Video cameras are used primarily in two modes. The first, characteristic of much early broadcasting, is live television, where the camera feeds real time images directly to a screen for immediate observation. A few cameras still serve live television production, but most live connections are for security, military/tactical, and industrial operations where surreptitious or remote viewing is required. In the second mode the images are recorded to a storage device for archiving or further processing; for many years, videotape was the primary format used for this purpose, but optical disc media, hard disk, and flash memory in tapeless camcorders are all increasingly used. Recorded video is used in television and film production, and more often surveillance and monitoring tasks where unattended recording of a situation is required for later analysis.
Using a pocket video camera
Modern video cameras have numerous designs and uses, not all of which resemble the early television cameras.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) generally use pan tilt zoom cameras (PTZ), for security, surveillance, and/or monitoring purposes. Such cameras are designed to be small, easily hidden, and able to operate unattended; those used in industrial or scientific settings are often meant for use in environments that are normally inaccessible or uncomfortable for humans, and are therefore hardened for such hostile environments (e.g. radiation, high heat, or toxic chemical exposure).
Most 21st-century video cameras are digital cameras which convert the signal directly to a digital output; such cameras are often small, even smaller than CCTV security cameras, and are often used as webcams or optimized for still-camera use. The majority are incorporated directly into computer or communications hardware, particularly mobile phones, though analog video equipment remains in use.