I am interested in capturing and manipulating the raw data from the camera (this is the video stream and not captured bitmaps/photos).
Details about the following would be very appreciated
1. Can an application switch on the camera and make use of the video independently of the device's camera software?
2. How an application accesses the camera video stream and manipulates it (e.g. change size/orientation of the video screen)
1. Yes, by using the Camera API, which allows applications to open a session with the camera server and take pictures or low quality preview images. There is a camera server update available for the current SDK on the Symbian->Downloads section of Forum Nokia.
2. The camera on the 7650 is NOT a video camera, but a still camera with a limited support for taking low-quality preview images (for viewfinding functionality). The only option for applications is to use the camera API and generate a video sequence from consecutive preview images, there is no actual video stream available. But by taking preview images it is possible to achieve a framerate of ~10 fps.