Results of acceptance testing 18 full-field digital mammography systems for clinical use and of conducting annual physics surveys of 38 screen-film mammography systems were compared in terms of exposure times, mean glandular breast doses, and image quality. These evaluations were made using the same test tools on all systems, with emphasis on assessing automatic exposure control performance and image quality on both digital and screen-film systems using clinical techniques. Survey results indicated that digital mammography systems performed similarly to screen-film systems in terms of exposure times and mean glandular doses for thin to intermediate breasts, but that digital mammography systems selected shorter exposure times and lower mean glandular doses for thicker breasts. For all breast thicknesses, digital mammography systems yielded mean contrast-detail scores higher than those for screen-film systems. For all breast thicknesses, the 18 digital mammography systems demonstrated less variance in terms of exposure times, mean glandular doses, and contrast-detail scores than did the 38 screen-film systems tested. These results indicate that the clinical use of digital mammography may generally improve image quality for equal or lower breast doses, while providing tighter control on exposures and image quality than screen-film mammography. © 2002 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.