So you want to buy an action camera?
So do I.
You’re willing to drop the dosh but you want to make 100% sure that you get the absolute best gadget to suit your needs?
That’s why I’ve done a quick comparison between, what I think, are the current flagships on the market.
The TomTom Bandit vs GoPro Hero4 Black.
Here’s a quick comparison of features to help you along:
The basic TomTom Bandit pack is, reportedly, going to retail for R5799. However, their website currently has it priced at R5599. Good luck trying to buy it though – it doesn’t seem to have been added to the online store yet and the other spot I found it at – Shop and Ship – doesn’t have stock yet (interestingly enough they’ve also priced it at R5599…. so what is it?! Grrr).
The GoPro Hero4 Black retails at R7999 from Cape Union Mart. Sufficient price jump there, but if you budget in the time I spent trying to hunt down the TomTom online locally… much of a muchness?
Not really. The TomTom wins the price battle.
The TomTom brags a cylindrical shape which is far easier to use in hand held situations. I like the rotating option it comes with and I think the shape is far more appealing than the box look we’ve come to expect from GoPro. On the top of the device you have a stop button, screen display, 4 direction pad and then another button on the back of the camera. The buttons take some getting used to to determine what each does and how it works – so I’d suggest practicing a bit before you head out.
The GoPro Hero4 Black is the usual GoPro box shape. You have a small screen on the front to get an idea of basic settings and then it operates off three buttons: the on/off button on the front, record on the top and your settings button on the side. If you’re familiar with GoPro gadgets you’ll find it pretty easy to use.
Truth be told – I think the TomTom Bandit is “prettier” when you’re running around with it stuck to your head.
The little things
The TomTom Bandit doesn’t come with cables. It’s rather clever in how it is set up to charge and transfer footage. So you’re not going to need to worry about the extras. The GoPro Hero4 Black needs the usual USB cable to get your footage from your device to your PC. We’ll chat about apps later.
The Bandit is not waterproof. It’s splash proof. If you want to take it in the water you’re going to need to invest in a water proof lens cover or level up and spend extra on the “Premium” pack when you purchase. The GoPro Hero4 Black comes with the required waterproof casing. Both action cameras take Micro SD cards.
Battery life on both is impressive. The thing about GoPro is that they’ve been around long enough to have a host of accessories created for the devices. They have everything from dog harnesses to, well, I’m a big fan of the dog harness. TomTom have included a GoPro Adapter in the base pack… sneaky and smart.
Both action cameras have complementary apps to allow you to view footage on the go. However, the TomTom Bandit leads the pack here with what you can actually do in app. You’re able to edit on the go AND you can create a 1 minute highlights reel from hours of saved footage just by shaking your phone. We show you how to do that in our video which you can watch here. You’re then able to share this footage to social media almost immediately which is rather convenient and fun.
GoPro’s PC editing software is in a class of its own. Both gadgets allow you to press buttons and mark highlights during filming which are either tagged in app if you’re using TomTom or in the editing sequence on the GoPro. The GoPro app, while not letting you shake and edit allows you to edit frames, try different settings and really perfect your shot.
When it comes down to it I feel strongly that the apps for these devices are aimed at two very different users. The TomTom Bandit user wants to be able to quickly grab cool footage and share without having to do any actual work while the GoPro Hero4 Black user is rather intent on creating an incredible piece of content before sharing. You’ll need to decide which one you are.
The actual footage
The GoPro Hero4 Black shoots 4K at 30fps. It offers up 16MP photos and shoots 1080p at 120fps.
The TomTom Bandit shoots 4K at 15fps. It also offers 16MP photos and shoots 1080p at 60fps.
The Bandit also lets you shoot timelapse videos and slow motion options but, honestly, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Hero4 which just offers up a host of crazy features that you’ll spend hours playing with and getting excited about.
The TomTom Bandit vs GoPro Hero4 Black – Final Verdict?
The TomTom Bandit is cute and it does offer up everything you’d likely want in an Action Cam. It’s a delightfully fun device that makes editing and sharing video far simpler than any other… BUT, The GoPro Hero4 Black is in a class of its own.
While I highly rate both devices it comes down to the following:
You either want an action camera that lets you record some fun video you can share with your mates or you’re looking to produce mind blowing mini productions that will have everyone in awe.
The latter requires the GoPro Hero4 Black.