Digital imaging or digital image acquisition is the creation of a digital representation of the visual characteristics of an object, such as a physical scene or the interior structure of an object. The term is often assumed to imply or include the processing, compression, storage, printing and display of such images. A key advantage of a digital image, versus an analog image such as a film photograph, is the ability to digitally propagate copies of the original subject indefinitely without any loss of image quality.
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Digital imaging can be classified by the type of electromagnetic radiation or other waves whose variable attenuation, as they pass through or reflect off objects, conveys the information that constitutes the image. In all classes of digital imaging, the information is converted by image sensors into digital signals that are processed by a computer and made output as a visible-light image. For example, the medium of visible light allows digital photography (including digital videography) with various kinds of digital cameras (including digital video cameras). X-rays allow digital X-ray imaging (digital radiography, fluoroscopy, and CT), and gamma rays allow digital gamma ray imaging (digital scintigraphy, SPECT, and PET). Sound allows ultrasonography (such as medical ultrasonography) and sonar, and radio waves allow radar. Digital imaging lends itself well to image analysis by software, as well as to image editing (including image manipulation).