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Photometric limits for digital camera systems

: Schöberl, M.; Brückner, A.; Foessel, S.; Kaup, A.


Journal of electronic imaging 21 (2012), No.2, Art. 020501, 4 pp.
ISSN: 1017-9909
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOF ()

Image sensors for digital cameras are built with ever decreasing pixel sizes. The size of the pixels seems to be limited by technology only. However, there is also a hard theoretical limit for classical video camera systems: During a certain exposure time only a certain number of photons will reach the sensor. The resulting shot noise thus limits the signal-to-noise ratio. In this letter we show that current sensors are already surprisingly close to this limit.