The camera was built by Westinghouse, was 11" x 6" x 3" in size, and weighed 7.25 pounds, It consumed 6.25 watts of power. It had four interchangeable lenses: "telephoto", "wide-angle", "lunar day" and "lunar night".
This camera was based on the TV camera used on previous missions inside the CSM, with modifications to adapt it to the lunar environment.
During the early part of the first Apollo 12 EVA, the camera was inadvertently pointed at the Sun while preparing to mount it on the tripod. This action caused an overload in the secondary vidicon tube, rendering the camera useless for the remainder of the mission. The camera worked properly for about forty-two minutes. On later missions problems were encountered with image brightness and contrast.
Because of the failure of the camera on Apollo 12, a new contract was awarded to the RCA Astro division in Hightstown, NJ. The RCA system was a new, more sensitive and durable TV camera tube. The design team was headed by Robert G. Horner. The team used newly developed SIT, and the improved images were obvious to the public.
The system was composed of the Color Television Camera (CTV) and the Television Control Unit (TCU). These were connected to the Lunar Communications Relay Unit (LCRU) when mounted on the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV).
Once the LRV was fully deployed, the camera was mounted there and controlled by commands from the ground to tilt, pan, and zoom in and out.