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.NEX-6 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.NEX-6 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.
Very good image quality; More consumer-friendly control setup than NEX-7 but more advanced (actual Mode dial) than step-down models; OLED EVF and 3-inch tilting LCD monitor provide viewfinder flexibility; Fast and decisive AF on stationary subjects, and good continuous AF on normal moving subjects; Full HD 1080p video recording at up to 60p.
Hybrid AF system speed and accuracy still lags somewhat behind higher-end DSLRs; Wi-Fi features still rudimentary (join the club); LCD is not a touchscreen; User interface foibles.