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This is a test of the camera's noise levels. The higher the signal to noise ratio, the greater the difference in strength between the real image data and random background noise, so the 'cleaner' the image will look. The higher the signal to noise ratio, the better.
Signal to noise ratio charts
JPEG signal to noise ratio analysis: The Nikon D7200's JPEGs are clearly noisier than those of the Canon D760 and the Pentax K-3 II, which are so close together they can't really be separated.
Raw (converted to TIFF) signal to noise ratio analysis: The pattern is repeated in the raw tests, though here the Pentax starts to show a slight advantage over the Canon as the ISO values increase, and Pixel Shift Resolution mode widens the gap.
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Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.