The Review | Shimano CM-1000 Action-Camera
Action-cameras have become a real “must have“ for bikers. The range of models on offer is growing rapidly and the competition between brands is hotting up. Drive-train specialists Shimano are now joining the party and have taken a step into the market with its new CM-1000 model. We find out how it performs and whether it can take up the challenge against market leader GoPro.
Holding the camera the compact form and low weight are immediately apparent, achieved by doing without an external housing. The camera is still waterproof to a depth of 10 metres according to Shimano and delivers images in Full HD and has a field of view of up-to 180°.
The operation of the camera is controlled via two buttons and two LEDs on the upper side of the housing. Using them you can turn the camera on/off, start and stop recording and change camera modes. They also give info on remaining battery life and memory card storage. Thanks to audio signals you are always aware of when recording has started or finished.
You can also connect to the camera via your smartphone through a WIFI-connection and configure it using a free app. It also allows you to access the files, view and delete them. A live view mode makes adjustments easier too.
A special feature of the Shimano CM-1000 is the integrated ANT+ receiver which allows you to pair the camera with diverse sensors (heart- and cadence monitors, DI2-shifting etc.). Editing software announced by Shimano (but yet to be released) will allow you to integrate this data directly in your videos. Currently however the ANT+ functions don’t offer any added value.
The internal, non-removable battery gives the camera a run time of around two hours which in our every-day test rides proved more than sufficient.
Thanks to the GoPro mounting the CM-1000 doesn’t just fit perfectly with Shimano’s own accessories but can also be mounted with a huge number of fitting options. With the free-rotate mode in the menu it doesn’t matter whether the camera is mounted upside down or at 90° – the picture always stays horizontal.
Thanks to the low weight of 94 g and the flat form the camera is hardly noticeable even on open face helmets. During our test a slight amount of play developed between the camera and the bracket, we were able to resolve this with some tape.
When using the camera under water a special front lens cover is included with the camera which aims to correct the picture distortion caused by the water. Using it the CM-1000 is waterproof up-to a depth of 10 metres.
Along with usability and mounting hardware the picture quality is the deciding element of an action camera. In Full HD mode the image quality of the Shimano CM-1000 is impressive in good, homogenous light conditions. However during demanding conditions such as front lighting and low ambient light the CM-1000 reaches its limits. During front light the protective lens causes strong flaring and in weak light the sharpness and detail both suffer. Adjustment from light to dark sections is managed by the camera reliably but with a slight delay.
Set at 135° field of view the lens only causes very slight distortion noticeable at the edges of image, when set at 180° these become much more noticeable at the pictures edge and also occur in the middle of the images.
Overall, the Shimano CM-100 is not able to keep up with the high image quality of the market leader GoPro.
But have a look: Here’s a video with several examples which we shot whilst testing (make sure you hit the HD option).
The Shimano Action-camera is very easy to use thanks to the app connectivity, large buttons and the audio signals. However, improvements could be made to the front lens, and until the editing software is released the full potential of the camera is not currently useable. If you are focussed purely on the best image quality, you are still better off with the market leader GoPro. However, those who appreciate light weight, compact design and creative mounting options, will find the Shimano CM-1000 a solid, carefully crafted camera.
For more info visit the official website:
Text & Words: Christoph Bayer