On the basis of the Poisson photocurrent statistics in the photon-limited heterodyne detection, in this paper, the signal-to-noise ratios in the receiver in the time domain and on the focused 1-D image and 2-D image in the space domain are derived for both the down-looking and side-looking synthetic aperture imaging ladars using PIN or APD photodiodes. The major shot noises in the down-looking SAIL and the side-looking SAIL are, respectively, from the dark current of photodiode and the local beam current. It is found that the ratio of 1-D image SNR to receiver SNR is proportional to the number of resolution elements in the cross direction of travel and the ratio of 2-D image SNR to 1-D image SNR is proportional to the number of resolution elements in the travel direction. And the sensitivity, the effect of Fourier transform of sampled signal, and the influence of time response of detection circuit are discussed, too. The study will help to correctly design a SAIL system.