We create digital holograms of real-world objects using a process called phase-shift digital holography. This system has been used as the basis for a three-dimensional object reconstruction and recognition technique. We present the results of applying lossless and lossy data compression to individual holographic frames. The lossy techniques are based on quantisation and amplitude equalisation. We also present a novel technique that uses only phase information of the digital hologram for the real-time optical reconstruction of three-dimensional objects.