TomTom Bandit Action Camera (Review)
The TomTom Bandit (Bandit) is an action camera that is for those who are into sports and other high energy activities. It captures moments in time in several formats, from HD to 4k, single to burst photos, slow motion, time-lapse to Cinematic video, and viewable in normal or wide angle. The options are many. Photo size is from 8 to 16 megapixels. The suggested storage media to use is a Class 10 microSD card on which to store your video and pictures. The Bandit allows you to quickly capture, share, and continue your activities with few interruptions to the action. The TomTom Bandit Action Camera is the ultimate selfie machine. Film yourself in the action and post it. Done.
Bandit Highlight Video
While reviewing this camera, I received many comments and questions from passersby. Because of its unusual appearance, people would approach me for a closer look. Some thought it was a robot at first. Once I told them it was an action camera, they related it to a GoPro, but commented that it looks much nicer. They liked the shape and the overall design, instead of looking like a box.
Navigating the menus is easy to do by toggling through each section to select your options. There two buttons and one directional pad, which helps you flip though the choices. The main button, with the “star” on it, is your action button, both for capturing events and powering on the unit. While moving through the menus, all you need to do is use the directional pad to traverse the choices. Once you decide in which format you want to capture, you can select the “star” button and begin filming or taking photos. Using a 32 GB Class 10 microSD you can capture several hours of continuous footage.
|Item Weight||6.6 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||3.7 x 1.5 x 2.1 inches|
|Item model number||1LB0.001.00|
|Batteries:||1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)|
|Warranty||1 year limited|
Sharing the video can be done in three basic ways. First, you can connect to your cell phone via the wireless network that the Bandit broadcasts. Second, you can connect through the USB. And third, you can remove the microSD card and use a memory reader. If you use the first method you can use the app, Bandit, which is downloadable from play Store for the Android or AppStore for apple phone. At that point you can let the app create a highlight video. There are several ways that can be done as well. First, and the most fun and simple, is to shake the phone. After the quick shake you have 60 to 90 seconds of video ready to play and share on your social media accounts. Second, you can select the high points yourself and lay out the time line. You can add the overlay options with either choice. The first option is your music and the other two options are speed and g-force. See the video above for a demonstration of speed.
There are a few things that this product does lack and documentation is certainly one of them. What I mean by that is there is limited information about how to use the product and how to get your fun video to the people in your social circles. The menu it is intuitive and easy to use, so a lot of documentation might not be necessary for those who like to dive right in. One of the things that I learned rather quickly by experimentation is that I had to first enable the Wi-Fi broadcast from the Bandit. You are then able to connect your phone to the Bandit network. Once you establish connectivity between your phone and the Bandit, you have the ability to edit, preview, control, and create videos from previously recorded activities.
“The TomTom Bandit Action Camera is the ultimate selfie machine.”
Even though the documentation on how to use the Bandit is poor as I wrote earlier, the menu is much like a Timex watch from the old school days. You are able to quickly determine what to do and how to get there. We are now in a society of instant gratification in that we all love the quick and easy how to. It’s like your old Timex watch and like the apple IPhone–really did you ever read the instructions on how to use your watch or your iPhone? No, probably not. Using the Bandit is as simple as the IPhone and the Timex watch are. The ease of use and built-in instant gratification functionality allows you to share your videos “in the moment” and not hours or days later, but actually while the action is still fresh.
Why it’s Frugal: The Bandit is frugal because you spend no time creating a highlights video. Just film, shake, and repeat. Time is money and that’s a frugal use of your time. At $399, it’s roughly the same price as the GoPro Hero 4, but does so much more and seems more rugged for your investment. Plus it is water resistant out of the box.
I have more than 15 years of video editing and production experience and within in a few minutes I produced and posted video of my events to social media. Combining my passion of video/photography and bicycle riding has been a great combination for the TomTom Bandit Action Camera. In the past bringing a bike riding video from filming to editing, to producing, to viewing was a really big deal. Whereas this product allows me to film in the moment and to pass that glimpse of passion to those in my social network, even before my heart stops pounding and the before the sweat has a chance to dry on my face. Before the Bandit, I would have to ingest the video, preview the video, find the high points, edit the video manually, produce the video, and then manually upload the video.
Recommendation: Buy it and get ready to have fun.