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.K-5 test data on DxO Mark E-P5 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.K-5 test data on DxO Mark E-P5 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
Excellent high ISO performance, one of the best APS-C sensors yet; 6.5 fps burst mode has very good buffer depths; Weather, dust, and cold resistant; In-body Shake Reduction corrects not only horizontal / vertical, but also rotational motion.
Default saturation and contrast a bit high; Auto white balance too warm in tungsten light; Fewer AF points than main competitors; Only a single card slot, and no UHS-I card support (slow buffer clearing).
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.