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 K-30 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 K-30 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.
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.