Kayaking with a TomTom Bandit – I’m sold!

For a while now, I have used a GoPro for the bulk of my adventures and specifically my kayaking. Not because I’m obsessed with a GoPro, but purely because at the time of purchase there wasn’t much for choice. Nor value in any another product.

That has changed. TomTom SA gave me the opportunity to use the Bandit. The Bandit is not only a camera designed to compete with GoPro but to me has created its own market entirely – Instant Social Sharing.

When I first heard about the Bandit from Action Gear I didn’t really think it was a value add or anything special. In fact, I thought it was a serious gimmick. That was until I used one as my own for a weekend.

 

 

Now I found my self with the need to buy one purely because I enjoyed it that much.

Here’s why:

(This is not a devices comparison)

“It is so easy; I created my movie on the bonnet of a Land Rover while 4x4ing back to camp after my kayak session.“ – See below

 

Design

The Bandit has a barrel shape and feels more aerodynamic. While you may think that’s irrelevant in kayaking the shape and clip together allow the Bandit to sit nice and close to the helmet which helps when you go under and have torrents of water pushing your boat, body and head in different places.

 

Use

The Bandit is different… its nothing like a GoPro in terms of use. It has a button for On and Record and a separate button for Stop and Off. It also has a simple single control Button with 4 sides that you use to navigate the menu. This makes single hand use incredible easy. The menu also follows a logical order. The device has a sleep mode, which means you don’t have to worry about battery life while you’re not filming and the buttons have a more tactile feel than the GoPro.

When you need to download the footage to a PC or charge the device, the main ‘Brain’ and hardware of the devices pulls out from the inside and acts like a USB, no cables needed no finicky Micro SD Card adapters.

When the battery is low, you can charge it off a PowerTraveller Extreme with no cable or plug it in a MotoMonkey in your car!

 

Battery

This was a big shocker for me. I have never got more than 3hrs of battery from my GoPro and it irks me like mad… When using the Bandit, while constantly changing the setting and using like my GoPro I got 20 gig of video, 4hrs use and it still had 40% battery left… How awesome! We ran a time-lapse of nearly 6hrs and then still had enough battery for a 2hr paddle session – I think that says it all.

 

Video

I’m not a serious fan of shooting in 4k, 2k or even 1080p simply because hardly anyone has the time to wait for a HD video to load on YouTube in SA. So the fact that the 720p option has 120fps is awesome.  The 720p 120fps option plays back in normal speed and can be slowed down with any software. The Bandit also has the option or recording in actual slow-mo. This is cool but I prefer the 120fps option.

The Bandit has Continuous Photo, Burst Photo, Photo, Video, Slow-mo., Time-lapse and night time-lapse modes all with they own options.

A cool feature: When the Bandit is recording a time-lapse, it is recorded in photo format and automatically stitched in camera.

 

Mobile App – The Deal Sealer

I seriously thought this was a gimmick… its not. This is the coolest feature about the Bandit. After your activity, you seamlessly connect the Bandit to your mobile device, select ‘Create a story’, shake the device and within 10 minutes you will have a decent video about your activity.

It is so easy; I created my movie on the bonnet of a Land Rover while 4x4ing back to camp after my kayak session. See the video below

 

 

Considering the price of the Bandit, I don’t see why people are still buying GoPros? I would also like to point out; I’m in now way sponsored by TomTom. I just enjoyed the device that much!

 

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