D-SPECT (Spectrum Dynamics, Israel) is a novel SPECT system for cardiac perfusion studies. Based on CZT detectors, region-centric scanning, high-sensitivity collimators and resolution recovery, it offers potential advantages over conventional systems. A series of measurements were made on a beta-version D-SPECT system in order to evaluate its performance in terms of energy resolution, scatter fraction, sensitivity, count rate capability and resolution. Corresponding measurements were also done on a conventional SPECT system (CS) for comparison. The energy resolution of the D-SPECT system at 140 keV was 5.5% (CS: 9.25%), the scatter fraction 30% (CS: 34%), the planar sensitivity 398 s(-1) MBq(-1) per head ((99m)Tc, 10 cm) (CS: 72 s(-1) MBq(-1)), and the tomographic sensitivity in the heart region was in the range 647-1107 s(-1) MBq(-1) (CS: 141 s(-1) MBq(-1)). The count rate increased linearly with increasing activity up to 1.44 M s(-1). The intrinsic resolution was equal to the pixel size, 2.46 mm (CS: 3.8 mm). The average reconstructed resolution using the standard clinical filter was 12.5 mm (CS: 13.7 mm). The D-SPECT has superior sensitivity to that of a conventional system with similar spatial resolution. It also has excellent energy resolution and count rate characteristics, which should prove useful in dynamic and dual radionuclide studies.