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TomTom Bandit action camera launched

TomTom, the company best known for its car satnav devices, is moving into the competitive action camera market with its new TomTom Bandit camera, which ushers in some features that could see it potentially threaten the eponymous GoPro.

The rugged and waterproof camera shoots full HD video with a claimed 3 hour battery life and comes with various mounts, and an adapter to use GoPro mounts. Like the recently introduced Garmin Virb, the Bandit boasts on-board motion sensors and GPS, and it is compatible with Bluetooth heart rate monitors. It costs £299.99.

But its most appealing feature is the promise of easy, simple and on-the-fly video adjustment. We all know it can take ages to download and wade through the hours of video footage from a ride and edit it down to a short clip to then share on YouTube or Facebook, the Bandit has a novel feature.

Using either the manual ‘tag’ button on the rear of the camera (or with an optional remote control) or using the on-board sensors to set automatic tagging points – like speed, altitude or heart rate – the Bandit will highlight the most exciting parts of the ride. Like the high speed descents for example.

Then, with the smartphone app, these tagged video highlights can quickly and simply be edited together. You can ‘shake’ the phone to arrange the tagged highlights, or do it manually. Once you’re happy with the edit, and you can overlay data or titles, you can publish it to the web and share with your friends.

This video offers a good demonstration of just how the ‘shake’ edit feature works:

“We know that the biggest frustration people have with action cameras today is the time and effort it takes to edit,” says Corinne Vigreux, co-founder and managing director, TomTom Consumer. “With TomTom Bandit we’ve cut the editing time down from hours to minutes – all it takes is a shake!”

“We took a simple, but radical approach to solving the editing problem,” says Slobodan Stanisic, lead engineer, TomTom. “With all existing action cameras you first need to download gigabytes of footage to a powerful PC, a process that can take a long time. Then you need to find the highlights, put together a story and format it. We know this often takes hours. Not with the TomTom Bandit. We have designed a camera where the footage is processed on the camera itself, making the editing process far easier and much faster.”

The Bandit camera is being endorsed by professional mountain biker Danny Hart, who says: “The Bandit is the future of action cams, makes the sharing of my run so much easier!”

The full details:

  • Video at 1080p30, 1080p60, 720p60, 720p120
  • Cinematic at 2.7k30, 4k15
  • Native time lapse at 4k30, 1080p30 (various capture intervals)
  • Native slow motion at 1080p x2, 720p x4, WVGA x6
  • Single and burst photo up to 16MP at 10/s
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and USB3.0 connectivity
  • Multiple accessories
  • Smartphone app available on iOS only at launch. An Android version of the app will be available soon.

The Bandit will cost £299.99 and should be available later this month. More at www.tomtom.com

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