UV imaging provides spatially and temporally resolved absorbance measurements, which are highly useful in pharmaceutical analysis. Commercial UV imaging instrumentation was originally developed as a detector for separation sciences, but the main use is in the area of in vitro dissolution and release testing studies. The review covers the basic principles of the technology and summarizes the main applications in relation to intrinsic dissolution rate determination, excipient compatibility studies and in vitro release characterization of drug substances and vehicles intended for parenteral administration. UV imaging has potential for providing new insights to drug dissolution and release processes in formulation development by real-time monitoring of swelling, precipitation, diffusion and partitioning phenomena. Limitations of current instrumentation are discussed and a perspective to new developments and opportunities given as new instrumentation is emerging.