Charge-coupled device (CCD) area image sensors of the interline-transfer type include design features which enable the transfer and detection of signal charge packets of the order of tens of electrons. These sensors, which include devices with 190 x 244 and 380 x 488 elements, have application in all-solid-state TV cameras designed for use with very low levels of scene illumination. The designer of TV cam-eras which fully exploit this low-light performance potential is faced with a challenging constraint; extraneous noise effects must be mini-mized. In order to assess progress to date, both for sensor design and utilization techniques, the theoretical performance limitations imposed by non-cancellable noise of the detection process, and the effects of sensor CTF, are examined. This paper describes an analytical model for predicting the sensor-limited resolution-irradiance characteristics of CCD-TV camera systems as a function of responsivity, CTF, dark charge, on-chip amplifier NES, optical image contrast, and the required threshold signal-to-noise ratio. The results of the analysis are compared with recent experimental results approaching the predicted sensor-limited camera performance.