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In May 2014, Google released its camera glasses, which it thought would revolutionize the camera and eyeglasses industry at the same time. For various reasons, this did not change the world beyond the initial surprise and awe at such a device. The rise of GoPros and other action cameras led to a change in how we perceive footage captured. The expanding popularity of action footage led to more and more action glasses as the demand for more point-of-view action rose. Google may not have revolutionized the industry; nevertheless, there is still a market for the best camera glasses in 2023.
- Best overall: Ray-Ban Stories
- Best video camera: Snapchat Spectacles 3
- Best sports action: OhO 4K Ski Goggles
- Best 4K: iVUE Vista Action Camera Glasses
- Best budget: Sheawasy Camera Glasses
How we picked the best smart glasses
The team at PopPhoto has decades of experience in most photography and technological situations. Comfort was one of the primary considerations when selecting the options on this list. As a long-time glasses wearer, I know the discomfort one gets from wearing them and how important comfort is. Many other factors were considered, too, such as style and use, and of course budget.
The best camera glasses: Reviews & Recommendations
Best overall: Ray-Ban Stories
Why it made the cut: Everyone has heard of Ray-Bans! You have, I have, Lionel Ritchie has (probably). The point is that Ray-Bans are the world’s leading sunglasses manufacturer. So if they say they’re making smart camera glasses with a 105° field of view, then you stand up and take notice.
- Image quality: Up To 2592 x 1944px
- Video quality: Up to 1414 x 1414 at 30fps
- Field of view: 105°
- Privacy light: Yes
- Weight: 1.76oz
- Touch control
- Comes with a charging case
- Can’t record for long
Ray-Bans are cool. Well cooler than me, anyway. When you wear Ray-Bans, you just feel more confident. And these camera glasses are just as cool as standard Ray-Ban sunglasses. They look stunning and make you feel stunning because you are stunning. They come in a variety of designs and colors to suit many different people, from Wayfarers to round glasses. In addition, you can get clear glasses or polarized sunglasses, so you have multiple options to choose from.
Wearing these won’t be uncomfortable as they only weigh 1.76oz, which is good for a pair of glasses packed with technology. Ray-Ban worked with Facebook to build these glasses from the ground up, and they allow you to record and share stories via Facebook using the phrase “Hey Facebook.”
The field of view is nice and wide at 105°, enabling you to capture more of the scene. With three built-in microphones to capture sound in all directions and built-in speakers, you can take calls and listen to music while on the go. And the arm of the glasses has a touchpad, so you can easily take a photo or turn the volume up by tapping the side.
The downside, though, is that you can only record for 30 seconds at a time. But thirty seconds is the maximum length for Instagram Story videos, so this makes sense. If you want longer videos, look elsewhere, but the quality these camera glasses ooze makes you wonder, “Why am I wearing normal glasses?!”
Best video camera: Snapchat Spectacles 3
Why it made the cut: Snapchat took camera glasses one step further and added a second camera to allow you to record in 3D, giving you the opportunity to make fun and unique videos.
- Image quality: 1728 x 1729 pixels in 3D
- Video quality: 1216 x 1216 pixels at 60 fps in 3D
- Field of view: 105° in 2D, 86° in 3D
- Privacy light: No
- Weight: 1.99oz
- Two cameras to record in 3D
- Four built-in microphones
- Wirelessly syncs to your phone
- Edit and share on Snapchat
- VR compatible
- Not weather resistant
Even Snapchat is getting into the camera glasses industry, and the Snapchat Spectacles 3 stand out amongst the rest. The most unique feature of the Spectacles 3 is the 3D-capable camera; it has two cameras that work in sync to give you a three-dimensional video. You can wirelessly sync to your phone, where you can then edit and share on Snapchat.
You can relive your memories captured by the Spectacles 3 in virtual reality (VR), as it comes with a 3D viewer that simply requires your phone. Furthermore, you can use the glasses as an augmented reality (AR) device and add things like birds flying around you or confetti, which can be a fun way to spend the day! Finally, with not one, not two, but four built-in microphones, the Spectacles 3 will ensure every sound is perfectly captured.
These features will set you back quite a lot as it’s a costly pair of glasses. If you have the money, though, it can be a fun pair of camera glasses to have. Another factor is that it’s not water-resistant. That may not be the be-all and end-all, but given that this camera allows you to use AR in your surroundings, some weather sealing would have been a great bonus feature, especially at the price point.
Best sports action: OhO 4K Ski Goggles
Why it made the cut: Yes, these are ski goggles and not glasses. Having said that, James Bond regularly had chases along down some stunning mountains, so we’re allowing this! You can capture the best action with 4K at 24fps or step down to 1080p but get smoother action at 60fps.
- Photo quality: 24MP 6000 x 4000 px
- Video quality: 1080p/60fps or 4K/24fps
- Field of view: 70°
- Privacy light: Yes
- Weight: 1.17 pounds
- Great frame rate
- High quality photos
- Wi-fi for live streaming
- 60fps at 1080p
- Limited to snow sports
Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and many other social media platforms provide the ability to live stream your life. So whether it’s your daily commute, brunch with your friends, or that epic ski trip, the OhO 4K Ski Glasses have built-in Wi-Fi for live streaming those unforgettable moments in life.
These goggles can record 1080p at 60fps, which is fantastic, especially for those fast-paced skiing moments. The high frame rate will ensure clarity and smoothness in your videos. It can also record in 4K, but it is limited to 24fps. This frame rate is still reasonable, but it is not the best, especially if you want to slow down your footage at all.
These goggles weigh in at 1.17 pounds, which is quite a bit heavier than standard ski goggles. But, you do get a high-quality camera built-in and don’t need to fuss with attaching a GoPro to your helmet. In addition, the goggles are designed to be fog-resistant, have UV protection, and remain well ventilated.
Best 4K: iVUE Vista Action Camera Glasses
Why it made the cut: The iVue Vista Action Camera Glasses have up to 4K resolution for high-quality footage. Plus, they are shock and water resistant, so you can worry less while documenting action.
- Photo quality: 8MP
- Video quality: 720p/120fps, 1080p/60fps, and 4K/24fps
- Field of view: 70°
- Privacy light: Yes
- Weight: 9.9oz
- High frame rate
- TR90 shock-resistant and water-resistant at IP44
- Polarized lenses
- Comes with clear lenses
- Up to 4K resolution
- Short battery life
- No option to expand storage
The iVue Vista Action Camera Glasses is a great pair of camera glasses that supports up to 4K resolution with 24fps, the standard frame rate for movies. If you want or need a faster frame rate, such as for slow-motion or action shots, you have to step down to a lower resolution. 1080p records at 60fps, and you can even get 120fps at 720p. Essentially, you can do fast-paced action shots at 720p and turn it into slow motion if you want to.
The camera glasses also have a nifty vibrating feature when you take a photo or start/stop recording so that you know if you got the shot. The iVue comes with 64GB of built-in memory, but unfortunately, you cannot expand this further as there is no microSD card slot.
The frames are TR90 frames, which means that they are very flexible and durable. Even if you drop them, they should be fine. The lenses are also polarized, so you can wear them on a sunny day or anywhere there are bright lights and reflections. Finally, the glasses are IP44 rated, meaning that they are dust and rain resistant, allowing you to use them outdoors in light rain. Of course, heavy torrential rain or submerging them underwater will break them, so please don’t do that!
One thing to note is that battery life isn’t great at only 1 hour of recording. That should be plenty for most scenarios, but be aware if you plan to take these into the backcountry with you. Finally, at 9.9oz, it’s the heaviest of the true glasses options on our list. It’s fine for the short term, but you’ll find the iVue begins to feel more uncomfortable for long-term wear. The upside is that you will need to charge it after an hour, which gives you some rest time!
Best budget: Sheawasy Camera Glasses
Why it made the cut: The Sheawasy camera glasses give you full HD video at 30fps at an extremely budget-friendly price.
- Photo quality: 2MP
- Video quality: 1080p/30fps
- Field of view: 70°
- Privacy light: Yes
- Weight: 5.3 ounces
- Unisex design
- Easy to use
- Video quality is average
- Memory limited to 64GB
The Sheawasy Camera Glasses look like a standard pair of glasses and can be worn by men or women because of their unisex design.
They can shoot 1080p at 30fps with a 70° field of view, which is plenty wide to capture most things that you need. While there is no built-in memory, it does have a microSD card slot, and there is the ability to expand up to 64GB. That isn’t a huge amount of storage, but these glasses don’t put out very large files, so it shouldn’t be an issue. The camera can record up to 60-90 minutes with a full battery.
The Sheawasy Camera Glasses are also really easy to use. To record video, you long-press the button on the side and short press for photos. It’s as simple as that.
These camera glasses are very affordable, but the video quality is average as a result. If you’re on a budget and want a pair of camera glasses for some fun or to try them before you purchase something more premium, then the Sheawasy Camera Glasses are a great beginner camera glass.
Things to consider before buying the best smart glasses
Those that don’t wear glasses long-term will never fully understand the discomfort of wearing one. You get marks on the bridge of your nose, and if not fitted correctly, they’ll be either too tight or too loose, both of which are frustrating to no end. Therefore, getting camera glasses that are comfortable is incredibly important.
Weight is a critical factor in these glasses. They will, naturally, be heavier than normal glasses because of all the technology, which puts more pressure on the bridge of your nose. Camera glasses vary in weight from around 1oz to 7oz or more, depending on the type of camera. So if you plan on wearing yours for long periods, be sure to go with something lighter.
If you have glasses on your face that also double up as a camera, you’re already cool, but you must also look cool. Unique designs will make you stand out in the crowd. Alternatively, some look like an average pair of glasses if you’d like to be more subtle.
Some camera glasses have built-in storage, but most can also take microSD cards, the smaller cards found in your phone or GoPro. If you will be using your camera glasses a lot, it’s essential to have as much memory as possible. 32GB is the bare minimum that you would need, though the exact amount is dependent on your settings and how frequently you use the camera.
Camera glasses are still relatively new in terms of technology, but many are already capable of 1080p. The frame rate is just as important because this will determine how smooth your footage is or if you can slow your footage down later. The higher the number, the better, especially if action is involved. Are you doing a backflip on a ski jump? No problem, just be sure to get a high frame rate!
The price of camera glasses can vary depending on the features it has. Prices can go from as low as $30 to over $400. Naturally, as the price goes up, so does the quality of the camera. You’d also gain additional features, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for quick social media sharing, which gives you more entertainment value for your money.
Q: What are some features of smart glasses?
The features of smart glasses depend on how much you invest and the particular glasses, but most devices can quickly begin recording, for example, by a touch or a swipe of a button. In addition, most have a light that will turn on when recording; however, the actual light varies from device to device.
The more premium camera glasses will have other features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3D cameras. These allow you to share your videos much more easily on social media instead of first needing to upload them to a computer.
Q: How do I clean camera glasses?
To clean camera glasses, you’ll want to use a microfiber cloth. Do not put them under water to wash them. While some are waterproof or water resistant, the safer bet is just using a cloth. Hold them at the bridge of the glasses so you don’t put undue pressure on the rest of the frame, and wipe in small circles. If something stubborn is on the lenses or camera, purchase a lens cleaning solution. We’d also suggest keeping them in a case to protect them when not in use.
Q: How long can camera glasses record?
How long camera glasses can record depends on either the built-in memory or the microSD you put in, your settings, and battery life. The higher the quality settings, the more storage the footage needs, and the faster you’ll run out of space. Some glasses also only have an hour-long battery life in the best of circumstances, so you’ll be limited by that.
Q: What are the disadvantages of smart glasses?
The main disadvantage of smart glasses is their weight. They are usually packed with technology, so they will likely weigh more than regular glasses. It should be fine if you’re not wearing them for long-term use, but they will likely not be comfortable for daily wearers.
In addition to this, the price is usually much higher than most glasses. Although, if you have a high prescription like I do, you will probably be used to the higher end of the price range.
Final thoughts on the best smart glasses
Camera glasses are a great way to capture memories without worrying about bringing along a bulky dedicated camera. The best camera glasses are stylish while also capturing quality images and video.