Nontrivial capacitance behavior, including a negative capacitance (NC) effect, observed in a variety of semiconductor devices, is discussed emphasizing the physical mechanism and the theoretical interpretation of experimental data. The correct interpretation of NC can be based on the analysis of the time-domain transient current in response to a small voltage step or impulse, involving a self-consistent treatment of all relevant physical effects (carrier transport, injection, recharging etc.). NC appears in the case of the non-monotonic or positive-valued behavior of the time-derivative of the transient current in response to a small voltage step. The time-domain transient current approach is illustrated by simulation results and experimental studies of quantum well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs). The NC effect in QWIPs has been predicted theoretically and confirmed experimentally. The huge NC phenomenon in QWIPs is due to the non-equilibrium transient injection from the emitter caused by the properties of the injection barrier and the inertia of the QW recharging.