DirectShow refers to a set of instructions, functions, and norms developed by Microsoft that apply to libraries and programs for video conversion. Quite simply, a DirectShow-enabled camera can be programmatically controlled using common instructions.

This mechanism allows the user to operate the camera through various application software without having to use a dedicated application that comes with the camera when the USB camera is recognized by a PC. However, you may need to take steps to get your PC to recognize the camera, if necessary.

This makes it possible to use a variety of application software from different developers. For example, it is possible to select and use the necessary software according to the application, such as viewer software that simply displays images, software that performs image measurement, software that performs automatic visual inspection, and software that performs 3D image synthesis. There are many companies on the market that only offer software.

However, there are multiple types of video formats that the camera outputs, and the application software used must support these formats.

Video formats include YUY2, RGB24, and RAW16, for example. While the software provided on its own often supports these common video formats, some software shipped with the camera only supports specific camera-specific formats.