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-30 test data on DxO Mark T3i 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-30 test data on DxO Mark T3i test data on DxO Mark
Excellent image quality; Good grip; Full HD video recording; Swiveling LCD; Very fast autofocus; HDMI output.
Slow frame rate for sports shooting; Tendency to overexpose in bright sunlight; Live View AF is slow; No microfocus adjustment.
Pentaprism viewfinder is bright and accurate; Weather-sealed body can handle direct rain; Twin control dials make exposure control a snap; Solid build; Great image quality.
Lower resolution than some rivals; Not as small as recent Pentax entry-level and mid-range models; A couple of ergonomic and UI quirks; Shutter isn't the quietest; 18-55 kit lens isn't weather-sealed.