A combination portable recording video camera and video-conferencing terminal is described, wherein a video camera and lens is adjustable so that it can either produce images of an operator's surroundings for recording on a medium such as video tape, as in normal recording video cameras, or of the operator as in video conferencing terminals. The device is preferably provided with a video display screen that functions as a viewfinder in video-graphing the surroundings. The device is equipped with communication electronics that establish a connection over a network, and then transmits video and audio signals from the device while displaying video signals and reproducing audio signals that arrive over the network. Attempts by the network to establish a connection with the device result in the device automatically establishing the connection. Then the device activates its internal recording systems to play the prerecorded video message and transmit it over the network. The operator is later able to play the recorded signals and view them on the device's built-in display.