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-PM2 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-PM2 test data on DxO Mark V3 test data on DxO Mark
Super compact and lightweight; Excellent image and print quality that rivals much more expensive CSCs and DSLRs; Solid low-light (high ISO) performance; Touchscreen LCD responsive and useful once you get used to it; Speedy and accurate AF on still subjects; Tons of advanced shooting features and customizing options.
Maddening menu system; No physical Mode dial; Motion AF not quite up to par; 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