The Camera Obscura is a special camera found in the Fatal Frame series. It is a camera capable of taking photos of ghosts, and in the process damage and defeat them. According to the Fatal Frame storyline, the Camera Obscura was invented by a Japanese researcher of the occult named Kunihiko Aso, who lived during the late nineteenth century. Aso was also responsible for other devices found in the series, including a special radio that can allow one to hear the thoughts left by spirits in special stones, and a film projector able to display images of ghosts caught on film that ordinary projectors couldn't.
Several aspects of the Camera Obscura can be upgraded over the course of gameplay, such as its effective range against targets, attack strength, and shutter speed. It also requires film to use; the stronger the film type, the more effective it is against ghosts. In the first game, all film types come in finite quantities, but starting with the second game, the weakest film grade comes in an infinite supply.