During the past several years, image acquisition in nuclear medicine, computed tomography, ultrasonography, subtraction angiography, and magnetic resonance has been by digitization. Despite these advances, research in the development of digital imaging in conventional radiography has lagged behind. Although studies with a variety of digital techniques have been carried out on several fronts, we still do not possess a method that has captured the imagination of the majority of radiologists and other physicians to a point where it could replace conventional screen-film imaging. This article reviews the current status and general principles of the technology, focusing on the four digital radiographic techniques that have shown the greatest promise - film digitization, an image intensifier - based system, photostimulable phosphor plates, and a scanned projection system. The physical aspects of each of the four systems and the clinical results that have been reported to date, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each system, are presented.