A folded holographic optical system is modeled for use as a building block for a compact imager. The design of the compact imaging system allows for a thin optical configuration and reduction in the size of the optical elements. In the folded design a transmission hologram in a slanted configuration folds the field of view of the lens and points it at a specific direction in the object space. The slanted geometry results in a compressed non-uniform field of view that is defined as a vignetting function and generated by a ray-tracing program. In the compact imaging system, multiple folded holographic imagers are used in an array to extend the field of view. Each imager unit is optimized to collect a segment of light from the object scene. The combination of imager units defines the composite field of view of the compact imaging system. The folded holographic imager is capable of capturing an image with full-field angle of 30°.