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.NX500 test data on DxO Mark E-PL5 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.NX500 test data on DxO Mark E-PL5 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 good image quality with high-resolution files; Excellent high ISO performance with RAW files; Very good dynamic range; Fast AF performance; Compact design with good build quality; Better ergonomics than predecessor; 4K video recording.
High ISO noise reduction too strong; AF struggles in low-light; Buffer depth is shallow with RAW files; No option for EVF; No built-in flash (external one included); 4K Video is cropped with narrower FOV.