position counterbalance knob, which can support a payload range of approximately 4.4 to 11-pounds. The fluid drag system remains constant across all temperatures and offers extremely smooth performance, so that you won’t have any sudden jerky moves. (This is no surprise since Miller is the creator of the fluid head.) The quick release plate slides out easily once the release knob is pushed. Overall, the metal build of the Air fluid head has a solid and dependable feel. One of the best heads I’ve tested with a DSLR.
I’m a previous owner of a Miller Solo DV Tripod system and I’m a big fan of the Solo’s adjustable tripod legs. The carbon fiber legs have two stages that are easy to unlock, extend and lock. A soft and protective Neoprene casing lets you comfortably grip the legs to make adjustments. You can quickly adjust the length of individual legs, making the Solo Tripod ideal for shooting in uneven and rough terrain such as a mountain range or stadium bleachers.
The Air fluid head offers a two-position counterbalance knob, which can support a payload range of approximately 4.4 to 11-pounds.
What I also love about the tripod is that you can pivot each leg low to the ground to shoot at extremely low angles (approximately 9-in. off the ground). In terms of maximum height, you can extend up to 69 inches. But because there’s no spreader and because the system is very lightweight, make sure to keep it within eyesight because it will tip over if bumped. (With a ground spreader you can throw a sand bag on top of it.) You have to remember that the Air Tripod systems are meant to be used primarily for run-and-gun shooting with lightweight cameras, not heavy full-size cameras. For better traction outdoors, you can wind up the rubber feet and dig into the ground with its built-in spikes.
For low angle shots, you can pivot each leg low to the ground (approximately 9-in. off the ground).
The entire system weighs less than 10-lbs and is easy to grab one of its legs and throw the entire system over your shoulder. (The Air Alloy comes in at 10.8-lbs.) Included is a no-frills weatherproof carry case that lets you pack the Air for travel. (The entire unit can easily fit in an overhead bin on a plane.) There’s also an optional ¼” accessory mounting block to attach accessories like a monitor or recorder."