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.A7 II test data on DxO Mark NX30 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.A7 II test data on DxO Mark NX30 test data on DxO Mark
Very good image quality at low to moderately high ISOs; Blazing fast single-shot autofocus; Fast 9fps burst with RAW and JPEG files; Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC; Good build quality; Tilting EVF; Articulating touchscreen monitor; Bundled with Adobe Lightroom 5 software; Excellent value.
Dynamic range not as good as the best APS-C models; Slow buffer clearing even with fast UHS-I cards; Buffer depth with RAW files is underwhelming; Native lens selection is still fairly limited.
Excellent 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization; Sensor-shift IS brings stabilization to nearly any lens; Much-improved ergonomics and top-deck control layout; 'Mark II' maintains same impressive image quality, dynamic range and high ISO performance; XAVC S 50Mbps video format; Faster start-up time; Hybrid AF performs well with good continuous AF.
(Similar to A7): Loud shutter (but electronic first-curtain helps); Battery life could be better; Low-light AF still not as good as most DSLRs; High ISO JPEGs look over-processed; Slow buffer clearing; Limited selection of native Sony FE lenses (but it's getting better).