Abstract The data acquisition system for the 8π spectrometer, a multidetector array for γ-ray spectroscopy, is described. It is based on CAMAC modules equipped with a fast auxiliary bus in ECL logic. The system has been designed to handle a high rate of events, each with large information content. To offer maximum flexibility for the many types of experiments envisaged, the logic of the data stream to magnetic tape has been made user selectable. This is achieved through selective hardware triggers, hardwired computations and programmed instructions in a fast microprocessor, which condense the information from each event by extracting its essential features.