The Shimano CM-1000 Sport Camera joins an ever-growing list of products from Shimano that are not bicycle components. Along with shoes, clothing and eyewear, the $299 Shimano Sport Camera is a product that helps the rider enjoy the ride that Shimano components are powering.
How geeky do you want us to go on this? The CM-1000 is a sophisticated video and still camera with features that would impress the most hardcore camera enthusiast. Its effective picture resolution for video is 3.6M pixels 16:9 (2528×1422) and 3.1M pixels 4:3 (2032×1526) for still images. Its lens aperture is F2.0, with the angle of view being either 180 degrees or 135 degrees, depending on the lens. You get three video recording modes (1920×1080 30 fps, 18 Mbps or 1280×720 120fps, 24 Mbps or 640×360 240 fps, 18 Mbps), and it shoots JPEG image sizes of 6M pixels 4:3 (2848×2136). The camera can connect to your smartphone via a Wi-Fi connection. Have we geeked you out enough yet?
Maybe most important to you, the CM-1000 will record for up to two hours (if your memory card will hold that much data). It takes four hours to recharge from a depleted battery, and it weighs a mere 3 ounces (85 grams) without mounting hardware. The camera comes with an underwater lens protector (Shimano sells this camera in its fishing line also), helmet mount set, leash, belt, rubber base, double-sided tape and USB cable. The camera requires the use of a high- performance micro-SD card with a Speed Class rating of 6 or 10—the higher, the better. It is not included.
Field Test Results: A quick trip to RadioShack got us a $49.99 32GB Micro SDHC on sale for $24.99. You might do better online, but we wanted to use the camera right away. Shimano knows the current CM-1000 owner’s manual is lacking adequate detail and assures us a replacement is in the works. It is best to head to Shimano-SportCamera.com for easier-to-follow information and videos.
The supplied camera mount should work on most mounting brackets and accessories designed for GoPro cameras. The helmet mount (a strap and bracket) works fine if you don’t mind the added weight on your head. We opted for a WOMO handlebar mount (reviewed in our May issue) that positions the camera in front of the handlebar and cables.
The power button (which also serves as the camera’s mode selector) is so small and protected that you will have a difficult time operating it with gloves on. That said, once you take the gloves off, switching between modes (three video and one photo) is simple and intuitive using Shimano’s color-coded lighting system.
The start/stop recording button is easily operated with gloves on. A series of beeps lets you know when the unit is recording and when it stops recording. The unit goes into sleep mode after a few minutes but does not shut off. That’s good, because you don’t have to remove a glove to wake the camera up. There is a five-second lag from sleep-to-wake modes, so good luck catching the animal that surprised you in a video—unless it is a dead animal.
We found that the 1280×720 mode gave us the most pleasing video results with plenty of sharpness, true colors and super-quick adjustments to lighting conditions. If you will be sharing your video online, the 640×360 mode is your best option. Both the lens protectors (called filters by photographers) crop the corners of the image. We found this annoying, but using the camera without a filter, which produced the most stunning photos and videos, is too risky in our tough-and- tumble environment.
Connecting the CM-1000 Sport Camera to a smartphone introduces a number of functions that are not accessible from the camera itself. The coolest smartphone function is looking live through the camera’s lens so you can position it exactly where you want it pointed on the bike or on your body. You can also set the camera function so it will shoot still photos at intervals during your ride. We would sure like to see a blast mode for the camera where it would shoot a blast of 10 images with a single touch. We have had the best luck catching just the right still shot with this mode on other cameras.
The CM-1000 is easy to use and produces great-quality images. Our wish list for the future would be lens filters that don’t crop the image, a power/ mode button that can be operated with gloves on, faster sleep-to-awake time and more access to settings from the camera itself.