A hurdle to frequently performing mobile computer vision tasks is the high energy cost of image sensing. In particular, modern image sensors are not energy proportional; for low resolution and low frame rate capture, the image sensor consumes almost the same amount of energy as it does at high resolutions and high frame rates. We reveal two system-level energy proportional mechanisms: (i) using an optimal pixel clock frequency; (ii) entering low power standby mode between frames. These techniques can be implemented by the image sensor driver with minimal hardware adjustment. Further improvements can be made by designing sensors with heterogeneous hardware architectures. With energy proportionality, computer vision frameworks can be optimized for power consumption, continuously requesting low resolution frames with low energy while only occasionally using high energy to request high resolution frames. This will in turn enable low power continuous mobile vision applications.