performance in low light - what is the limit ?

Started Aug 9, 2014 | Questions thread
Eric Fossum
Eric Fossum Senior Member • Posts: 1,335
Re: performance in low light - what is the limit ?

Christof21 wrote:


As far as I understand, there is photon noise and read noise. We can only lower the read noise but nothing can be done with photon noise.

Currently, can we consider that the noise is mainly photon noise and that no significant improvement can be done ? No need to wait for the latest camera ??? The good news its that I will save money

Is it possible to answer to this question precisely:

What is the highest dxo scores for the m43, APS-C, FF sensors in low light ?? Is it possible to calculate it ?

Thanks in advance for your answers,


Shot noise is equal to the square root of the number of photoelectrons collected.

So there is a continuous degradation of SNR, but shot noise always goes down with less light.

Read noise is still at a few electrons rms so there is plenty of room for improvement there. We need an order of magnitude in reduction in read noise to be able to reliably count photoelectrons.

Another goal is to increase the quantum efficiency so that every photon counts and produces a photoelectron.

The DXO scores should be able to be modeled (calculated) if you know all the sensor and camera characteristics.


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