Object of Desire: Zeal Optics iON HD Camera Goggles

December 10, 2012

By Dan Havlik

Durable action cameras such as those from GoPro, Contour and, more recently, Sony, are all the rage these days for capturing extreme HD footage of adventure sports. The one downside, particularly when you’re skiing, is that these point-of-view cams add an extra appendage to your helmet. That’s why we like the iON HD Camera from Zeal Optics.

Dedicated ski goggles that shoot HD video and stills are nothing new, but this pair scores points for offering both high-quality imaging features and stylish goggle functionality for skiing. The iON HD Camera can shoot full 1080p or 720p HD video and will capture 8-megapixel still photos, while sporting a 170-degree lens with infinity focus to help you shoot jumps, tumbles and scenic mountain views. The camera and lens also automatically adjust for variable lighting conditions, which is a big help when you’re moving from dark shadows to bright snow.

You can play your HD clips and photos back immediately inside the goggles on a built-in viewfinder and there are big, glove-friendly buttons on the side of the frame for playing, pausing and fast-forwarding. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will let you shoot for a maximum of three hours.

For skiing purposes, the lenses have an anti-fog coating so things don’t get blurry and there’s 100 percent UV protection for bright days. The only thing the iON HD Camera doesn’t offer is a guarantee of snow. After last season’s virtually powder-free winter, you’ll just have to hope Mother Nature produces more of the white stuff this time around.

Price: $399