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Shimano CM-1000 Sport Camera

Vital Rating: (OK)
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Tested: Shimano CM-1000 Sport Camera

Rating: Vital Review

by Kevin Bazar

Well, Shimano makes cameras now. I’ve been a fan of their higher end cranks, shifters and brakes for pushing two decades, and now they make a POV camera that ties the operation of all those bits into some video footage (or soon will). Beyond just capturing POV footage, the idea with the CM-1000 is that data available from their Di2 electric shifting system can be imported into a yet to be released Shimano application/program that lets you see what gear you’re in at certain points in the trail. Well, the POV camera market is certainly a hotly contested arena, so I was very curious to see what kind of weaponry Shimano has armed itself with before taking on the other gladiators out there.


Shimano CM-1000 Sport Camera Highlights

  • 1/3.8" Back Illuminated CMOS Image Sensor
  • Video Picture Resolution: 3.6M Pixels 16:9 (2528x1422)
  • Still Image Picture Resolution: 3.1M Pixels 4:3 (2032x1526)
  • Still Image Size: 6M Pixels 4:3 (2848x2136)
  • 180°, 135° Angle of View
  • Auto White Balance, Exposure, and Metering Mode
  • MOV (H.264+PCM) Video Format for QuickTime Player
  • Battery Life About 2 Hours, Less Than 4 Hours Battery Charging Time
  • Weight: 86g
  • Waterproof: IPX8(10m/2 h)
  • Smartphone Apps for Android and iOS
  • Includes: Underwater Lens Protector, Leash, Belt, Rubber Base, Double-Sided Tape, USB Cable, User's Manual And Quick Manual
  • MSRP: $299 USD

Initial Impressions

Integration with Di2 shifting etc... yeah, I don’t own any of that stuff either, so let’s talk about the camera itself. First and foremost, it’s small and black. That means it doesn’t look like a Teletubby box on your noggin. If you’re someone who likes to film new trails, new locations, vacations, or whatever on a regular basis, you can do it while looking less like a goon with this thing on your head. It’s goon-lite material. It actually looks pretty slick if you’ve got to go goon at all.


One of the things that looked really appealing to me about the features was a 120fps at 720 resolution mode. That 24Mbs should look pretty damn good I thought. It’s a higher data rate than the ‘primary’ real time mode, and with 120fps you can playback clips at ¼ speed in a 30fps timeline.

At $300, the CM-1000 is not exactly an impulse purchase, but it’s cheaper than a top end camera from you know who. Speaking of GoPro, Shimano did something really nice. The base mount for the camera mimics a GoPro double slot/three fin mount. This means that there are a plethora of available mounts for wherever you want to stick the thing. Hear that bike world? Real standardization that actually helps.

Buttons are about what you’d expect from an itty bitty camera; you get two. One turns it on/records and one switches between recording modes. The great thing about the big orange one is that it’s located at the back of the camera so it’s easy to find and press, and it starts recording without having an extra step of turning the camera on. Just press and go. Shimano concurrently developed an app for your smartphone to go along with this camera that lets you control what mode you’re in, start/stop recording, review clips, and, most importantly, check your field of view (you know you need point that thing higher on your helmet).

Thanks to the app, if you think you missed a shot of your hella sickter kickout, you can review it and do it over. Reviewing clips is huge in my mind, but there’s an added feature in the CM-1000 that’s pretty unique as far as I know. What they call an “angle free” mode that lets you mount the camera in any orientation, with resulting footage still recorded and archived right side up. Very cool.


I don’t really shoot a lot of POV footage, but when I do, I don’t screw around. I drink DosEquis and I bolt things down. Shimano includes an adhesive pad to stick to your forehead, but the telling part is that they also include a short tether. Living in a ski town and having been down a crowded groomer on a Sunday afternoon, I’ve seen how well adhesive mounts work (who wants an outdated GoPro or Contour? They’re everywhere!). Shimano sent us a collection of really nice looking Kedge mounts that are the GoPro/slot standard. Mounts were provided for handlebars, the back of your seat, and (my favorite) just a baseplate with screw holes so you can bolt it to whatever you feel like drilling into. Solid. I don’t trust adhesive anything when it comes to expensive electronics.

It’s also waterproof. The CM-1000 even comes with a flat lens to attach to the camera to mimic what goggles or a dive mask do for your eyes - create a flat viewing pane which allows you to shoot non-blurry underwater footage too.

On The Trail

The first thing I noticed was that the CM-1000 doesn’t come with the needed micro SD storage card. No biggie, off to the store. The second thing I noticed about data storage is that my computer wouldn’t recognize the USB connected camera as an external drive. You can’t just plug in the camera and grab the clips. Slightly more annoying ‘no biggie’: just grab the card reader. I already owned one but just be aware, you’ll need to as well.

The Shimano helmet mount that they refer to as ‘the belt’ works surprisingly well. It’s designed to strap in through the vents of your xc or roadie helmet, and it’s solid. I actually had to revise my longstanding practice of thinking that if you want a camera on something, you use fasteners. The belt is good.


After the first day of shooting and reviewing the footage, I was a little disappointed. I’d started off shooting in the 120fps/720 mode I was so excited about at first. Everything looked soft and out of focus. The very wide angle lens is a benefit because going wide on something as bumpy as your average MTB trail helps smooth out the footage. With a wider field of view, all the minute vibrations appear in a lesser magnitude. But it was still soft. I tried cloudy days, sunny days, wide open trails, trails under a canopy… all a little out of focus.

It wasn’t until I’d bolted the thing to a Mcleod while doing some trail work that I would see the CM-1000 light. Shimano specs the camera with a f2.0, fixed-aperture lens. For you non camera geeks, that means a wide orifice through which the light travels to hit the sensor. It’s good for low light performance, but it also reduces the focal plane in which images will appear sharp - even at the ultra-wide angle. I didn’t see ‘sharp’ from this camera until a long, wood grained Mcleod handle was right in front of it. The handle looked great, but nothing beyond it did. Reviewing all the things I’d shot, it was pretty obvious that for things to look crisp, they needed to right there in front of the camera… like one or two feet. You’ll see this fairly clearly in the clip above (notice the dog nose at the end).

Download a .MOV file directly exported from the camera for reference.

The 30fps/1080 mode looked a tad better, so that’s what I shot most of the clips with. I’d pretty much abandoned the 120fps mode by now because if things don’t look sharp, what’s the point of looking at them longer in slowmo? The 120fps mode that I was all excited about does work though. Overly slow motion shots are attainable with the CM-1000 and that’s pretty cool. It’s still not as sharp as I’d like to see from a 1280x720 clip but the footage time-stretches cleanly.

Things That Could Be Improved

Apart from the softness of the image that I elaborate on in the section above, there are a couple of other niggles to report on:

The smartphone app wouldn’t work with my HTC Android phone. Even with the latest Android firmware and weeks worth of attempts, the app would not show up on my phone. It’s a few years old but it’s still an Android with the most current firmware. The Shimano app even reads the phone model and indicates that it’s compatible with my phone. It’s not. It still doesn’t work a month and a half later. I can connect my phone to the wireless signal of the CM-1000 but without the app, I can't actually do anything further. I’ve since gotten a buddy with an iPhone to download the app, open it and control the camera. We were able to access the all important “angle free” mode and toggle it which is what I was most curious about. We've also tested with a newer Samsung Galaxy S3 phone with the same result. So the app works, just not with my phone. At least I still have those two buttons.

Another slightly bothersome aspect was the reflection of the lens cover itself appearing in the footage. It looked like HAL2000 from the 2001, a Space Odyssey movie (look it up kids) was staring at me. Again, don’t take my word for it, look at the footage above. The “HAL eye” was toned down a bit by mounting the camera on the underside of a visor on a fullface, but it still showed up every time a scene was backlit with the sun above or in front of me. To add, there is some very visible vignetting in the corners caused by the lens protector (in 180 degree mode).


Long Term Durability

After a month and a half of living in a backpack and going for a swim or two, the CM-1000 still works. Most importantly, the non replaceable lens hasn’t been scratched. The KEdge mounts are made of gorgeous anodized aluminum and six weeks down the line they’re still exactly that, just be careful not to strip the tiny bolt heads.

What's The Bottom Line?

Over and over again, I kept coming back to the following conclusion: this is kind of a roadie toy. Things are only in focus if they’re close to the lens, like a peloton with closely spaced riders as shown in the following clip:

To add, there’s an upcoming app that lets you record your gear ratio in your video footage. Most mountain bikers don’t care about this unless they’re maybe at the World Cup level trying to figure out why they just got passed at a certain split. Speaking purely from a camera perspective, there are better options. That’s not to say the digital peripherals aren’t cool, they are. But I would only buy this camera for those peripherals, not the quality of footage it produces. The CM-1000 documents things and ties them into some other information you might be interested in. It also looks pretty inconspicuous for catching some roid-rager trying to run you off the road. But like I said, for footage itself, I think the few extra bucks for some of the other options out there would be well spent.

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About The Reviewer

Kevin "Kidwoo" Bazar likes to zoom. He’s been mountain biking for about 20 years now and splits time fairly evenly between a 6-inch travel trail bike, a DH bike, and hardtail dirtjumper. He’ll bitch about any of those formats if they don’t contain sustained periods of 30mph stretches or two seconds of hang-time. He’s also a video geek with footage in a few documentaries and ski and snowboard films, and occasionally some of his own obnoxious web videos of him and his friends.

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Product Shimano CM-1000 Sport Camera
Camera Type Camera
Miscellaneous 1/3.8" Back Illuminated CMOS Image Sensor // Video Picture Resolution: 3.6M Pixels 16:9 (2528x1422), Still Image Picture Resolution: 3.1M Pixels 4:3 (2032x1526), Still Image Size: 6M Pixels 4:3 (2848x2136) // 180°, 135° Angle of View // Auto White Balance, Exposure, and Metering Mode // MOV (H.264+PCM) Video Format for QuickTime Player // Battery Life About 2 Hours, Less Than 4 Hours Battery Charging Time // Weight: 86g // Waterproof: IPX8(10m/2 h) // Smart Phone Apps for Android and iOS // Includes: Underwater Lens Protector, Leash, Belt, Rubber Base, Double-Sided Tape, USB Cable, User's Manual And Quick Manual
Price $299
More Info

Shimano Sport Camera Website

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