Review: Liquid Image Snow Goggles

It’s snow season here in Australia and many of us enjoy skiing and snowboarding the fresh powder of the slopes. The problem is that it can often be a...

Liquid Image Snow Goggles with video camera

It’s snow season here in Australia and many of us enjoy skiing and snowboarding the fresh powder of the slopes. The problem is that it can often be a very solo experience and while you can tell your friends and family that you went, nothing beats showing them. A more practical use for recording is to analyse runs and see where you could improve.

Hardware

These video recording snow goggles from Liquid Image record in 720p or 1080p. You can also snap photos, but video is really the focus here. Powered for around by a 1200mAh lithium Ion battery, these goggles will record for 1.5-2 hours of action.

The videos are captured to a MicroSD card, fortunately there’s a 4GB card that comes with the goggles to get you started. There’s also an include MicroSD to SD Card converter for easy transferring, for those without an SD card reader, there’s also a USB port which also charges the battery. You will however burn through 4GB pretty fast especially with the 1080p model, so you’ll need to pickup a bigger card, fortunately prices are crashing for storage right now.

The wide angle lens aims to capture as much of your field of view as possible and does so with a 136 degree range. The videos produced are .mov files compressed with the H.264 codec to deliver high quality at a reasonable file size.

There’s also a stereo microphone on-board but don’t expect studio quality recordings from it. Most of the time the sporting videos produced with these goggles will be overlaid with music, so it’s not a big deal.

Operation

Something that should improved in future versions of the goggles is the placement and feedback of the buttons. The goggles are operated by 2 push buttons on the front-left. While playing at home these seem easy enough to operate, but in full snow gear with bulky gloves it is not easy. A better placement would be on top, it’s a subtle difference, but much easier to access.

The goggles have a small LCD screen inside with multi-coloured LEDs. The screen simply displays the number of files on the memory card, it’s down to the colours of the LEDs to inform you what mode you’re in. To start out hold the bottom button for a second or two. The goggles turn on. Tapping the top shifts you between photo and video mode (and 720/1080 mode). Tapping the bottom button begins recording and begins the LED blinking. Press it again and the recording stops and video file is created. To turn off the goggles, you have to hold in the bottom button again for a couple of seconds, with no feedback you are left to guess that its been long enough. If you’re successful, you’ll hear 3 beeps and they are turned off.

As you can tell from these instructions, operation is quite complex, especially when you’re in the middle of the action, so study up, know them well before you go or you’ll miss capturing that critical moment.

 

Gallery

Price and availability

The Impact Series HD 1080P Video Camera MX Goggles come in black or red with grey hydro graphics. They retail for $499. To find out where you can get your hands on these goggles, head to www.activeoutthere.com.au, thanks to those guys for providing the 1080p review unit.

Overall

The extra battery, lens and recording electronics certainly do add some weight compared to standard goggles, but for the ability to record, it’s a great tradeoff. When you look at the alternatives like a helmet mounted GoPro camera that is comparatively big and bulky, the Liquid Image goggles are a great choice.

For some of us going to the snow is a frequent event, others go very rarely. I’d definitely recommend anyone heading to the snow pickup a pair to capture that snow weekend. The 720p version are great value, I recently purchased my own at $149 from Catch of the day.

The 1080p version is a tougher sell, while the camera records a few more pixels, the extra price is hard to justify when the 720 version does such a good job. Its also worth keeping in mind that although we looked at the snow version, Liquid Image also make plenty of other versions from mountain bike riding to underwater diving.

More info @ Liquid Image Co

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This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn’t seeking credit.