Apache Cordova API Documentation

Camera

The camera object provides access to the device's default camera application.

WARNING: Collection and use of images from a device's camera raises important privacy issues. Your app's privacy policy should discuss how the app uses the camera and whether the images recorded are shared with any other parties. In addition, if the app's use of the camera is not apparent in the user interface, you should provide a just-in-time notice before the app accesses the camera (if the device operating system doesn't do so already). That notice should provide the same information noted above, as well as obtaining the user's permission (e.g., by presenting choices for OK and No Thanks). For more information, please see the Privacy Guide.

Methods

Accessing the Feature

As of version 3.0, Cordova implements device-level APIs as plugins. Use the CLI's plugin command, described in The Command-Line Interface, to add or remove this feature for a project:

    $ cordova plugin add org.apache.cordova.camera
    $ cordova plugin ls
    [ 'org.apache.cordova.camera' ]
    $ cordova plugin rm org.apache.cordova.camera

These commands apply to all targeted platforms, but modify the platform-specific configuration settings described below:

  • Amazon Fire OS

    (in app/res/xml/config.xml)
    <feature name="Camera">
        <param name="android-package" value="org.apache.cordova.camera.CameraLauncher" />
    </feature>
    
    
    (in app/AndroidManifest)
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />
    
  • Android

    (in app/res/xml/config.xml)
    <feature name="Camera">
        <param name="android-package" value="org.apache.cordova.camera.CameraLauncher" />
    </feature>
    
    
    (in app/AndroidManifest)
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />
    
  • BlackBerry 10

    (in www/config.xml)
    <feature name="Camera" value="Camera"/>
    
  • iOS (in the named application directory's config.xml)

    <feature name="Camera">
        <param name="ios-package" value="CDVCamera" />
    </feature>
    
  • Windows Phone (in Properties/WPAppManifest.xml)

    <Capabilities>
        <Capability Name="ID_CAP_ISV_CAMERA" />
        <Capability Name="ID_HW_FRONTCAMERA" />
    </Capabilities>
    

    Reference: Application Manifest for Windows Phone

  • Tizen (in config.xml)

    <feature name="http://tizen.org/api/application" required="true"/>
    <feature name="http://tizen.org/api/application.launch" required="true"/>
    

    Reference: Application Manifest for Tizen Web Application

Some platforms may support this feature without requiring any special configuration. See Platform Support for an overview.


camera.getPicture

Takes a photo using the camera, or retrieves a photo from the device's image gallery. The image is passed to the success callback as a base64-encoded String, or as the URI for the image file. The method itself returns a CameraPopoverHandle object that can be used to reposition the file selection popover.

navigator.camera.getPicture( cameraSuccess, cameraError, [ cameraOptions ] );

Description

The camera.getPicture function opens the device's default camera application that allows users to snap pictures. This behavior occurs by default, when Camera.sourceType equals Camera.PictureSourceType.CAMERA. Once the user snaps the photo, the camera application closes and the application is restored.

If Camera.sourceType is Camera.PictureSourceType.PHOTOLIBRARY or Camera.PictureSourceType.SAVEDPHOTOALBUM, then a dialog displays that allows users to select an existing image. The camera.getPicture function returns a CameraPopoverHandle object, which can be used to reposition the image selection dialog, for example, when the device orientation changes.

The return value is sent to the cameraSuccess callback function, in one of the following formats, depending on the specified cameraOptions:

  • A String containing the base64-encoded photo image.

  • A String representing the image file location on local storage (default).

You can do whatever you want with the encoded image or URI, for example:

  • Render the image in an <img> tag, as in the example below

  • Save the data locally (LocalStorage, Lawnchair, etc.)

  • Post the data to a remote server

NOTE: Photo resolution on newer devices is quite good. Photos selected from the device's gallery are not downscaled to a lower quality, even if a quality parameter is specified. To avoid common memory problems, set Camera.destinationType to FILE_URI rather than DATA_URL.

Supported Platforms

  • Amazon Fire OS
  • Android
  • BlackBerry 10
  • iOS
  • Tizen
  • Windows Phone 7 and 8
  • Windows 8

Amazon Fire OS Quirks

Amazon Fire OS uses intents to launch the camera activity on the device to capture images, and on phones with low memory, the Cordova activity may be killed. In this scenario, the image may not appear when the cordova activity is restored.

Android Quirks

Android 4.4 only: Android 4.4 introduced a new Storage Access Framework that makes it easier for users to browse and open documents across all of their preferred document storage providers. Cordova has not yet been fully integrated with this new Storage Access Framework. Because of this, the getPicture() method will not correctly return pictures when the user selects from the "Recent", "Drive", "Images", or "External Storage" folders when the destinationType is FILE_URI. However, the user will be able to correctly select any pictures if they go through the "Gallery" app first. Potential workarounds for this issue are documented on this StackOverflow question. Please see CB-5398 to track this issue.

Android uses intents to launch the camera activity on the device to capture images, and on phones with low memory, the Cordova activity may be killed. In this scenario, the image may not appear when the Cordova activity is restored.

iOS Quirks

Including a JavaScript alert() in either of the callback functions can cause problems. Wrap the alert within a setTimeout() to allow the iOS image picker or popover to fully close before the alert displays:

setTimeout(function() {
    // do your thing here!
}, 0);

Windows Phone 7 Quirks

Invoking the native camera application while the device is connected via Zune does not work, and triggers an error callback.

Tizen Quirks

Tizen only supports a destinationType of Camera.DestinationType.FILE_URI and a sourceType of Camera.PictureSourceType.PHOTOLIBRARY.

Quick Example

Take a photo and retrieve it as a base64-encoded image:

navigator.camera.getPicture(onSuccess, onFail, { quality: 50,
    destinationType: Camera.DestinationType.DATA_URL
});

function onSuccess(imageData) {
    var image = document.getElementById('myImage');
    image.src = "data:image/jpeg;base64," + imageData;
}

function onFail(message) {
    alert('Failed because: ' + message);
}

Take a photo and retrieve the image's file location:

navigator.camera.getPicture(onSuccess, onFail, { quality: 50,
    destinationType: Camera.DestinationType.FILE_URI });

function onSuccess(imageURI) {
    var image = document.getElementById('myImage');
    image.src = imageURI;
}

function onFail(message) {
    alert('Failed because: ' + message);
}

Full Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Capture Photo</title>

    <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="cordova.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">

    var pictureSource;   // picture source
    var destinationType; // sets the format of returned value

    // Wait for device API libraries to load
    //
    document.addEventListener("deviceready",onDeviceReady,false);

    // device APIs are available
    //
    function onDeviceReady() {
        pictureSource=navigator.camera.PictureSourceType;
        destinationType=navigator.camera.DestinationType;
    }

    // Called when a photo is successfully retrieved
    //
    function onPhotoDataSuccess(imageData) {
      // Uncomment to view the base64-encoded image data
      // console.log(imageData);

      // Get image handle
      //
      var smallImage = document.getElementById('smallImage');

      // Unhide image elements
      //
      smallImage.style.display = 'block';

      // Show the captured photo
      // The in-line CSS rules are used to resize the image
      //
      smallImage.src = "data:image/jpeg;base64," + imageData;
    }

    // Called when a photo is successfully retrieved
    //
    function onPhotoURISuccess(imageURI) {
      // Uncomment to view the image file URI
      // console.log(imageURI);

      // Get image handle
      //
      var largeImage = document.getElementById('largeImage');

      // Unhide image elements
      //
      largeImage.style.display = 'block';

      // Show the captured photo
      // The in-line CSS rules are used to resize the image
      //
      largeImage.src = imageURI;
    }

    // A button will call this function
    //
    function capturePhoto() {
      // Take picture using device camera and retrieve image as base64-encoded string
      navigator.camera.getPicture(onPhotoDataSuccess, onFail, { quality: 50,
        destinationType: destinationType.DATA_URL });
    }

    // A button will call this function
    //
    function capturePhotoEdit() {
      // Take picture using device camera, allow edit, and retrieve image as base64-encoded string
      navigator.camera.getPicture(onPhotoDataSuccess, onFail, { quality: 20, allowEdit: true,
        destinationType: destinationType.DATA_URL });
    }

    // A button will call this function
    //
    function getPhoto(source) {
      // Retrieve image file location from specified source
      navigator.camera.getPicture(onPhotoURISuccess, onFail, { quality: 50,
        destinationType: destinationType.FILE_URI,
        sourceType: source });
    }

    // Called if something bad happens.
    //
    function onFail(message) {
      alert('Failed because: ' + message);
    }

    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
    <button onclick="capturePhoto();">Capture Photo</button> <br>
    <button onclick="capturePhotoEdit();">Capture Editable Photo</button> <br>
    <button onclick="getPhoto(pictureSource.PHOTOLIBRARY);">From Photo Library</button><br>
    <button onclick="getPhoto(pictureSource.SAVEDPHOTOALBUM);">From Photo Album</button><br>
    <img style="display:none;width:60px;height:60px;" id="smallImage" src="" />
    <img style="display:none;" id="largeImage" src="" />
  </body>
</html>

cameraSuccess

onSuccess callback function that provides the image data.

function(imageData) {
    // Do something with the image
}

Parameters

  • imageData: Base64 encoding of the image data, or the image file URI, depending on cameraOptions in effect. (String)

Example

// Show image
//
function cameraCallback(imageData) {
    var image = document.getElementById('myImage');
    image.src = "data:image/jpeg;base64," + imageData;
}

cameraError

onError callback function that provides an error message.

function(message) {
    // Show a helpful message
}

Parameters

  • message: The message is provided by the device's native code. (String)

cameraOptions

Optional parameters to customize the camera settings.

{ quality : 75,
  destinationType : Camera.DestinationType.DATA_URL,
  sourceType : Camera.PictureSourceType.CAMERA,
  allowEdit : true,
  encodingType: Camera.EncodingType.JPEG,
  targetWidth: 100,
  targetHeight: 100,
  popoverOptions: CameraPopoverOptions,
  saveToPhotoAlbum: false };

Options

  • quality: Quality of the saved image, expressed as a range of 0-100, where 100 is typically full resolution with no loss from file compression. (Number) (Note that information about the camera's resolution is unavailable.)

  • destinationType: Choose the format of the return value. Defined in navigator.camera.DestinationType (Number)

    Camera.DestinationType = {
        DATA_URL : 0,      // Return image as base64-encoded string
        FILE_URI : 1,      // Return image file URI
        NATIVE_URI : 2     // Return image native URI (e.g., assets-library:// on iOS or content:// on Android)
    };
    
  • sourceType: Set the source of the picture. Defined in navigator.camera.PictureSourceType (Number)

    Camera.PictureSourceType = {
        PHOTOLIBRARY : 0,
        CAMERA : 1,
        SAVEDPHOTOALBUM : 2
    };
    
  • allowEdit: Allow simple editing of image before selection. (Boolean)

  • encodingType: Choose the returned image file's encoding. Defined in navigator.camera.EncodingType (Number)

    Camera.EncodingType = {
        JPEG : 0,               // Return JPEG encoded image
        PNG : 1                 // Return PNG encoded image
    };
    
  • targetWidth: Width in pixels to scale image. Must be used with targetHeight. Aspect ratio remains constant. (Number)

  • targetHeight: Height in pixels to scale image. Must be used with targetWidth. Aspect ratio remains constant. (Number)

  • mediaType: Set the type of media to select from. Only works when PictureSourceType is PHOTOLIBRARY or SAVEDPHOTOALBUM. Defined in nagivator.camera.MediaType (Number)

    Camera.MediaType = {
        PICTURE: 0,    // allow selection of still pictures only. DEFAULT. Will return format specified via DestinationType
        VIDEO: 1,      // allow selection of video only, WILL ALWAYS RETURN FILE_URI
        ALLMEDIA : 2   // allow selection from all media types
    

    };

  • correctOrientation: Rotate the image to correct for the orientation of the device during capture. (Boolean)

  • saveToPhotoAlbum: Save the image to the photo album on the device after capture. (Boolean)

  • popoverOptions: iOS-only options that specify popover location in iPad. Defined in CameraPopoverOptions.

  • cameraDirection: Choose the camera to use (front- or back-facing). Defined in navigator.camera.Direction (Number)

    Camera.Direction = {
        BACK : 0,      // Use the back-facing camera
        FRONT : 1      // Use the front-facing camera
    };
    

Amazon Fire OSQuirks

  • Any cameraDirection value results in a back-facing photo.

  • Ignores the allowEdit parameter.

  • Camera.PictureSourceType.PHOTOLIBRARY and Camera.PictureSourceType.SAVEDPHOTOALBUM both display the same photo album.

Android Quirks

  • Any cameraDirection value results in a back-facing photo.

  • Ignores the allowEdit parameter.

  • Camera.PictureSourceType.PHOTOLIBRARY and Camera.PictureSourceType.SAVEDPHOTOALBUM both display the same photo album.

BlackBerry 10 Quirks

  • Ignores the quality parameter.

  • Ignores the sourceType parameter.

  • Ignores the allowEdit parameter.

  • Camera.MediaType is not supported.

  • Ignores the correctOrientation parameter.

  • Ignores the cameraDirection parameter.

iOS Quirks

  • Set quality below 50 to avoid memory errors on some devices.

  • When using destinationType.FILE_URI, photos are saved in the application's temporary directory. You may delete the contents of this directory using the navigator.fileMgr APIs if storage space is a concern.

Tizen Quirks

  • options not supported

  • always returns a FILE URI

Windows Phone 7 and 8 Quirks

  • Ignores the allowEdit parameter.

  • Ignores the correctOrientation parameter.

  • Ignores the cameraDirection parameter.


CameraPopoverOptions

iOS-only parameters that specify the anchor element location and arrow direction of the popover when selecting images from an iPad's library or album.

{ x : 0,
  y :  32,
  width : 320,
  height : 480,
  arrowDir : Camera.PopoverArrowDirection.ARROW_ANY
};

CameraPopoverOptions

  • x: x pixel coordinate of screen element onto which to anchor the popover. (Number)

  • y: y pixel coordinate of screen element onto which to anchor the popover. (Number)

  • width: width, in pixels, of the screen element onto which to anchor the popover. (Number)

  • height: height, in pixels, of the screen element onto which to anchor the popover. (Number)

  • arrowDir: Direction the arrow on the popover should point. Defined in Camera.PopoverArrowDirection (Number)

        Camera.PopoverArrowDirection = {
            ARROW_UP : 1,        // matches iOS UIPopoverArrowDirection constants
            ARROW_DOWN : 2,
            ARROW_LEFT : 4,
            ARROW_RIGHT : 8,
            ARROW_ANY : 15
        };
    

Note that the size of the popover may change to adjust to the direction of the arrow and orientation of the screen. Make sure to account for orientation changes when specifying the anchor element location.

Quick Example

 var popover = new CameraPopoverOptions(300, 300, 100, 100, Camera.PopoverArrowDirection.ARROW_ANY);
 var options = {
     quality         : 50,
     destinationType : Camera.DestinationType.DATA_URL,
     sourceType      : Camera.PictureSource.SAVEDPHOTOALBUM,
     popoverOptions  : popover
 };

 navigator.camera.getPicture(onSuccess, onFail, options);

 function onSuccess(imageData) {
     var image = document.getElementById('myImage');
     image.src = "data:image/jpeg;base64," + imageData;
 }

 function onFail(message) {
     alert('Failed because: ' + message);
 }

CameraPopoverHandle

A handle to the popover dialog created by camera.getPicture.

Methods

  • setPosition: Set the position of the popover.

Supported Platforms

  • iOS

setPosition

Set the position of the popover.

Parameters:

Quick Example

 var cameraPopoverOptions = new CameraPopoverOptions(300, 300, 100, 100, Camera.PopoverArrowDirection.ARROW_ANY);
 cameraPopoverHandle.setPosition(cameraPopoverOptions);

Full Example

 function onSuccess(imageData) {
      // Do stuff with the image!
 }

 function onFail(message) {
     alert('Failed to get the picture: ' + message);
 }

 var cameraPopoverHandle = navigator.camera.getPicture(onSuccess, onFail,
     { destinationType: Camera.DestinationType.FILE_URI,
       sourceType: Camera.PictureSourceType.PHOTOLIBRARY });

 // Reposition the popover if the orientation changes.
 window.onorientationchange = function() {
     var cameraPopoverOptions = new CameraPopoverOptions(0, 0, 100, 100, 0);
     cameraPopoverHandle.setPosition(cameraPopoverOptions);
 }

camera.cleanup

Removes intermediate photos taken by the camera from temporary storage.

navigator.camera.cleanup( cameraSuccess, cameraError );

Description

Removes intermediate image files that are kept in temporary storage after calling camera.getPicture. Applies only when the value of Camera.sourceType equals Camera.PictureSourceType.CAMERA and the Camera.destinationType equals Camera.DestinationType.FILE_URI.

Supported Platforms

  • iOS

Example

navigator.camera.cleanup(onSuccess, onFail);

function onSuccess() {
    console.log("Camera cleanup success.")
}

function onFail(message) {
    alert('Failed because: ' + message);
}

Last modified: 2014-03-10