“Dude! I’m joining the team that’s developing India’s first ever adventure camera!!!” That was the first ever thing I heard about Frodo Cam, from Tarun Gupta, around March 2015. Tarun is an ex-colleague and a close friend. In the last two years, we’ve collaborated with each other for various projects. He’s got a psychedelic brain behind his bearded face and over time, I’ve developed a great respect for this guy.
Before I heard about it from Tarun, I didn’t know anything about Frodo or NexGear, the company behind Frodo. But over the last year Motonomous, my ad agency, has collaborated with the guys at Frodo while the camera was being developed. Frodo has launched their crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo, and is looking for your support! And yeah, there’s an exclusive secret perk for Motonomous readers. You’ll find the link to the perk at the end of this blog post!
But more on that later…
So when Tarun told me he’s joining NexGear, I was curious and frankly a little skeptical.
There’s a mind boggling variety of adventure/action cameras available in the market. From the novice beginner to the pro athlete, there is something for everyone. Did we really need another adventure cam?
I asked this question to Tarun and he gave me an answer that got me on the edge of my seat.
Yes, there are a 100 different action cams already, and no, maybe we don’t need another one.
But yes, the world also needs a Frodo, because of the one thing it can do that no other adventure cam can. Frodo has an “auto- edit” feature. Yes, you read that right!
Frodo comes with a built in intelligent evolutionary algorithm, which has been developed by the guys at NexGear. This algorithm goes through the footage that you feed the app, recognizes the best moments from that footage and then stacks the selected clips chronologically in an aesthetic manner. You can slap on music from your library and within moments you have a ready to share, decently edited short video!
I’ve been extensively using a GoPro for the last 2-3 years. Whenever I ride out of town, I always have my DSLR and my GoPro with me. I come back from every trip with a shitload (read gigabytes) of footage. Most of it is OK, but some of it is kickass! But the problem is, since the time I captured it, almost all of that footage has never seen the light of day.
And it’s not that I don’t know how to edit. I know the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro. But manual editing requires a special kind of patience, especially when you have to go through hours and hours of footage, with the objective of making a five minute video.
If you’ve ever used an action camera, then I’m sure you have a dedicated hard disk lying at the back of your drawer, full of memories from your travels. And that is what they end up becoming; only memories. Because half the action cam users don’t know manual editing, while those who do, hardly ever spend the time doing it.
And that’s where Frodo comes in. It just solves this problem of editing your footage in such a seamless manner that, once you use Frodo, you begin to wonder why no one thought of offering it before.
Over the last one year, I’ve been pestering Tarun and team to let me use Frodo. Finally last Saturday I got that chance! The NexGear team gave me Frodo for one full day and told me I could take it anywhere. So I called up a few of my riding buds (Amogh, Divy, Adhip; thanks for showing up!) and we went trail-busting with Frodo, the best way I could spend a Sunday!
Frodo cam looks like a wrist watch. The dial is the camera block and the strap is the battery. You can start shooting right off the wrist. The best part is, with Frodo, you don’t need a horde of mounts and accessories. Thanks to its native form factor, you can strap it almost anywhere. At the most, the only mount you need is a tripod mount, which also gives you the ability to attach it to other accessories you might have.
Since I was on my motorcycle, I wanted to mount the Frodo on my helmet. I expected to have to use my GoPro mounts, but I just had to stretch the elastic strap of Frodo around my helmet. It was that easy! I jumped, drifted, whooped and blasted through the trail, but Frodo stayed in its place throughout.
Typically, I’d have switched off my GoPro at the end of the ride, come home and saved the footage somewhere, but with Frodo, I just had to start their smart phone app. It auto syncs all the clips, a few of which I selected to try out the auto edit feature. I selected the footage, I selected one of the five auto-editing styles, I selected the music and I hit go!
And here’s the video that Frodo made for me within minutes, with the help of its intelligent algorithm. See it for yourself and tell me what this cam can do is not amazing!!!
Here’s the footage that Frodo’s intelligence decided not to select. As you can see, Frodo seems to have made the right decisions.
I must have shot about 20-30 minutes of footage on Frodo that day. To prove my point about typically how most of the footage you capture is monotonous, here is a 10 minute long clip. If I were to go through this and manually select the best parts, I could do that. But in the past, I’ve postponed it as much as possible, and now Frodo can do it for me in a flash!
Frodo does what it claims. I want this camera to get into production as fast as possible, so that I can strap it to my wrist and ride! If you like what you see, go ahead and back them! The good people at NexGear have given me access to an exclusive perk available only for the readers of the Motonomous blog.
Secret Perk: 140$ Including Shipping
If you still need more reasons before you swipe that card, give me a call and I’ll take you trail-busting with Frodo!
Maybe, just maybe, the GoPro slayer is here.
Make in India. Back in India!
Note: This review is in no way sponsored or backed by Frodo Cam or NexGear.
"Give me a motorcycle, a camera, a good book and I can rule the world", says Aditya.
Aditya is the lead strategist and conceptualiser at Motonomous and also heads the content, design, photo and video teams.
Aditya bought his first motorcycle in 2009, and has been travelling on two wheels ever since...