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.E-P5 test data on DxO Mark E-P3 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.E-P5 test data on DxO Mark E-P3 test data on DxO Mark
Extremely fast autofocus; Pop-up flash and AF-assist lamp; Full HD recording; wisely limited focus for touchscreen; excellent print quality results; removable grip.
Larger than some competitors (see E-PL3 if you prefer a smaller camera); strong noise suppression; touchscreen easily activated by mistake; list of options is overwhelming; shoulder strap D-rings are noisy.
Handsome retro styling; Very good image quality and dynamic range, with competitive high ISO performance; Lightning fast autofocusing; Excellent burst speeds (nearly 10fps at full res); Top shutter speed of 1/8000 second; Sharp, bright 17mm f/1.8 kit lens; 3-inch tilting touchscreen LCD with 1.04M dots of resolution.
Heavier than some mirrorless models; Weak flash; Below average battery life; No built-in viewfinder (but EVF available in a kit or for separate purchase); A bit pricey compared to the similar E-M5, which offers a built-in EVF and weather sealing at about the same price.