We propose a new approach for evaluating the contribution of the different channels of polarimetric and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (PolInSAR) images. For that purpose, we demonstrate that the Bhattacharyya distance between the probability density functions of neighboring regions in the image provides an efficient scalar contrast measure. We show that the analysis of this contrast measure allows one to precisely characterize the contribution of each channel for different system configurations, including intensity, polarimetric, and interferometric images. We illustrate this approach using a real synthetic aperture radar image to compare several polarimetric system architectures. Since PolInSAR imaging configurations can correspond to complex and expensive systems, the proposed method can be helpful in system imaging optimization.