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A new method of photoacoustic (PA) imaging based on an acoustic lens and the peak-hold technology is presented in this article. A fast PA imaging system, which consists of an acoustic lens, a 64-element linear transducer array, and a peak detection-and-hold circuit, is developed to obtain the two dimensional (2D) PA images of the experimental samples. By utilizing an acoustic lens, the PA signals generated from the sample are directly imaged on the imaging plane and collected by the 64-element linear transducer array which changes the PA signals into the corresponding electronic signals. Then the electronic signals are converted into a one dimensional image using the peak detection-and-hold circuit. After vertical scanning with a step motor on the imaging plane, the 2D PA image of the sample is achieved successfully. The results show that the images reconstructed in this experiment agree well with the original samples. Compared to other methods, this PA imaging system can acquire the PA images more rapidly without any complex algorithms, and it may provide a more convenient method for future in vivo noninvasive imaging of tissues and clinic diagnosis.