Shimano’s action cameras have a major update for 2017, with two new models that promise a number of interesting features, including auto-recording. The cameras are the flagship Shimano CM-2000 action camera, and the Shimano CM-1100.
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Auto-recording in the big ring
Both models get auto-recording for capturing the most exciting bits of your ride. The Shimano CM-2000 and CM-1100 action cameras can auto-record via ANT+, working with your bike computer and sensors like a power meter, heart rate strap, cadence sensor or speed sensor to detect when you’re moving quickly or working hard. For Di2 users, it’ll even auto-record when you’re in a specified gear range.
The top-end CM-2000 model can also be activated via smartphone GPS (hooked up via Bluetooth), for those times when you’re riding without a bike computer but still want it to auto-record when you’re speeding downhill. Impressively, the thresholds for when the camera starts to auto-record can be configured manually so, for example, you can tell it to only record when your heart rate goes above 150 beats per minute, or when you’re going above 30kph.
Shimano says there are a number of benefits to auto-record: you can focus on riding without worrying about hitting record; you’ll save battery life and memory space; there’s less editing required; and it’s simple to use, even if the camera is mounted in a place that’s difficult to access.
Waterproof, image stabilisation and more
Both cameras are said to be waterproof down to 10m, and dust-proof, without needing any external cases. The top-end CM-2000 model also has a water-repellent finish to help disperse rain off the camera body.
There’s also an image stabiliser for both models, and while information on this feature is scarce for now, we expect it will work in a similar way to rival models like the GoPro Hero 5 Black, where the camera processor is used to crop in slightly on a section of the image and hold it steady for the viewer.
Both the Shimano CM-2000 and CM-1100 models can record at 1440p at 30 frames per second, and according to Shimano they are tuned to allow users to record at locations and times of the day with low amounts of light, such as dusk, or a forest road with lots of overhead cover.
New smartphone app
There’s also a new smartphone app coming from Shimano in early 2017 for iOS and Android, which will be compatible with all three of the company’s action cameras (the new CM-2000 and CM-1100, and the existing CM-1000). It will enable users to access a live view of what their camera is seeing, control up to five cameras, and overlay ANT+ sensor data.
The smartphone app also lets you tweak settings like image quality, viewing angle (including a narrow 90° field, standard 120° and wide 130° field), white balance and exposure. Users can also watch their recorded video via the smartphone app – though this feature requires a WiFi connection, so it’s unlikely you’ll be doing this when out riding.
New editing software
Finally, there’s also going to be a new editing suite for Shimano action cameras, coming out in early 2017 and compatible with Windows and Mac computers. This will allow you to overlay your riding data (collected via ANT+) over the top of your footage – more info TBC.
Pricing and availability
The Shimano CM-2000 camera will be priced at $349 (international pricing TBC), and the CM-1100 will be priced at $299. Both cameras are expected to hit the market in February 2017.
Shimano CM-2000 vs. GoPro Hero 5 Black vs. Garmin ViRB Ultra 30
So how does it measure up against the competition? Well, on paper the Shimano CM-2000 is priced identically to both its main rivals, the GoPro Hero 5 Black and the Garmin ViRB Ultra 30.
The auto-record function definitely sounds interesting – and is a different approach to the voice-activated route that both GoPro and Garmin have taken with their action cameras. We like the fact it can be activated via Di2 gear selection too – configure it so it always records when you’re attacking in the big ring, and you’re guaranteed some fast footage.
In terms of picture quality, the omission of 4K for the Shimano CM-2000 is a surprise – both the GoPro Hero 5 Black (25fps) and Garmin ViRB Ultra 30 (30fps) offer this, and for many users it’ll be a dealbreaker.
In terms of features, the inclusion of image stabilisation and data overlay is a sensible one now that its rivals all have this, and the same goes for a full-featured smartphone app that gives live view and full access to the camera settings.