Color depth refers to the number of unique colors that a sensor can faithfully capture. Cameras with better color depth will demonstrate smoother transitions from one color to the next, and avoid "banding" in areas with subtle shading. (Blue skies are an example of where you might see color banding.)
More color depth is generally better, but you'll struggle to notice a difference between two cameras with less than 1 bit of difference. Color depth above 22 bits is considered excellent.
Want to learn more? Head over to our full glossary entry on color depth
Color depth test data courtesy of DxO Mark.A7 II test data on DxO Mark EOS M test data on DxO Mark
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.A7 II test data on DxO Mark EOS M 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.A7 II test data on DxO Mark EOS M test data on DxO Mark
Cameras with longer battery life can take more photos before exhausting their batteries.
Special note: The measurement standard for battery life stipulates that if a camera has an internal flash, it must be used for 50% of photos taken. For this reason, comparisons of one camera with an internal flash to another without will not be comparable
Excellent image quality similar to Rebel T4i, T5i and SL1 DSLRs, with 18-megapixel APS-C-type sensor delivering considerable resolution for a mirrorless camera; Solid build and sleek design; Bright, high-resolution 3-inch LCD touchscreen monitor; Full 1080p HD video recording that's virtually silent with an STM lens.
Barely acceptable autofocus speed still lags far behind most mirrorless cameras despite firmware update fix; Limited physical controls and buttons, including no Program, Priority, or Manual on Mode dial; Lacks built-in flash or electronic viewfinder option; Only two compact EF-M mount lenses currently available.
Excellent 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization; Sensor-shift IS brings stabilization to nearly any lens; Much-improved ergonomics and top-deck control layout; 'Mark II' maintains same impressive image quality, dynamic range and high ISO performance; XAVC S 50Mbps video format; Faster start-up time; Hybrid AF performs well with good continuous AF.
(Similar to A7): Loud shutter (but electronic first-curtain helps); Battery life could be better; Low-light AF still not as good as most DSLRs; High ISO JPEGs look over-processed; Slow buffer clearing; Limited selection of native Sony FE lenses (but it's getting better).