Vision pp 95-110 | Cite as

Comparative Noise Properties of Vision, Television, and Photographic Film

  • Albert Rose
Part of the Optical Physics and Engineering book series (OPEG)


A television system is, for the most part, a surrogate for the human eye. The television camera in the studio or at some public event should be seeing what we, as viewers, would see if we were present. Consciously or unconsciously, we judge the quality of the transmitted picture in terms of what our own visual system would have apprehended when standing alongside the camera. For our purposes, this statement has particular meaning for those situations in which the camera is picking up scenes at low light levels, where the information transmitted is limited by the amount of light available. The television picture is then noise-limited as, indeed, our own visual system would be when viewing the original scene. The difference is that the television picture is presented at a high light level so that its noise is readily visible. Our own visual system in viewing the original scene would automatically adjust the gain of the visual process to make the noise only barely visible.


Motion Picture Photographic Film Television System Picture Element Television Picture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. J-1.
    R. Clark Jones, “Quantum Efficiency of Detectors for Visible and Infrared Radiation,” in Advances in Electronics and Electron Physics, Vol. 11, p. 147 (1959), Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. M-1.
    R.H. Morgan, Threshold visual perception and its relationship to photon fluctuation and sine-wave response, Am. J. Roentgenol. Radium Therapy Nucl. Med. 93,982–966(1965).Google Scholar
  3. S-1.
    O.H. Schade, Electron optics and signal read-out of high definition return-beam vidicon cameras, RCA Rev. 31, 60–119 (1972).Google Scholar


  1. A. Rose, A unified approach to the performance of photographic film, television pickup tubes and the human eye,“ J. Soc. Motion Picture Engrs. 47, 273–294 (1946).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Rose
    • 1
  1. 1.David Sarnoff Research CenterRCAPrincetonUSA

Personalised recommendations