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The irradiance measurement performed by vision cameras is not noise-free due to both processing errors during CCD fabrication and the behaviour of the electronic device itself. A proper characterization of sensor performance, however, allows either removing the resulting noise from the image or accounting for it within image processing algorithms. This paper proposes new methods for estimating the distribution parameters of two of such sources of noise: dark current and the so-called fixed pattern noise. Since both methods require knowledge about the scene illumination, an estimation method using a calibrating sphere is also presented. This method models illumination as the combination of directional and ambient lighting. Experimental results can be found at the end of the paper.