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-PL5 test data on DxO Mark V3 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-PL5 test data on DxO Mark V3 test data on DxO Mark
Excellent image quality with good color and dynamic range; Great high ISO performance for its class; Extremely speedy performer, with fast and accurate autofocus on stationary subjects; Lightweight, compact and ergonomic design; Touchscreen LCD that tilts all the way forward for taking self portraits; Tons of advanced functions and customizable options.
Confusing and frustrating menu system takes hours to master; AF isn't optimal for taking fast-motion action shots; LCD viewfinding suffers under direct sunlight; Mediocre HD video quality; No built-in flash (but a small external flash is included).
Very compact for an interchangeable-lens camera; Generous kit includes lens, high-res electronic viewfinder and accessory grip; Good image quality for the sensor size; Amazing burst performance; Lightning-fast autofocus; Intuitive touch-screen makes focusing a snap
Smaller sensor than most rivals limits possibilities for available-light shooting; Program mode opts for wide-open aperture most of the time; Limited dynamic range; Noisy shadows; Below-average battery life; Pricey when considering its image quality