Separately, I setup an A record for camera, which points to the IP address of our video camera server. When you type camera into a web browser and hit enter, sometimes you are forwarded to the proper location (internal IP address) while other times you are sent to a search engine result page. (I'd also like to figure out why these results vary so much)
Hello Joe- let's start with the first issue. DNS can of map a host name to a URL. Creating Ruth's host record or cname record that points to the web server is correct. Then, on the web server, you can make the web sites home directory map to that home folder or alternativly create a redirect. Also keep in mind that DNS is all about fully qualified host names. So while you may type a single label name in the address bar, your computer's OS will append the DNS suffix that's configured to try to resolve that unqualified name.
For the second, its likely to the DNS suffix situation I mentioned.
You could do this with a local HOSTS file or LMHOSTS file running on the client machine. That would certainly work with the name style you want. BIG downside is that you need to maintain it on each PC or use an include to pull in the file from a central server.