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.D800 test data on DxO Mark D5 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.D800 test data on DxO Mark D5 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
Rugged build; Excellent controls; Extremely high resolution; Dual cards; Surprising high ISO performance.
Very large files; Slower frame rate; Custom white balance gives a greenish tint; Battery life lower than D700.
Excellent image quality; Excellent high ISO performance; Fast 153-point autofocus system; Fast continuous shooting speeds; 4K video recording; Pro-quality camera body; Outstanding battery life.
Large and heavy body might not be right for all; Loud shutter; Underutilized touchscreen; Low ISO dynamic range not as good as predecessor; Extended high ISOs not very useful; Sluggish Live View AF.