Breakthrough technologies are needed to make emerging imaging applications—such as three-dimensional (3-D) and four-dimensional imaging in health care, high-definition TV, broadcasting, and multicamera systems in surveillance—handle increasingly demanding requirements concerning reliability and speed of automated image analysis (e.g., person identification in a surveillance system). In addition, advancements are needed to improve the success rate and comfort for humans using images for a particular task (e.g., performing a laparoscopic surgery). Future imaging systems will have to be much more intelligent about what data to acquire (e.g. automatic region of interest detection) and how to optimally image it based on the image content. Moreover, the systems need to become more context-aware (e.g. account for the presence of other cameras in the systems) and contribute to the joint optimization of the imaging system given the environment in which they are used. This special section focuses on new developments, which may speed up the transition towards intelligent imaging, ranging from intelligent sensors to control systems in various domains including but not limited to health care, broadcasting, and surveillance.