TomTom has impressed for its GPS navigation systems for many years. Its recent diversification into camera industry and launching of a product called Bandit that can handle capturing of moments and editing them to turn the movie clips into action movies is ready to increase your heart beats. Video quality, user-friendly interface and plethora of features will give a new shape to your best moments. In this article, we will take a tour of all of its features and why it is a worth buying.
The striking white body of Bandit with a red band makes it stand out in terms of external looks. It is sold in single color scheme of white, red and black which can be termed as its signature colors. With a weight of around 190g, Bandit is not part of small action cameras. It feels like a tank, having a cylindrical body which can be termed as the strongest of all action cameras in the market. The material which surrounds its body is ABS plastic, and its fit and finish is excellent and thus there is no doubt that its build quality is extremely impressive. It has got a LCD screen which is situated at top of Bandit camera and is used only for navigating, changing and viewing menus, settings and other in-camera features with the help of a panel of 4 action buttons.
The bottom of the camera has a clever mounting system which allows rotating the camera approximately 180 degrees and rotating mechanism is quite tighter so you can be relieved of its safety.
Both sides of Bandit are curved, which allows to grip it properly while holding and at the same time the red piece wrapping around it, gives a sporty and stylish outer look.
The back of the camera includes a module which is completely removable as it contains USB, slot for microSD and a red record button. This means you can simply plug in the whole module in your laptop and charge it when needed. This eliminates the need of carrying and charging cables. Thus, bandit allows wireless charging.
In combination with its dive lens cover, the camera is fully waterproof. Just a cover can make it waterproof, without making it bulky.
Adventure Pack: £239.99; bike pack: £279.99 (MSRP)
Built-in GPS and motion sensor for tracking heart rates
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, APP
Pros and Cons
Robust and attractive design, catchy to the eyes
4K only available at 15 frames/sec
LCD display makes configuration easy through vast and varied features
No professional-grade video data rate options
Remote control via Smartphone App
No digital image stabilization and LCD screen doesn’t support watching clips on device
Quick video editing capacity through the special features of app.
Needs separate lens cover for waterproofing
Wireless experience: Charging and data transfer without a cable
Bulky and thus requires mount to carry it along else it becomes difficult to carry it.
TomTom has launched the Bandit in two following packs:
A cheaper Adventure Pack which contains Backpack Mount and,
A more expensive Bike Pack containing Flexible Handle Bar mount; Vented helmet mount; Remote Control
Accessories contained in the box:
TomTom Bandit action camera
Adapter for GoPro Mounts
Splash-proof Lens cover
Dive Lens Cover to waterproof the camera
Basic Surface Mounts (1X1)
Bandit may not come with quantities of accessories, but some of the them such as surface mounts and dive lens cover are included.
There are various other accessories which can simply alleviate your shooting experience. Flat and curved-surface adhesive mounts and adapter which are compatible with GoPro as well allows you to mount it to any GoPro and is quite handy. The sticker mounts- flat and rounded can be used to mount it to helmet etc. Tripod adapter is the other one which can be hooked to the mount and is best for longer time-lapse shots. Similarly wrist, pole and board mount and 360-degree rotating mount helps in rotation and make it ideal for various trips.
Bandit allows you to record a glorious 4K UHD video. Its great image sensors combined with its resolution quality give an extra boost to the video. What comes out is the image which is sharp, clear, natural, clean and absolutely fantastic. Bandit allows to record 4K 15 FPS and 2.7K @30FPS as well as 1080p@60FPS, which is one of the loveable features. This is because 15FPS works best for the pictures which involves less motion. This means while shooting a lake, mountain, waterfall or anything involving less motion you can use 15 FPS. Its 30 and 60 FPS are a boon for shooting motion pictures and night clips.
Vibrant and bright image highlighting, all details simply make the most of your memories. The Burst photography mode allows you to take 10 shots in 1 or 2 seconds, making a quick video clip of these quick candid clicks. Its slow motion capturing feature emphasizes your biggest emotions in slow motion.
Another impressive feature of Bandit is that it creates video of shots taken over a period of time. It is pretty amazing to combine all the different clips to frame into one and then see the continuity. So this means that images taken at a preset interval are compiled into a ready to go movie with time-lapse mode. You can select the frequency of shots that should be taken ranging from 5 to 60 seconds. This simply captures stunning transitions like glowing sunsets and sunrises from the peak, waves at a beautiful beach and much more.
So this means that when you are snowboarding Mount Fuji, diving with dolphins in an ocean and spending quality time with your family, one thing which you cannot forget is TomTom Bandit. Its 16 MP resolution will take away your heart simply.
Fully charged battery of TomTom Bandit can record 1080p 30fps continuously for 3 hours. At 60fps, battery runs only for 2 hours because of usage of higher capacity. The camera has an inbuilt feature to enter into standby mode after 2 minutes if not being used. This is just an effort towards power saving. It will turn itself off after 2 hours of standby mode. When you are using the camera through Bandit mobile App through Wi-Fi connectivity, it can also run for 2 hours on a fully charged battery. Its infrastructure impresses through its common module for USB and the battery which is completely removable. So you can remove it and plug it into your laptop and do the charging and transfering of clips at the same time. Also, investing in other Batt-stick which can be easily swapped for a discharged one is very much advisable.
The lens cover waterproofs the camera upto 50m during any high impact activity. Conforming to IPX8 standards, this dive lens cap is very easy to remove and re-apply. The lens cover is basically made of hardened glass that repels water and is scratch resistant too at the same time. This lens helps in eliminating any underwater distortion and thus you can swim with dolphins or shoot in the rain or snow without any tension of damage.
A very rare and less seen feature in action cameras is the sensor capacity. Built-in motion sensors are setup in a way to automatically identify a highlight whenever you have made a big move involving high speed, deceleration or pulling a major stunt. It tracks speed, rotation, alleviation, altitude and much more by the pumping of your heart. You can highlight and tag them in the video to relive those moments while watching the video.
Bandit App allows you to edit hours of action video within few minutes. You just don’t need to download the video in your device first; you can simply edit it and directly upload to your social media platforms or save it to your library. Another broader feature of this app is that it allows you to create a story from the best part of your recordings. The Bandit app is very sophisticated as far as features are concerned as it helps in controlling overlays, adjusting the video resolution and clustering continuous clicks. You can tag the metrics of motion sensors manually with the tagging button on camera or through remote control. With an in-built media server it becomes easy to review the footage instantly using its superfast viewfinder. A simple shake of the phone instantly creates an exciting movie by joining short snippets of the clips automatically. This means it is possible to reduce 2.5 hours of raw footage editing to mere 2.5 minutes. You can watch the tutorial below about how to use TomTom Bandit App to get more detailed information.
TomTom might be new to this action camera field, but Bandit clearly reflects the homework which it has put in technology. Its unconventional looks and unique design make it very much different from the other action cameras available on the market shelf. Finally, leave those cables at home and get ready for wireless experience. Built-in media server, processing and auto-editing through smartphone companion app sets it apart.
Max Wales is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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