Pronghorn Productions

A Provider of High Definition (HD) Nature and Wildlife Stock Video Footage, Still Images, Nature Books, and Custom Video and Photography Services.
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Equipment Review

Miller Solo 10 Tripod System

The Miller Solo 10 tripod system combines a DS-10 head with 2-stage independent legs. It is a is a versatile and lightweight system that is a good overall package for the nature and wildlife videographer. While not rock steady or finely adjustable in terms of tilt, it is one of the better units you can get for under $1,000 (for the magnesium-aluminum leg version; the carbon legs will cost slightly more).

Perhaps the most significant feature of the tripod are the legs which can get you up to 63 inches or down to 8 inches. The latter is especially noteworthy as many critters live down by your ankles and the best shots are often at their eye level. The minimum height setting has the additional advantage of reducing wind motion, an especially important feature out on the prairies. Place a bean bag on the unit and it will become even steadier. I suspose the maxium height has some uses, although I haven't found many. In fact I'm reluctant to use it because the whole system becomes top heavy and prone to shake, and perhaps even falling over.

Miller Tripod Low LevelMiller Tripod High Level

The fluid head has a 75mm bowl. It works well in both pan and tilt (although it does slow down in cold weather, not surprisingly). There is a drag for both, but for most uses you will have it at the zero setting. There are two counter-balance settings for tilt; the one setting worked perfectly with my Sony EX1, but when I used the EX3 with a Nikon lens I couldn't find a sweet spot. The legs and head are rated for 11 lbs. Together they weigh 12.8 lbs and fold down to just under 33 inches.

Miller Knurled Knobs on LegsMiller DS-10 Head

Personally, I'm not crazy about the twist leg locks. One issue I have is that I sometimes get confused a to which way to turn the knob, say when I'm holding the unit upside down or sideways. Having said that, the knobs appear to be well built and lock securely (still, I would have preferred levers). The legs have retractable spiked feet for added stability in soft ground.

Pros

IHighly versatile legs including a low setting. Good head motion. Good value for the money.

Cons

Twist leg locks not as efficient as levers. Only two counter-balance settings.

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