Radiological imaging is progressing towards an all-digital future, across the spectrum of medical imaging techniques. Computed radiography (CR) has provided a ready pathway from screen film to digital radiography and a convenient entry point to PACS. This review briefly revisits the principles of modern CR systems and their physical imaging characteristics. Wide dynamic range and digital image enhancement are well-established benefits of CR, which lend themselves to improved image presentation and reduced rates of repeat exposures. However, in its original form CR offered limited scope for reducing the radiation dose per radiographic exposure, compared with screen film. Recent innovations in CR, including the use of dual-sided image readout and channelled storage phosphor have eased these concerns. For example, introduction of these technologies has improved detective quantum efficiency (DQE) by approximately 50 and 100%, respectively, compared with standard CR. As a result CR currently affords greater scope for reducing patient dose, and provides a more substantive challenge to the new solid-state, flat-panel, digital radiography detectors.