Method and apparatus for high-speed automatic inspection and processing of large numbers of solid discrete particular objects such as multicolored capsule dose forms in regard to color and/or defect detection, in which virtually all unacceptable material is isolated and an accurate running and total count of acceptable material is provided. The objects are transported in a number of channels past respective optical heads comprising an electro-optics system, the transport mechanism being arranged to provide signals representative of relative object location. The electro-optics system is comprised operatively of separate color recognition and shape inspection subsystems. For the former, a plurality of optical channels are arranged in each optical head operatively in P groups of R optical channels each. The R optical channels of each group view different object segments to provide a spatially integrated output for minimizing noise and particularly the effects of printing on the objects. The P outputs constitute a multidimensional (vector) color signature. For defect detection, a pair of optical channels are provided with each optical head to provide signals constituting the shape signature of the object. The color and shape signature information of an object is obtained by sampling photodetector outputs in dependence on the object position information from the transport mechanism and also the sensed specular peak by a computer-controlled arrangement. The signatures obtained are compared to stored reference signatures for color and shape, and output signals are developed from the comparison which are transmitted to a reject arrangement for isolating the unacceptable material.