Digital Camera

What Does Digital Camera Mean?

A digital camera uses an electronic image sensor to create still photographs and record video. The optical system of a digital camera works like a film camera, in which a typical lens and diaphragm are used to adjust electronic image sensor lighting.


Digital cameras equip amateur and professional photographers with multiple automated control functions. Advanced digital cameras facilitate manual control of most functions.

A digital camera is also known as a digicam.

Techopedia Explains Digital Camera

Digital cameras are integrated with a wide range of digital devices, ranging from personal digital assistants (PDA) and mobile phones to the Hubble and Webb Space Telescopes. Digital photography is adaptable and compatible with email, CD/DVD, TV and computer monitors, the Web and may be stored on a PC. Some digital cameras have a built-in GPS receiver, which is used to produce geotagged photographs.

Digital photography’s key advantage is immediate video and image viewability. Image editing software is used for cropping, recoloring, contrast/imperfection adjustment and combining one or more images.

Digital cameras come in an array of sizes, features and prices, including the following:

  • Compact digital camera: Portable, easy to use and small with limited picture quality. Built-in low-power flash. Images are usually stored as JPEG files. Also known as a point-and-shoot camera.
  • Digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR): Design is based on the single lens reflex camera. Exclusive viewing system that uses a mirror to reflect light from the lens via an optical viewfinder.
  • Bridge camera: Shares some DSLR advanced features. Uses a fixed lens with a small sensor – similar to compact digital cameras. Uses live preview for image framing.
  • Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC): Combines superior quality sensors with DSLR lenses. Introduced in 2008, the MILC is simple and compact because of its ergonomic design.
  • Line scan camera system: Supports focusing mechanisms and usually contains a line scan sensor chip. Used by industrial applications to capture moving material images.
  • Integrated camera: Built into multiple digital devices, including mobile phones, PDAs and laptops.

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…