Is Camera An Input Or Output Device? Explained

Camera input or output
Quick Answer
A Camera is an Input device but some cameras also produce output in the form of digital images in their own display screen or in the form of a hard copy.

We are so used to cameras that we don’t even consider a phone without them. Literally, every person who has a phone uses a camera on a daily basis whether for personal or official purposes.

Cameras are even used for computers and laptops in the form of webcams and can be of different types depending on the technology and features.

As a camera is an electronic device, it can be classified as either input or output device according to its working. In this post, we will talk about its working and why it is called either an input or output device.

What Is A Camera?

sony camera

A Camera is an electronic and optical device that captures photos or images. A camera allows light through its aperture and uses a lightproof box having photosensitive film.

The camera has several parts including the sealed box, aperture, digital sensor, and controls for tweaking the light, aperture, and shutter settings. Cameras can be of several types and can work independently or by connecting to a computer.

Cameras have existed for centuries in one form or another but the first ever permanent photograph was made in 1825. Since then, cameras have evolved with improved features and technologies to provide users with the highest quality images.

Is Camera An Input Or Output Device?

Classifying a camera into either an input or output device isn’t as easy as classifying a keyboard or a monitor. The reason for this is that there are many types of cameras.

Depending on its type, a camera can be classified into either an Input or an Output device or both.

An input device is something that can take input from humans and let the processor or camera mechanism do the work.

Whereas an output device provides us with output in a form of pictorial, sound, or hard copy format. A camera can do one or either of the two but registering an input is common between all cameras.

Therefore,  a camera is generally classified as an Input device as it can capture the photograph of a photosensitive object .

Types of Camera

types of camera

Cameras can be categorized into several types and some of these can be further categorized into more types. A camera generally captures a 2D image but some cameras also have the ability to capture 3D images.

Some cameras can also capture videos and record images in 360 degrees. Therefore, there are many types of cameras but the most common one we generally use is a Digital camera.

Digital cameras can work on battery or power from a computer or a laptop. Digital cameras that are connected to a computer or a laptop are generally known as Webcams and they are connected via a USB port.

Why Digital Camera Is An Input Device?


A digital camera whether a DSLR or a Webcam captures an image or a photo by allowing light to enter through the aperture where it falls on a digital sensor or a photographic film.

It uses a lens that can focus on the incoming light and the focus can be controlled manually or automatically depending on the type of camera. The exposure to light can be reduced or increased by the aperture that can be narrowed or widened. This helps focusing on a smaller or wider frame for a better picture.

Can a Digital Camera Work As An Output Device?

digital camera

While a digital or any other camera is always an input device, a digital camera can also act as an output device. Cameras like DSLRs can show captured images through a small display.

Once the image is processed by the camera, it is converted into a digital format that can be seen by a human on a display screen. It can now be transferred to a computer for editing purposes.

However, a webcam that is connected to a computer cannot work as an output device because it can only capture images and doesn’t feature a display screen.

The reason for this is that they use the computer or laptop display to show digital photos.


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