Image Capturing with the Camera

You can capture still images with the device’s internal camera and keep
images on your target device using the Camera API (in
applications). The main features of the Camera API include:

  • Previewing images in real time
  • Capturing and saving images
  • Controlling the camera settings, such as contrast, exposure,
    brightness, ISO, flash, white balance, and HDR

You can take photos using the Camera API through the following steps:

  1. Initialize the camera.
  2. Configure the camera.
  3. Preview and capture images.
  4. Terminate the camera.

The following figure illustrates the camera state changes in the normal

Figure: Camera state changes

Camera state changes

Initializing the Camera

To initialize the camera, create a handle for the camera, configure the
camera settings, and register callback functions for the events of
preview and auto-focus:

  1. To use the functions and data types of the Camera API (in
    applications), include the <camera.h> header file in your

    #include <camera.h>
  2. Create the camera handle using the camera_create() function.

    In the following example, create a g_camera camera handle, and
    define a camdata structure type, to store global data related to
    the camera handle:

    struct _camdata {
        Evas_Object *win;
        Evas_Object *rect;
        Evas *evas;
        camera_h g_camera; /* Camera handle */
    typedef struct _camdata camdata;
    static camdata cam_data;
    int error_code = 0;
    /* Create the camera handle */
    error_code = camera_create(CAMERA_DEVICE_CAMERA0, &cam_data.g_camera);
    if (error_code != CAMERA_ERROR_NONE)
        dlog_print(DLOG_INFO, LOG_TAG, "fail to create camera: error code = %d", error_code);

    The CAMERA_DEVICE_CAMERA0 parameter means that the currently
    activated device camera is 0, which is the primary camera. You can
    select between the primary (0) and the secondary (1) camera, which
    are defined in the camera_device_e enumeration (in
    wearable applications).
    Since devices can have multiple camera sensors with different
    capabilities, you must create a camera handle with a proper
    camera_device_e value, determining which camera sensor is used.
    Usually, the primary sensor is located on the back side and the
    secondary sensor is on the front side of the device.

  3. Configure the camera settings.

    Before configuring the camera settings, find out which
    configurations are supported by the camera. Depending on the camera
    type, the device can support different orientations, resolutions, or
    preview and capture formats. You can obtain this information using
    the relevant functions, such as
    camera_foreach_supported_preview_format(), or other
    camera_foreach_supported_XXX() functions. For example, using the
    camera_foreach_supported_preview_resolution() function, you can
    find out which resolutions are supported for the camera preview on a
    specific device. As usual, the foreach function invokes a callback
    for each supported resolution and stops when the callback returns

    Set the camera configurations (such as image quality, display type,
    preview resolution, and capture format) by using the relevant

    • Image quality

      Set the image quality using the
      camera_attr_set_image_quality() function. The quality value
      ranges from 1 (lowest quality) to 100 (highest quality).

      error_code = camera_attr_set_image_quality(cam_data.g_camera, 100);
    • Display type

      Using the camera_set_display() function, you can set the
      display type for showing preview images. The display type is

      The following example shows how to set the display according to
      the display_type parameter:

      The camera state must be CAMERA_STATE_CREATED and the
      create_base_gui() function must be called before previewing.

      int error_code = CAMERA_ERROR_NONE;
      Evas_Object *g_eo = NULL;
      static void
      create_base_gui(camdata *cam_data, camera_display_type_e display_type)
          /* Window */
          /* PACKAGE contains the package name character info */
          cam_data->win = elm_win_add(NULL, PACKAGE, ELM_WIN_BASIC);
          evas_object_resize(cam_data->win, 240, 320);
          evas_object_move(cam_data->win, 0, 0);
          elm_win_autodel_set(cam_data->win, EINA_TRUE);
          cam_data->evas = evas_object_evas_get(cam_data->win);
          switch (display_type) {
              /* Set the Evas image object for drawing */
              g_eo = evas_object_image_add(cam_data->evas);
              evas_object_image_size_set(g_eo, 240, 320);
              evas_object_image_fill_set(g_eo, 0, 0, 240, 320);
              evas_object_resize(g_eo, 240, 320);
              cam_data->rect = evas_object_rectangle_add(cam_data->evas);
              evas_object_resize(cam_data->rect, 240, 320);
              evas_object_move(cam_data->rect, 0, 0);
              evas_object_color_set(cam_data->rect, 0, 0, 0, 0);
              evas_object_render_op_set(cam_data->rect, EVAS_RENDER_COPY);
              evas_object_size_hint_weight_set(cam_data->rect, EVAS_HINT_EXPAND, EVAS_HINT_EXPAND);
              /* Show the window after the base GUI is set up */
          case default:
      error_code = camera_set_display(cam_data.g_camera, CAMERA_DISPLAY_TYPE_OVERLAY, GET_DISPLAY(;
      if (error_code != CAMERA_ERROR_NONE) {
          dlog_print(DLOG_DEBUG, "camera_set_display failed [0x%x]", ret);
          cam_data.g_camera = 0;
    • Preview resolution

      Set the preview resolution by calling the
      camera_set_preview_resolution() function before previewing.

      The following example code sets the camera preview resolution to
      the first found supported resolution, which is returned from the
      camera_foreach_supported_preview_resolution() function:

      int resolution[2];
      static bool
      _preview_resolution_cb(int width, int height, void *user_data)
          int *resolution = (int*)user_data;
          resolution[0] = width;
          resolution[1] = height;
          return false;
      /* Find a resolution that is supported by the device */
      error_code = camera_foreach_supported_preview_resolution(cam_data.g_camera, _preview_resolution_cb, resolution);
      /* Set the supported resolution for camera preview */
      error_code = camera_set_preview_resolution(cam_data.g_camera, resolution[0], resolution[1]);
    • Capture format

      Using the camera_set_capture_format() function, set the
      capture format. The available formats are defined in the
      camera_pixel_format_e enumeration (in
      applications), such as NV12, NV16, and JPEG.

      error_code = camera_set_capture_format(cam_data.g_camera, CAMERA_PIXEL_FORMAT_JPEG);
  4. Register callback functions.

    To retrieve notifications, you must register appropriate callback
    functions for handling newly previewed frames and auto-focus state

    • Camera preview

      To receive notifications about newly previewed frames, register
      a callback function using the
      camera_set_preview_cb() function. The callback is invoked once
      per frame during a preview.

      The following example implements the _camera_preview_cb()
      callback, which starts auto-focusing using the
      camera_start_focusing() function:

      error_code = camera_set_preview_cb(cam_data.g_camera, _camera_preview_cb, NULL);
      static void
      _camera_preview_cb(camera_preview_data_s *frame, void *user_data)
          int error_code = 0;
          if (g_enable_focus == true) {
              error_code = camera_start_focusing(cam_data.g_camera, true);
              if (error_code == CAMERA_ERROR_NOT_SUPPORTED)
                  error_code = camera_start_focusing(cam_data.g_camera, false);
              g_enable_focus = false;

      The second parameter of the camera_start_focusing() function
      is a Boolean flag defining whether the camera must continuously
      maintain focus. The g_enable_focus flag is set to true at
      the application startup. For the first frame of the preview, the
      camera starts auto-focusing. Subsequent calls to the callback do
      not provoke any action, which prevents the auto-focusing process
      from starting after the first previewed frame.

    • Auto-focus state change

      Before auto-focusing starts, the auto-focus state is
      camera_start_focusing() function is called, the camera starts
      auto-focusing and the state changes to
      CAMERA_FOCUS_STATE_ONGOING. If the auto-focusing finishes
      successfully, the state changes to CAMERA_FOCUS_STATE_FOCUSED.
      If the auto-focusing fails, the state changes to

      To receive notifications about auto-focusing state changes,
      register a callback using the
      camera_set_focus_changed_cb() function. The callback is
      invoked every time the auto-focus state changes.

      The following example implements the _camera_focus_cb()
      callback, which starts capturing focused frames using the
      camera_start_capture() function:

      static void
      _camera_focus_cb(camera_focus_state_e state, void *user_data)
          int error_code;
          if (state == CAMERA_FOCUS_STATE_FOCUSED && g_enable_shot == true) {
              /*  Start capturing */
              error_code = camera_start_capture(cam_data.g_camera, _camera_capturing_cb, _camera_completed_cb, NULL);
              g_enable_shot = false;

Previewing and Capturing Images

After initializing the camera, you can start the preview, auto-focus,
and capturing processes to take a photo. The camera preview starts with
the camera_start_preview() function call, and it draws frames on the
screen and allows you to capture frames as still images:

error_code = camera_start_preview(cam_data.g_camera);

After starting the camera preview, the image capturing flows as follows:

  1. To handle the camera preview, the application calls the camera
    preview callback, which calls the camera_start_focusing() function
    starting the auto-focusing process.
  2. To handle the auto-focusing process, the application calls the
    camera auto-focus callback, which calls the camera_start_capture()
    function starting the capturing process.
  3. To handle the capturing process, the application calls the camera
    capturing callback, which is invoked once for each captured frame.

The following example code implements the _camera_capturing_cb()
callback, which saves the captured frame as a JPEG image, whose format
is set by the camera_set_capture_format() function:

static void
_camera_capturing_cb(camera_image_data_s* image, camera_image_data_s* postview, camera_image_data_s* thumbnail, void *user_data)
    dlog_print(DLOG_DEBUG, LOG_TAG, "Writing image to file");
    FILE *file = fopen(g_fname, "w+");

    if (image->data != NULL)
        fwrite(image->data, 1, image->size, file);


You can get a notification when the image has been captured. After the
camera_capturing_cb() function completes, the callback function,
camera_capture_completed_cb(), is invoked. It is used for notification
and for restarting the camera preview.

The following example code implements the _camera_completed_cb()
callback, which waits 0.025 seconds before restarting the camera preview
with auto-focusing. By waiting 0.025 seconds, the callback keeps the
captured image on the screen for 0.025 seconds.

static void
_camera_completed_cb(void *user_data)
    int error_code = 0;

    usleep(25000);  /* Display the captured image for 0.025 seconds */

    /* Restart the camera preview */
    error_code = camera_start_preview(cam_data.g_camera);

    g_enable_focus = true;

Stopping the Camera

After you have finished working with the camera, you need to stop the
camera and clean up the application environment:

  1. If auto-focus is switched on, switch it off using the
    camera_cancel_focusing() function.
  2. Stop the camera preview using the camera_stop_preview() function.
  3. Unregister the camera preview and auto-focus callback functions
    using the camera_unset_preview_cb() and
    camera_unset_focus_changed_cb() functions.
  4. Destroy the camera handle and release all the allocated resources
    using the camera_destroy() function.
error_code = camera_stop_preview(cam_data.g_camera);
error_code = camera_destroy(cam_data.g_camera);

if (error_code != CAMERA_ERROR_NONE)
    dlog_print(DLOG_INFO, LOG_TAG, "fail to destroy camera: error code = %d", error_code);