Shimano’s svelte Sport Camera weighs just 87g. It doesn’t need extra housing for protection, but has a higher waterproofing rating than almost any similar camera.
External control is possible via Wi-Fi and ANT/ANT+ devices, and video can be captured in three modes from 1080HD at 30 frames per second, to 640 pixel slo-mo at 240 fps. Still or time-lapse images are shot at 6MP.
The unit has just two small buttons and a pair of LEDs, which display three different colours to indicate modes. With no LCD screen, you need to memorise the lights to be sure which mode you’re in. In testing, we appreciated using the iPhone app to make sure our camera angle was correct — and to make sure that the camera was indeed recording when we thought it was.
It’ll accept Micro SD cards up to 32GB, and comes with a helmet mount but will fit GoPro mounts. The useful Angle Free mode allows the horizon to be set in relation to how the camera is mounted.
The Shimano doesn’t have the ability to customise capture settings, and we found interpreting the LEDs both simple and confusing – simple pre-ride, confusing when remembering what each LED meant out riding. Battery life is around two hours.
In average conditions, the fast f2.0 lens in either 135 or 180 degree view produces good, usable and vibrant video, which excels in low light, but can struggle with some highlights. Overall sharpness at 180 degrees is inferior to the GoPro, and distortion more acute. In some conditions there’s also an internal reflection from the domed lens cover, but the results are very watchable.