In breast tomosynthesis there are tradeoffs between resolution, noise and acquisition speed for a given glandular dose. The purpose of the present work is to investigate the dependence of tomosynthesis imaging performance on system configuration, which includes detector operational modes and image acquisition geometry. A prototype Siemens breast tomosynthesis system with maximum angular range of +/- 25 degrees was used in our investigation. The system was equipped with an amorphous selenium (a-Se) full field digital mammography detector with pixel size of 85μm. The detector can be read out with full resolution or 2×1 binning (binning in the tube travel direction), which increases the image readout rate and decreases the degradation effect of electronic noise. The total number of views can be varied from 11 to 49, and filtered back projection (FBP) method was used to reconstruct the tomosynthesis images. We investigated the effects of detector operational modes (binning) and imaging geometry (view angle and number) on temporal performance and spatial resolution of the projection images. The focal spot blur due to continuous tube travel was measured for different acquisition geometry, and its effect on in-plane presampling modulation transfer function (MTF) was compared to that due to pixel binning. A three-dimensional cascaded linear system model was developed for tomosynthesis to predict the 3D MTF, NPS and DQE. The results were compared with experimental measurements, and reasonable agreement was achieved. The understanding of the relationship between the 3D and projection image quality will lead to optimization of the x-ray spectrum, imaging geometry and reconstruction filters for digital breast tomosynthesis.