A new CyanogenMod feature is currently under review, and it looks staggeringly cool. Developed by Nebojsa Cvetkovic, this addition would place a new camera tile in the Quick Settings panel. Tap it, and you get a live viewfinder capable of taking snapshots right from the notification shade.
The first tap on the tile will start up the camera with continuous autofocus if the device supports it. Taking pictures is as easy as tapping again. The photos are full resolution, just like if they were taken with the camera app. Simply close the notification shade to stop the camera feed.
It shouldn't impact battery as the camera viewfinder is only activated when you tap the tile. This could be phenomenal for a quick pic, but framing shots will be a little more difficult. You'll also have to open the full app if you want to change any settings. Still, this looks great.