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SOLO dips into Great Outdoors

craigwatkins2 Australian Freelance cinematographer Craig Watkins has shot almost everything for everyone in Australian television’s commercial and lifestyle circles. While he stands by his tried and true old support equipment, he decided to give the new Miller SOLO VJ tripod and Arrow 30 fluid head a shot when shooting HDCAM for Australia's Great Outdoors holiday program.  

“I was going into remote Australia's with a small crew, so I needed  lightweight gear all round,” explained Craig. “The Sony 750 HDCAM is relatively light, and I wanted a head and tripod that would guarantee smooth, stable high def images without adding too much weight to the overall kit.”craig_watkins1

“I was also going to shoot some MiniDV so I was looking for a head that might handle both cameras.”

The new Arrow 30, 7-position pan and tilt head, is designed for this. Based on the higher capacity Arrow ENG fluid head, the Arrow 30 has counterbalance to handle any camera from 2.5kg (5lb) right up to 15kg (33lb). Arrow 30 is also supplied standard with both ¼” & pin direct-to-camera attachment and ¼” and 3/8” screws for attachment to a Sony-style tripod adaptor plate.

“I couldn’t believe just how smooth Miller has made their head action. The Arrow 30 was fantastic, there was a wider drag range than I needed, and the head balanced the HD and the MiniDV perfectly.”

craigwatkins3“The SOLO VJ 100mm tripod was just as great a revelation for Craig. “I have always used a spreader tripod, and probably will continue to, explains Craig, adding “But for remote locations SOLO VJ had it all. It was incredibly stable, the carbon tubing and spreaderless design lightened the load, but most importantly, I got a height range from 30cm (12”) up to more than 2 metres (69”) without needing a Hi hat or baby legs!”

“I found myself shooting a lot more creative low angles (like the pool shot shown here) than I normally would, simply because the SOLO/Arrow combination let me do it with an amazing level of stability and control.”

The new Arrow 30 packages in a range of systems with both Sprinter Dual Lock carbon or alloy tripods, or with SOLO VJ carbon as used by Craig. The SOLO VJ is a 100mm ball leveling tripod that bundles with Miller VJ-20, DS25 and Arrow 30 fluid heads, or with most standard 100mm fluid heads.


Caption: Taking the SOLO VJ for a dip. Cinematographer Craig Watkins up to his knees in it, shooting a pool scene with Channel 7 Great Outdoors presenter Sophie Faulkner. His lightweight HD kit included the Sony DVW-709 HDCAM, Arrow 30 fluid head and SOLO VJ spreaderless carbon fibre tripod.

To check out the Miller Solo VJ tripod in more detail - click here!

To check out the Miller Arrow 30 Fluid head in more detail - click here!