Zeal adds new features to its HD Camera goggles
By C.C. Weiss
February 13, 2014
Zeal has established itself as the tech-savvy ski goggle manufacturer. It was the first goggle-maker to adopt Recon Instruments' heads-up display and one of the first to integrate an HD action cam into its goggles. This year, it's revealed the updated HD2 Camera Goggle with upgraded hardware and new features.
With two years under its belt, Zeal's original camera goggle is growing pretty long in the tooth, as far as action cameras go. The second-generation version carries over several primary specs, including 1080p HD capabilities, a 170-degree wide-angle lens, a built-in microphone and an integrated viewfinder inside the frame.
The new version separates itself with several key upgrades, the most notable of which is the integrated Wi-Fi. Users can shoot videos over to the accompanying app on their smartphones for instant playback, much the same way they can do with other actioncams. The HD2 has a new slow motion filming option, and Zeal says the camera performs better in low light, something that it's likely to encounter a lot of on the ski slopes. The buttons are larger, for easier use with gloves, and an integrated temperature sensor rounds out the package.
Still photo capabilities are up to 12MP, from the 8MP of Zeal's first camera goggle two years ago, but this must have been upgraded last year because the current version being sold shares the spec.
On the eyewear side, Zeal has made a smaller, lighter frame that's designed to fit more people. The available lens options have been expanded and include Dark Grey (10 percent visual light transmission), Metal Mirror (28 percent VLT), Copper (40 percent VLT) and the near-clear Sky Blue Mirror (80 percent VLT).
The goggles will retail between US$299 and $399 when they hit the market in time for the 2014-2015 ski season, and accessory lenses will run $40 to $50.
The Zeal rep we spoke to said the company has talked about integrating camera hardware into its greater eyewear line, but has no hard plans to do so at the moment. Those looking for sunglass-cameras will have to stick with available options like Pivotheads.
Source: Zeal Optics