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 test data on DxO Mark GH4 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 test data on DxO Mark GH4 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
Incredibly small body for a fully-featured, full-frame camera; Very high resolution; Hybrid autofocus is reasonably fast and confident; Significantly better burst-shooting performance than A7R; Excellent image quality even at very high sensitivities; Faster x-sync than A7R; Accepts existing Alpha-mount and E-mount lenses, and can optionally crop to APS-C image circle.
Grass-is-greener syndrome when compared to its higher-res sibling; Moderate performance; Loud shutter (but electronic first-curtain helps); Mediocre battery life when using electronic viewfinder; Weak low-light autofocus considering its price; Limited selection of native Sony FE lenses.
Excellent still image quality for its class; Fantastic, highly-detailed video quality; Superior video recording chops with 4K video (both Cinema 4K and Ultra HD); Responsive all-around performer with great AF performance and burst shooting; Rolling shutter is minimal with 60p and 30p video; Splash- and dust-proof magnesium alloy body; Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC.
High ISO performance not as good as some APS-C models (IQ drops quickly past ISO 3200); Overall still image quality not significantly better than the GH3; Sluggish buffer clearing with RAW files; Rolling shutter noticeable on 4K video; Not as compact as most mirrorless cameras.