Maximum effective ISO is an estimate of the highest sensitivity at which a camera can capture excellent quality photos.
Cameras with higher effective ISO will be better choices for indoor photography, night shooting, and indoor sports photography, especially if you intend to make large prints.
You can learn more at our glossary entry.
Maximum effective ISO test data courtesy of DxO Mark.D7000 test data on DxO Mark D300S test data on DxO Mark
Cameras with more dynamic range allow you to take photos with dramatic differences in highlight and shadow areas while retaining detail in both.
Think of a brilliant sunset on a rocky beach: Bright sunset in the background, with dark rocks in the foreground. High dynamic range means more of the extremes will be faithfully reproduced.
Dynamic range test data courtesy of DxO Mark.D7000 test data on DxO Mark D300S test data on DxO Mark
Rugged construction; 51-point AF system capable of sophisticated AF tracking; Large, bright optical viewfinder; 7 fps JPEG or 12-bit RAW burst mode; HD Video capture.
14-bit RAW mode slows continuous shooting from 7 fps to 2.7 fps; Somewhat slow AF for a camera at this level, especially in 51-point auto-area mode; Video capture tops out at 720p24.
Very good image quality; Better than average noise vs. detail handling at high ISOs; Very good dynamic range in JPEGs, excellent in RAW files; Lots of high-end features in a relatively compact body; 6 fps burst mode.
Viewfinder not as accurate as specified; Viewfinder doesn't show ISO unless adjusting; No live histogram in Live View mode; No phase-detect Live View AF mode.