The pencam was a handheld camera shaped like a pen (hence the name) which was used by the Countdown lexicographer to point out words of interest in the dictionary. The word would also be highlighted in post-production (the only real post-prod flourish in the otherwise practically as-live show, as the letters depicted at the bottom of the screen are actually displayed using a split-screen camera trick). Occasionally, the pencam would be used as a close-up camera if the the DC guest brought in something that they wanted to show to the world.
The pencam made its début in the premiere of Series 22, with the purpose of highlighting the absence of the word "pencam" itself from the dictionary. It was retired at the end of Series 70, when the paper dictionary was removed from the show. The last word to be looked up with the pencam was AXONEMES, in the last letters round of the grand final of this series.
The pencam has since been occasionally used by to show close up items during the Dictionary Corner guest anecdote. It has also been used in 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown.