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I realize this question is pretty old, but I just found it, and since there have been no answers yet, I thought I'd offer one...

First, make sure you've read over the documentation for image_transport:

Using the imagezero transport works just like selecting the compressed transport. As long as the ros-${ROSDISTRO}-imagezero-transport package is installed on the computers doing the publishing & subscribing, you can select the imagezero transport instead. You can do that by creating a TransportHints object that you pass to image_transport::ImageTransport::subscribe; just set its default_transport argument to imagezero.

More documentation on TransportHints is available here:

You can also set ROS params to control the transport, as seen here:

By the way, it is important to note that if you're using ImageZero, it specifically only works with 24-bit color image formats. Other formats (such as Monochrome or Bayer) will not work; this is a limitation of the compression algorithm.