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.K-5 test data on DxO Mark 7D 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.K-5 test data on DxO Mark 7D test data on DxO Mark
Excellent 18-megapixel sensor with impressively low noise and superb detail; Very good high ISO performance, especially for 18-megapixel subframe sensor; Rugged construction with magnesium body and weather sealing; Fast autofocus and fast burst rate of 8 fps; Full HD (1920x1080) movies at 30/25/24p, 60/50p at 1280x720.
No dedicated AF-assist lamp (flash is used), and AF-assist adjustment is buried in the Flash Settings menu; Kit lens (28-135mm) isn't quite up to the resolving power of the 18-megapixel sensor, odd focal length for subframe DSLR; No continuous autofocus in Movie mode.
Excellent high ISO performance, one of the best APS-C sensors yet; 6.5 fps burst mode has very good buffer depths; Weather, dust, and cold resistant; In-body Shake Reduction corrects not only horizontal / vertical, but also rotational motion.
Default saturation and contrast a bit high; Auto white balance too warm in tungsten light; Fewer AF points than main competitors; Only a single card slot, and no UHS-I card support (slow buffer clearing).