||We report an effective quantum efficiency of 340, responsivity >200 A W-1 (>104 V W-1) and response time of 27±5 ps at temperatures close to the superconducting transition for NbN superconducting hot-electron photodetectors (HEPs) in the near-infrared and optical ranges. Our studies were performed on a few nm thick NbN films deposited on sapphire substrates and patterned into µm-size multibridge detector structures, incorporated into a coplanar transmission line. The time-resolved photoresponse was studied by means of subpicosecond electro-optic sampling with 100 fs wide laser pulses. The quantum efficiency and responsivity studies of our photodetectors were conducted using an amplitude-modulated infrared beam, fibre-optically coupled to the device. The observed picosecond response time and the very high efficiency and sensitivity of the NbN HEPs make them an excellent choice for infrared imaging photodetectors and input optical-to-electrical transducers for superconducting digital circuits.