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 NEX-5N 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).
Fast autofocus and prefocused shutter lag; Quieter shutter sound; Captures 10 frames per second; Supports AVCHD 2.0.
Limited first-party lens selection; Slow and confusing on-screen user interface; top-mounted, proprietary accessories are quite pricey.