We enjoy some Miller Fluid Head ‘Air’ time.
By: Martin Catchpole
Australian manufacturing continues to be in a state of flux, reduced to a ghost of its 1960s heyday. Yet through all these ups and downs Miller tripods has kept its manufacturing legs firmly on the ground – all three of them, in fact!
Its patented Fluid Head can be seen dragged around by cinematographers the world over, with celebrity filmmakers like Philip Bloom declaring Miller gear as essential to his kit.
So with the HDR/DSLR revolution in full swing, Miller brings us the Air – a semi-lightweight fully professional-grade Fluid Head tripod aimed at the serious HDR/DSLR shooter.
I wasn’t quite sure whether ‘Air’ was an indication of the weight or the fluidity of the of its motion, but weighing in at 4.9kg Air is clearly a robust, pro-grade piece of equipment. And with a weight capacity of 5kg, Air will accommodate far more than a GoPro.
Air is well constructed, with a solidity that tells any discerning operator that this is a product made by people who care about such things. The legs lock into place quickly and with precision. The fluid head is fluid and torque is virtually indiscernible.
Setting the Air up is a breeze with a ball level clamp nut and bubble, to achieve a horizontal shooting angle. As a bonus, the clamp nut also detachs from the Air so you can quickly switch your camera over to another type of support such as a dolly track. There are two counterbalance positions, which I found useful when switching between lens.
I tried the Air with a Canon MkII with a 70-200mm lens and Rode mic mounted on top – I think it did it’s job admirably, but you can make up your own mind by looking at a short video I shot with the Air.
An investment in a quality tripod is a lifetime investment — so, choose wisely and don’t be too frugal. The Air retails for just under a grand, so it’s not an insignificant outlay. However, those who know the advantages of Miller’s Fluid Head design will understand that the sub $1000 price tag is a game changer.
View exclusive footage of the Miller Air in action here.
NEED TO KNOW
True Fluid Head control
At 4.9kg, still no lightweight
At ‘under a grand’, Miller’s pro-grade Fluid Head just got a whole lot more accessible with Air.