Why TomTom Bandit can take on the Action Cam market and win
When you think of TomTom you immediately think of a handheld GPS unit which then leads you to wonder if there are still people who buy a GPS unit as the mobile phone has a built-in navigation system. These were my thoughts as I was invited by TomTom to attend their Media and Partner event in Amsterdam.
I was promised something “wow” – and TomTom delivered on this promise as it announced the TomTom Bandit – an action camera!
TomTom has entered the exciting category of the action cam (think GoPro) and has come out fighting with a very strong offering as the Bandit just seems to everything right. All the irritations of the other action cameras are a non-issue with Bandit.
I sat with Peter-Frans Pauwels, Co-founder of TomTom and Head of Product Innovation, to chat about the TomTom Bandit action cam:
TomTom Bandit solves action cam issues
Typically with an action cam, you have one button to switch it on and the same button to switch it off. This is a frustration for users as it is very simple to make a mistake and turn off the camera instead of on thereby losing the entire shoot. Bandit has two separate buttons in two separate locations so you can confidently switch it on even if you are wearing gloves and the camera is mounted to your helmet.
Battery life has been an issue for the action cam. The Bandit cam comes with a 1900 mAh battery which allows you to record up to 3 hours of 1080p at 30 frames per second. When the camera needs to be charged, no longer do you need to carry any cables with you as the entire camera untwists allowing you to stick it directly into your computer’s USB port.
The camera is splashproof with no additional casing (shower with it or get wet in the rain) and even waterproof if you add a lens cover allowing you to take it down to 50 meters into water.
The Bandit has slow-motion capability, time-lapse and can snap a 16MP photo too.
The Real Differentiator
Action cam video are posted all over the internet allowing you to think that you can shoot the same clips too. However, what you soon discover is the editing is hard. It takes hours just to find the various action shots let alone adding music and cool effects. Even if you do manage to get through this process, you need to splice all the action shots together before uploading it to social networks to show your friends. This is a painful and slow process which results in hours worth of work and most people give up at this point.
The real differentiator is that the TomTom Bandit is a Media Server that intelligently processes your footage highlighting for your the exact spots in the film where the action shots took place. Together with the app, these are easily put together so you can share them with your social network. If you want to make the task even simpler, simply shake the phone and the Bandit will create your action movie for you. No more file-copying between the camera and the computer just to begin editing.
Everything is done via the connection from the camera to the phone.
Availability and Price
UPDATE: The TomTom Bandit will be available in South Africa from 17th September at the following price options:
Base Pack: with the TomTom Bandit, lens cap, 1900MAH Batt-Stick and these Mounts: flat and curved adhesive disc mounts, GoPro adaptor will sell at R 5799
Premium Pack: This sells at R6799 which will include the TomTom Bandit, lens cap, 1900MAH Batt-Stick and these Mounts: flat and curved adhesive disc mounts, GoPro adaptor, 360 pitch mount, bike mount, and these accessories: IPX8 lens cap, remote control, charging cable
The Euro price is 429 or 309 pounds on pre-order here (thank you @Golft_witter for the link). The unit will be available for sale in Europe “within weeks” and for South Africa, it could be as early as June or Quarter 3 2015. No Rand price is available at this stage.
If you want to see more Cameras For Hiking And Backpacking check out GloboSurf!