A camera is a mechanism used to take pictures, either singly or in sequence, with or without sound, such as with video cameras. The name is derivative from camera obscura, Latin for "dark chamber", an early mechanism for projecting images in which an entire room functioned much as the interior workings of a modern photographic camera, except there was no way at this time to record the image short of manually tracing it. Cameras may work with the visual range or other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Every camera consists of some type of enclosed chamber, with an opening or space at one end for light to enter, and a recording or viewing surface for capturing the light at the other end. This distance of the aperture is often controlled by an diaphragm mechanism, but some cameras have a fixed-size aperture.