In light microscopy, colour CCD cameras are now capable of generating image data sets that contain more information than can be captured with slow 35 mm colour reversal film. The resolution of colour CCD cameras with a high density of sensor elements (≥ 3300 × 2200 per channel of colour) is equivalent to that of slow 35 mm colour film over typical fields of view for objectives with a wide range of magnifications and numerical apertures. The contrast that can be achieved in images derived from the data sets obtained with colour CCD cameras far exceeds that found with film and can exceed that of human vision. Finally, the data sets collected with high-resolution colour CCD cameras are capable of being displayed at a wide range (four-fold) of different magnifications easily and interchangeably. Consequently, the combination of a data set that describes a relatively large field of view with one or two data sets that describe specific details taken with an eight-fold increase in magnification are all that is necessary to describe the salient features of the vast majority of stained specimens examined with transmitted light microscopy.