Following hot-on-the-heels of the Garmin Virb X and XE, the TomTom Bandit is the latest action camera from a firm best-known for its GPS devices which aims to do something different to GoPro through the use of built-in sensors. In addition to recording data which can be presented visually in videos, the Bandit automatically tags action-packed moments and makes it easy to compile them in videos with an automatic "shake to edit" function.
The TomTom Bandit uses a 16-megapixel CCD sensor paired with a wide angle lens, and is from the cylindrical-shaped school of action camera design, like the Contour, Panasonic HX-A1 and the Sony Action Cam Mini. While there's no monitor for framing shots, a simple display screen shows settings and makes navigating options easy. The camera is waterproof to 50 m (164 ft) without the need for additional body housing, but will need an optional dive lens cover attaching before going that deep.
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Video recording is possible at 4K resolution, though only at the all-too-common and not-overly-usable 15 fps (frames per second). By 2.7K, frame-rate reaches 30 fps, and by the time you're at Full HD 1080p it's up to 60 fps. For slow motion video HD 720p recording is possible at 120 fps. Still 16-megapixel images can be shot at speeds up to 10 fps and interval shooting (from one second to one minute) can be used to produce 4K or 1080p time lapse videos at 30 fps.
As with the Garmin Virb X and XE, one of the key features of the Bandit is its use of built-in motion and GPS sensors to record and visually present that data in videos. While data tracking isn't quite as comprehensive as the Garmin duo, location, speed, altitude, G-force, acceleration and heart rate (with the use of an external heart rate monitor) can all be recorded and visualized.
Another highlight of the TomTom Bandit is the way in which videos can be edited together quickly and easily. Because the camera has a built-in media server, this can be done in-camera using a smart-device, meaning footage does not need to be downloaded to a computer first. Also, in edit mode, shaking the smart-device will automatically find exciting moments (as determined by the sensors or manual tagging) and compile them into a video which can be further edited before sharing.
Wireless connectivity is available for sharing content or remotely controlling the Bandit camera. Along with using the smartphone app which can act as a viewfinder for composing shots and controlling settings, the camera can be controlled via an optional remote control. In addition to this Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart connectivity, the camera features a Batt-Stick unit which includes a battery, a microSD card and a USB 3.0 connection allowing it to be plugged directly into a computer for charging and downloading footage.
As you would expect for an action camera, there are plenty of mounts and accessories available for the Bandit. A standard version will be available with a splash proof lens cover, surface mounts and a GoPro mount adapter, while a premium pack will also include a remote control, handle bar mount, a dive lens cover, a 360 pitch mount, and a power cable.
The TomTom Bandit is due to hit European store shelves from May and will be available elsewhere in the world in the coming months. It will cost US$430 for the standard pack, or $500 for the premium offering with the additional accessories.
You can check out the TomTom Bandit in the promo video below.
Product page: TomTom Bandit