For decades, techniques based on synchrotron light sources have played a central role in solid interface research. This role has been recently enhanced by two factors: the commissioning of the third generation of sources, characterized by unprecedented levels of brightness, and the first utilization cases of another class of photon sources related to synchrotron facilities, the free electron lasers (FEL's). This review will first present some relevant examples of how the new facilities are changing the scene of interface research, most notably in the domain of spectromicroscopy. We will specifically illustrate how the crucial problem of the lateral fluctuations of interface properties is being attacked with both synchrotron-light and FEL techniques. Then, we will argue that the present applications are only marginally exploiting the amazing capabilities of the new sources. The main case to illustrate this point is coherence-Sharpened x-ray imaging, a very promising and spectacular technique developed for medical radiology, which could find extremely interesting applications in interface research.