Saturday, August 29, 2020

Photonis Demos Color Night Imaging at 0.01 Lux

Photonis publishes a demo of its Nocturn color camera at 0.01 Lux scene illumination.

"The NOCTURN Color models are powered by the proprietary KAMELEON imaging sensor, a solid-state sensor that offers less than 4e- read noise, with SXGA (1280×1024) resolution at frame rates up to 100 Hz. The KAMELEON sensor provides large 9.72µm pixels with microlenses for optimum quantum efficiency in excess of 60%, providing high-resolution low light color images that extend the vision of the human eye."


  1. Crazy performance!!!
    Is this export controlled?

  2. How many photons hit a 10x10u pixen in lets say 10ms when a 0.01 lux illuminated scene is captured? 25ke full well, lets say x25 gain, so a signal of 1000e- for s saturated pixel. How many photons cross a 10x10u area in 10ms at 0.01lux? Just a ballpark estimation ;-)

    1. i (i posted the question above) tried to retrace the '40 photons'

      1lux = 1 lumen over 1 m^2
      1watt = 683lumen (for 555nm)
      so 1lux = (1/683)W/m^2 = 1.5x10^-3 W/m^2 = 1.5x10^-15W/um^2
      PhotonEnergy Ep = hc/lambda = (6.6 10^-34[Js] * 300 * 10^6 [m/s]) / 555*10^-9 (m) = 3.6 *10^-19
      PhotonCount Pc = 1.5x10^-15[W/um^2] / 3.6 *10^-19 = 4100

      so about 4000 photons/sec for 1 lux per um^2, right? or 4 per ms. For a 10x10u pixel 400 per ms or 4000 for 10ms. For 0.01 lux 40 photons. Assuming a high QE of lets say 80%, this results in about 30 electrons per pixel during integration time.

    2. You have forgotten that 0.01 is illumination on the scene. To get the value on the sensor, you have to multiply 1/4F2, roughly 1/10 for F=1.4.

  3. Yes, 40 photons. If QE=60%, 24 electrons.

  4. Our worldwide patented Kameleon technology is indeed great! It is used in a lot of different applications around the world and is export free.
    Contact us for more détails!

    1. Great! Do you have the patent no please?

  5. Pixel Pitch = 9.7um
    Pixel Area = 94.1e-12m2
    W/lux for 550nm = 1/683
    Lux on sensor = 0.01/10 (F1.4)
    A/W at 550nm = 0.44A/W
    QE = 0.6
    Exposure Time = 10mS
    ==> 2.29 electrons

  6. Where is photon noise at such low light level?

  7. Hey guys, camera lens have focusing function. let's say F1.4, it should be x10 photons not /10. But considering object have 1/10 reflectivity . It should be 40x10/10=40 photons.

    1. Sorry, but higher f-no means smaller aperture and less light. So 1/8. Otherwise all the camera phones would use pinhole optics with great depth of field and life would be easy.


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