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latest: v2.7.2 GitHub

This section introduces some key concepts about media capturing, and about the Mode control.

Mode control

The mode control determines what can be captured with the standard APIs (read below). It can be set through XML or dynamically changed using cameraView.setMode(). The current mode value has a few consequences:

  • Sizing: the capture size is chosen among the available picture or video sizes, depending on the flag, according to the given size selector.
  • Capturing: while in picture mode, takeVideo will throw an exception.
  • Capturing: while in video mode, takePicture will throw an exception.
  • Permission behavior: when requesting a video session, the record audio permission will be requested. If this is needed, the audio permission should be added to your manifest or the app will crash. Please read the permissions page.
cameraView.setMode(Mode.PICTURE); // for pictures
cameraView.setMode(Mode.VIDEO); // for video

Capturing media

The library supports 4 capture APIs, two for pictures and two for videos.

  • Standard APIs: takePicture() and takeVideo(). These take a high quality picture or video, depending on the configuration values that were used. The standard APIs must be called in the appropriate Mode.
  • Snapshot APIs: takePictureSnapshot() and takeVideoSnapshot(). These take a super fast, reliable snapshot of the camera preview. The snapshot APIs can be called in any Mode (you can snap videos in picture mode).

Beyond being extremely fast, and small in size (though low quality), snapshot APIs have the benefit that the result is automatically cropped to match the view bounds. This means that, if CameraView is square, resulting snapshots are square as well, no matter what the sensor available sizes are.

Method Takes Quality Callable in Mode.PICTURE Callable in Mode.VIDEO Auto crop Output size
takePicture() Pictures Standard yes no no That of setPictureSize
takeVideo(File) Videos Standard no yes no That of setVideoSize
takePictureSnapshot() Pictures Snapshot yes yes yes That of the preview stream, or less
takeVideoSnapshot(File) Videos Snapshot yes yes yes That of the preview stream, or less

Please note that the video snapshot features require:

  • API 18. If called on earlier versions, it throws an IllegalStateException
  • An OpenGL preview (see previews). If not, it throws an IllegalStateException

Capturing pictures while recording

This is allowed at the following conditions:

  • takePictureSnapshot() is used (no HQ pictures)
  • the GL_SURFACE preview is used (see previews)
camera.addCameraListener(new CameraListener() {

    public void onPictureShutter() {
        // Picture capture started!
    public void onPictureTaken(@NonNull PictureResult result) {
        // A Picture was taken!
    public void onVideoTaken(@NonNull VideoResult result) {
        // A Video was taken!
    public void onVideoRecordingStart() {
        // Notifies that the actual video recording has started.
        // Can be used to show some UI indicator for video recording or counting time.
    public void onVideoRecordingEnd() {
        // Notifies that the actual video recording has ended.
        // Can be used to remove UI indicators added in onVideoRecordingStart.
Method Description
setMode() Either Mode.VIDEO or Mode.PICTURE.
isTakingVideo() Returns true if the camera is currently recording a video.
isTakingPicture() Returns true if the camera is currently capturing a picture.
takePicture() Takes a high quality picture.
takeVideo(File) Takes a high quality video.
takeVideo(FileDescriptor) Takes a high quality video.
takeVideo(File, long) Takes a high quality video, stopping after the given duration.
takeVideo(FileDescriptor, long) Takes a high quality video, stopping after the given duration.
takePictureSnapshot() Takes a picture snapshot.
takeVideoSnapshot(File) Takes a video snapshot.
takeVideoSnapshot(File, long) Takes a video snapshot, stopping after the given duration.
getPictureSize() Returns the output picture size, accounting for any rotation. Null while in VIDEO mode.
getVideoSize() Returns the output video size, accounting for any rotation. Null while in PICTURE mode.
getSnapshotSize() Returns the size of pictures taken with takePictureSnapshot() or videos taken with takeVideoSnapshot(). Accounts for rotation and cropping.