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A camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or both. The images may be individual still photographs or sequences of images constituting videos or movies. The camera is a remote sensing device as it senses subjects without physical contact. The word camera comes from camera obscura, which means "dark chamber" and is the Latin name of the original device for projecting an image of external reality onto a flat surface. The modern photographic camera evolved from the camera obscura. The functioning of the camera is very similar to the functioning of the human eye.

A camera may work with the light of the visible spectrum or with other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. A still camera is an optical device which creates a single image of an object or scene and records it on an electronic sensor or photographic film. All cameras use the same basic design: light enters an enclosed box through a converging lens/convex lens and an image is recorded on a light-sensitive medium(mainly a transition metal-halide). A shutter mechanism controls the length of time that light can enter the camera. Most photographic cameras have functions that allow a person to view the scene to be recorded, allow for a desired part of the scene to be in focus, and to control the exposure so that it is not too bright or too dim. A display, often a liquid crystal display (LCD), permits the user to view scene to be recorded and settings such as ISO speed, exposure, and shutter speed.

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