Definition of camera
1 : the treasury department of the papal curia
2a : camera obscurab : a device that consists of a lightproof chamber with an aperture fitted with a lens and a shutter through which the image of an object is projected onto a surface for recording (as on film) or for translation into electrical impulses (as for television broadcast)
1 : while not being filmed by a television or movie camera he's a different person off camera
2 : outside the scope of a television or movie camera sounds of gunfire taking place off camera
1 : before a live television camera go on camera; also : while being filmed by a television or movie camera looked relaxed on camera
2 : within the scope of a television or movie camera you can hear a dog but he never appears on camera
Origin and Etymology of camera
Late Latin, room — more at chamber
First Known Use: 1712
CAMERA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of camera for English Language Learners
: a device that is used for taking photographs or for making movies, television programs, etc.
CAMERA Defined for Kids
Definition of camera for Students
1 : a device that has a lens on one side to let light in and is used for taking pictures
2 : the part of a television sending device in which the image to be sent out is formed
History for camera
The word camera is short for camera obscura, which in Latin means “dark room.” A camera obscura is a darkened enclosure—which can be as small as a box or as large as a room—into which light is admitted through a very small hole. Because of the way in which light beams cross rather than scatter, an upside-down image of whatever is outside the enclosure is projected on the surface opposite the hole. The image can be made brighter by passing the light through a lens. The first photographic camera was simply a camera obscura with the image projected on light-sensitive chemicals.
Seen and Heard
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