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.Coolpix A test data on DxO Mark GM5 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.Coolpix A test data on DxO Mark GM5 test data on DxO Mark
Solid alloy body with true twin-dial design; Smaller, lighter, and cheaper than most direct competitors; Excellent image quality, even when compared to interchangeable-lens cameras; Numerous accessories expand upon its capabilities.
Fixed prime lens is not for everybody; Ergonomics could be better; Performance is spotty; Built-in flash is rather weak; Battery life is quite modest.
Great image quality for a tiny camera; Excellent high ISO for its class; Built-in EVF; Built-in hot-shoe; Improved ergonomics; Improved image quality for long exposures; Improved burst rate with hybrid shutter; 1080/60p video.
Slightly bigger than GM1 (but not by much); No built-in flash; Shallow buffers with RAW files; Dynamic range not quite as good as some competing models; Below average battery life.