A scanning laser acoustic microscope (SLAM) is described. The SLAM achieves a resolution of about 10 μm and is capable of imaging subsurface features at depths up to several millimeters, using appropriate reconstruction algorithms. The various components of the apparatus, both acousto-optical and electronic, are described. A major feature of the SLAM is a digital data-acquisition system capable of storing and processing the complex acoustic field in images with 256 × 256-pixel resolution. An array processor enables most floating-point operations to be completed in a few seconds. Examples of acoustic images obtained from a test sample are presented.