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Opt Express. 2009 Oct 26;17(22):20211-20. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.020211.

The absolute sensitivity of digital colour cameras.

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  • 1The University Centre in Svalbard, N-9171 Longyearbyen, Norway.


A new and improved method to obtain the average spectral pixel responsivity and the quantum efficiency of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras is outlined. Two semi-professional cameras, the Nikon D300 and the Canon 40D, are evaluated. The cameras red, green and blue pixel responsivities and quantum efficiency are retrieved by illuminating an integrating sphere with a wavelength tunable monochromator. 31 intensity calibrated monochromatic spectral lines from 4000 to 7000 A, with a bandpass of approximately 12 A, were used as a library to solve the main equations of observation for the cameras. Both cameras have peak sensitivity in the blue and minimum sensitivity in the red. The Canon 40D has blue and green channel sensitivity close to the Nikon D300. The Canon red channel has half the sensitivity of the Nikon camera.

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