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A new technique has been developed for the detection of small scale plasma objects, particularly in the x-ray and extreme ultraviolet region. The technique is based on a new device, called a slit-wire (S-W) camera. The S-W camera uses a combination of a slit, to provide one-dimensional imaging with large effective aperture, and a set of micron size wires across the slit to provide information about the emitting source based upon blocking of the incident light signal. A series of simultaneous slit-wire images of the same discharge, each with a different filter material, allows the characteristic size of the emitting plasma to be determined over a wide spectral range. Time resolved measurements of the plasma radius of a capillary discharge plasma and time integrated measurements of the hot-spot size in a plasma focus discharge are presented to illustrate the technique. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.