We have performed off-axis heterodyne holography with very weak illumination by recording holograms of the object with and without object illumination in the same acquisition run. We have experimentally studied how the reconstructed image signal (with illumination) and noise background (without) scale with the holographic acquisition and reconstruction parameters that are the number of frames and the number of pixels of the reconstruction spatial filter. The first parameter is related to the frequency bandwidth of detection in time, the second one to the bandwidth in space. The signal to background ratio varies roughly like the inverse of the bandwidth in time and space. We have also compared the noise background with the theoretical shot-noise background calculated by Monte Carlo simulation. The experimental and Monte Carlo noise background agree very well with each other.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 10, 2012
Revised Manuscript: October 2, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: October 3, 2012
Published: October 29, 2012
M. Lesaffre, N. Verrier, and M. Gross, "Noise and signal scaling factors in digital holography in weak illumination: relationship with shot noise," Appl. Opt. 52, A81-A91 (2013)