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Laser-induced field emission from metallic field emitter array cathodes excited by femtosecond near infrared laser pulses is explored. When 50 fs laser pulses irradiated a 1.2 × 105-tip emitter array under a DC field emission bias, electron bunches with bunch charge up to 5.2 pC were observed. The variation of the bunch charge at different laser intensities and polarizations indicated that electrons were produced from the field emitters by a photofield emission process. The result demonstrates the feasibility of metallic field emitter array cathodes for high-charge short-pulse electron source applications.