Shimano Sport Camera
A small action camera that's decent, but its features need work
- Waterproof and dust-proof by default
- Small and easy to carry
- Ultra-wide viewing angle
- Not all video modes recorded smoothly
- Shimano smartphone app didn't work properly for us
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Fishing enthusiasts and cyclists know all about Shimano reels and gears. Based on that name recognition, the company will no doubt be hoping that users of its products will also have a mind to check out the action cam it's offering. It's called the Shimano Sport Camera, and it's pitched at cyclists, as well as those of you who want to record activities near (or on and under) the water.
It's a camera that's waterproof by default, which means you don't have to fiddle around with any extra housings, except for a supplied underwater lens attachment that twists on. A door on the rear conceals the slot for the microSD card and the micro-USB port, and there is an O-ring in place to keep water out, as well as a lock on the door to prevent it from accidentally opening. Its rating is to a depth of 10m, at which it can last no longer than two hours. That's no problem, because the battery will barely give you that much endurance when shooting video.
Optics are by way of an f/2.0 lens that has a standard angle of 135 degrees and a super-wide angle of 180 degrees, and it sits in front of a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor. It can capture video at up to 1080p resolution, but there are also a couple of other modes that can be used: 720p at 120 frames per second (fps), and 480p at 240fps. Since there is no settings screen on the camera, you have to make do by pressing the mode button on the camera, listening to the beeps, and looking at the colour of the LED indicators. A warning: the beeps the camera makes are loud, and could get quite annoying after a while, depending on how quiet your environment is.
You can change modes intuitively after you've had some practice with the camera. However, unless you remember the order of the modes, and the LEDs that represent them, it can be too easy to start recording in the wrong mode.
There are two LEDs to look at: one for video recording and battery status, and one for still images. Full HD mode is indicated by the video LED being illuminated. A press of the mode button puts it into 720p mode (both LEDs illuminated but the still image LED turns orange), another press puts it into 420p mode (both LEDs illuminated but the still image LED turns green), and a further press puts it into still image mode (only the still image LED is on), at which it captures images up to six megapixels.
The camera remembers which mode it was left in after you switch it off and on again, and you have to remember that, too, so that you can go back to the mode that you want. There is another mode that's present on the camera, and that's Wi-Fi. This can be invoked by pressing the mode button for a few seconds while both LEDs flash green.
In Wi-Fi mode, you can make a direct connection to the camera and then use the Shimano Sport Camera app to access functions such as a live view of what the camera is seeing. We didn't have much luck at all with this feature through our Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone, only getting it to work once, for a few seconds, before the app crashed. Further attempts to use Wi-Fi were met with a message from the app saying we weren't connected to the camera, when we actually were. An update to the app might be in order.
Image quality from the Sport Camera is at its highest in Full HD mode. The wide-view lens puts up a noticeable angle on straight lines, so you will see plenty of bubbling and bobbing in the image when the angles change from twisting and turning your body or vehicle. The definition leans more to the blurry side of things, and there is chromatic aberration on objects such as trees. We didn't have much luck capturing useful footage with the 720p and 420p modes, as the video stuttered.
If you keep this camera in Full HD mode, then it will do a decent job of capturing your action adventure; just don't expect stellar quality. It weighs under 90g on its own, and it's very easy to keep in a pocket. A stand and strap are supplied in the box so that you can mount it to things such as bicycle helmets, and double sided tape and a leash are also offered for situations in which the strap can't be used.
A retail price of around $299 keeps the Shimano Sports Camera competitive, but it's perhaps not a compelling enough price to stop one from considering a consumer GoPro model instead. We like the size of the Shimano and that we don't have to fiddle with a housing to make it waterproof, but we also think it needs work. The Wi-Fi function didn't work for us, and the documentation wasn't clear enough about how to use all the functions that the camera supports — for example, the specs list still image interval recording, but we couldn't find a way to invoke this feature during our limited time with the camera.
Join the newsletter!
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Tivoli PAL BT
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Internet Security
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Office 365 Business Premium isn’t one-size fits all but if you’re the right sized business for it to make sense, there’s a good amount of value to be found in the package’s comprehensive software offering.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Tab S4 review: Freestyle
- 2 Sony WF-SP900 review: One step forward, two steps back
- 3 Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 review: Safety first
- 4 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 5 Lenovo Smart Display review: The bigger, better buy
Latest News Articles
- CES 2019: Arlo expand into the smart home, confirm Arlo Ultra pricing
- Arlo announces 4K HDR wire-free security camera system
- Navman introduces the MiVUE dash cam
- Uniden adds Artificial Intelligence functionality to Wired surveillance range
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20, and we only have one question
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?