The image formed by an optical microscope is not a perfect representation of an object. In fact, through the act of forming a real image, the three-dimensional structure of the object has been collapsed to two dimensions. The act of deriving the three-dimensional information from the two-dimensional image (or series of images) is the aim of image restoration.
High-performance cooled CCD cameras are used for digital image restoration because of their superior quantitative imaging characteristics. Coupled with the improved wide-field microscopes and numerous algorithms for image restoration, this approach can not only provide improved results over confocal techniques but can do so at comparable speeds and lower costs. Moreover, a camera of this type can be utilized for numerous other experiments as opposed to a dedicated confocal instrument.