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.A6000 test data on DxO Mark NEX-5 test data on DxO Mark
Amazing image quality for the price; Blazing-fast hybrid autofocus; Swift burst shooting with generous buffer depths; Good battery life with LCD monitor; More compact than a DSLR; In-camera Wi-Fi wireless networking
Continuous autofocus can't match its burst rate; High-ISO JPEGs can look overprocessed; Sluggish startup; No touch-screen display; Wi-Fi can be a bit frustrating to use