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

Important privacy note: 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 prior to your app accessing 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.



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. cameraSuccess, cameraError, [ cameraOptions ] );


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

  • Android
  • iOS

Android Quirks

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);


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


onSuccess callback function that provides the image data.

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


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


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


onError callback function that provides an error message.

function(message) {
    // Show a helpful message


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


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 };


  • 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 (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 (Number)

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

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

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

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.

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.


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


  • 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.


A handle to the popover dialog created by


  • setPosition: Set the position of the popover.

Supported Platforms

  • iOS


Set the position of the popover.



 var cameraPopoverHandle =, onFail,
     { destinationType: Camera.DestinationType.FILE_URI,
       sourceType: Camera.PictureSourceType.PHOTOLIBRARY,
       popoverOptions: new CameraPopoverOptions(300, 300, 100, 100, Camera.PopoverArrowDirection.ARROW_ANY)

 // Reposition the popover if the orientation changes.
 window.onorientationchange = function() {
     var cameraPopoverOptions = new CameraPopoverOptions(0, 0, 100, 100, Camera.PopoverArrowDirection.ARROW_ANY);