Broadband synchrotron X-rays with limited coherence can be used for high resolution phase contrast radiology. Our experimental results confirm the prediction that the extreme spatial coherence of third-generation synchrotron sources although helpful but not strictly necessary for refraction-based or diffraction-based edge enhancement. Source with rather limited lateral coherence can produce Fresnel diffraction fringes. The direct observation of the same fringes using broadband synchrotron lights demonstrates that high time coherence is also not required. Broadband light produces a high photon flux and high average photon energy, that was exploited for real-time radiology (5 ms frame) studies with high lateral resolution (1 mum) and excellent contrast, without using a sophisticated detecting system. These results enhance the potential impact of phase contrast on medical X-ray applications, materials science and other domains. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.