Get great underwater footage with TomTom's new Bandit Action Cam software

TomTom announced earlier this year that it would expand beyond GPS navigation products into the crowded and competitive arena of action cameras with a product called the Bandit. While it may not stack up against the latest GoPro models in terms of video capabilities, TomTom hopes to differentiate itself through software. And now, the firm has added a feature to push even closer to that goal.

Dubbed Underwater Scene Mode, the new feature comes in handy when shooting, well, underwater. One common frustration in underwater photography is the blue/green colorcast that leads to low contrast images with false colors. It’s not altogether impossible to fix in post production, but most action camera users tend to prefer less time at a computer, not more. With Underwater Scene Mode enabled, the Bandit automatically color-corrects footage, improving color and contrast. In the demonstration video above, the effect is immediately noticeable and the results are significantly improved.

TomTom’s goal from the beginning with the Bandit has been to make the camera as capable as possible without the user needing to edit footage on a computer. Thanks to its built-in GPS and accelerometer (another feature not found on GoPro cameras, although common to Sony Action Cams), the Bandit can automatically tag exciting moments in the footage based on speed, G-force, altitude, or even heart rate with an optional chest strap. With the iOS and Android apps, users can easily assemble clips into a final video right from their phones, in the field.

The new Underwater Scene Mode is TomTom’s latest move toward providing an all-in-one solution for action videographers. The addition of Underwater Scene Mode may not be terribly exciting to everyone (nor is it exactly novel — as mentioned by The Verge, Sony’s Action Cameras have long had the same feature) but for anyone who has tried and failed in the past to get great snorkeling footage, it’s a solid reason to consider the Bandit over a GoPro.

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