TomTom, the makers of GPS navigation units and sports watches, have joined the Action Camera market with their latest offering – the TomTom Bandit. I was fortunate enough to get to play with one in Cape Town, shortly before they launched in South Africa.
The Bandit was made with one specific goal in mind – to make it faster and easier for action camera users to edit and share footage. Filming your favourite activity has become incredibly popular, with GoPro leading the way in making mountable action cameras that enable anyone to get professional quality footage. One of the problems I have discovered, is that I have neither the software nor the skills to turn all the footage I film into a final product, ready to show my friends. The Bandit has been created to help people like me.
TomTom have designed the Bandit to be more than just a fancy camera. By incorporating sensors to measure speed, G-force, altitude and rotation, the Bandit automatically tags highlights throughout your footage, such as maximum speed, jumps, crashes and sharp corners. You are also able to tag your own highlights by pushing a button either on the camera itself, or on the remote control. The footage, along with all the highlights, are then stored on the internal media server, another feature unique to the Bandit. This server allows footage to be edited and stored without have to waste time transferring large files to your phone or computer. By downloading the mobile app onto your smart phone, you can stream and edit footage over wifi in a matter of seconds. The Shake to Edit feature automatically edits your footage into a highlights clip, ready to share! You are also able to manually crop and join videos on the app, as well as add music to the video from your music library, and even add overlays showing speed, g-force, altitude or heart rate (when linked to a Bluetooth Smart heartrate monitor). For somebody who lacks editing skills like me, this Shake to Edit feature is a game changer!
As far as video quality goes, the TomTom Bandit holds its own. The standard video mode will film in Full HD (1080p60), but you can also select Cinematic mode, which lets you choose between 2.7k30 and 4k15. In effect, that is equivalent specs to the slightly more expensive GoPro Hero4 Silver. The Bandit is able to take 16mp still photos, and has various timelapse and slow motion modes.
In general, I really enjoyed using this new Action Camera. I look forward to spending more time with it, and getting to know some of the other unique features!