A sealed, compact mercury atomic-absorption resonance ionization imaging detector has been developed and evaluated. The sensitivity of the detector as well as its ability to form two-dimensional images has been demonstrated. Images of faint light (1000 photons) have been recorded by image summation. It is shown that one can obtain high-quality images with a spatial resolution of at least 130 mmby detecting the ionic component of the imaging signal. Distortion, more noise, and poorer spatial resolution were observed when the electron component of the signal was detected. We studied the influence of voltage on the cell electrodes to find the conditions for optimum signal-to-noise ratio.